Khel Ratna Soars to Doubles! Badminton Duo & Shami Top Sports Awards


National Sports Awards 2023: Badminton Pair Soars, Shami & Sheetal Devi Among 25 Arjuna Awardees

New Delhi: Badminton’s dynamic duo, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, soared to the pinnacle of Indian sporting recognition on Tuesday, receiving the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award at the National Sports Awards 2023. In a ceremony graced by President Droupadi Murmu at Rashtrapati Bhavan, cricket’s pace wizard Mohammed Shami and para-archer Sheetal Devi stood tall among 25 athletes conferred the Arjuna Award.

Shetty and Rankireddy, known for their electrifying smashes and seamless coordination, etched their names in history, becoming the first Indian badminton pair to clinch a World Championship medal (bronze in 2021), a feat followed by a quarterfinal finish at the Tokyo Olympics. Their Khel Ratna recognition was a fitting tribute to their consistent excellence and their role in propelling Indian badminton to new heights.

Cricket icon Shami, a pillar of the Indian bowling attack for over a decade, finally received his Arjuna Award due reward. His stellar performances, including being the leading wicket-taker for India in the 2023 World Test Championship and his consistent brilliance across formats, earned him a well-deserved place on the podium.

Meanwhile, Sheetal Devi, a shining star in para-archery, cemented her status as a sporting icon by adding the Arjuna Award to her glittering collection of medals, including the Tokyo Paralympics silver. Her unwavering dedication and dominance on the international stage made her a strong contender for this prestigious honor.

The list of Arjuna awardees was a testament to India’s diverse sporting landscape, featuring rising stars like Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Esha Singh, both World Champions in the 50m rifle 3 positions event, as well as established names like Murali Sreeshankar in athletics and Ritu Negi in kabaddi.

Outstanding coaches also received their due recognition with the Dronacharya Award being bestowed upon Lalit Kumar (wrestling), RB Ramesh (chess), Mahaveer Prasad Saini (para-athletics), Shivendra Singh (hockey), and Ganesh Prabhakar Devrukhkar (mallakhamb).

For their lifetime contributions to Indian sports, badminton legend Manjusha Kanwar, hockey veteran Vineet Kumar Sharma, and kabaddi stalwart Kavitha Selvaraj were honored with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement.

The ceremony also saw Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, crowned the winners of the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy for the best university in promoting sports. Lovely Professional University and Kurukshetra University were the first and second runners-up, respectively.

From badminton’s rising stars to cricket’s veteran heroes, the National Sports Awards 2023 celebrated the spirit of excellence and perseverance that shines brightly across India’s sporting landscape. The stories of these athletes and coaches serve as an inspiration to millions, reminding us that the pursuit of greatness knows no bounds and that dreams, with dedication and passion, can soar high like Shetty and Rankireddy’s smashes on the badminton court.

National Sports Awards 2023:

Khel RatnaChirag Shetty (Badminton), Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy (Badminton)
Arjuna AwardOjas Pravin Deotale (Archery), Aditi Gopichand Swami (Archery), Murali Sreeshankar (Athletics), Parul Chaudhary (Athletics), Mohammad Hussamuddin (Boxing), R. Vaishali (Chess), Mohammed Shami (Cricket), Anush Agarwalla (Equestrian), Divyakriti Singh (Equestrian Dressage), Diksha Dagar (Golf), Krishan Bahadur Pathak (Hockey), Sushila Chanu (Hockey), Pawan Kumar (Kabaddi), Ritu Negi (Kabaddi), Nasreen (Kho-Kho), Pinki (Lawn Bowls), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (Shooting), Esha Singh (Shooting), Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu (Squash), Ayhika Mukherjee (Table Tennis), Sunil Kumar (Wrestling), Antim Panghal (Wrestling), Naorem Roshibina Devi (Wushu), Sheetal Devi (Para-archery), Illuri Ajay Kumar Reddy (Blind Cricket), Prachi Yadav (Para-canoeing)
Dronacharya Award (Regular Category)Lalit Kumar (Wrestling), RB Ramesh (Chess), Mahaveer Prasad Saini (Para-athletics), Shivendra Singh (Hockey), Ganesh Prabhakar Devrukhkar (Mallakhamb)
Dronacharya Award (Lifetime Category)Jaskirat Singh Grewal (Golf), Bhaskaran E. (Kabaddi), Jayanta Kumar Pushilal (Table Tennis)
Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime AchievementManjusha Kanwar (Badminton), Vineet Kumar Sharma (Hockey), Kavitha Selvaraj (Kabaddi)
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2023Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar (Winner), Lovely Professional University, Punjab (1st runner-up), Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra (2nd runner-up)

Current prize money for major awards:

  • Khel Ratna Award: ₹25 lakh (approximately $31,000)
  • Arjuna Award: ₹15 lakh (approximately $19,000)
  • Dronacharya Award (Regular Category): ₹10 lakh (approximately $13,000)
  • Dronacharya Award (Lifetime Category): ₹15 lakh (approximately $19,000)
  • Major Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement: ₹5 lakh (approximately $6,300)

Recent changes in prize money:

  • The prize money for the Khel Ratna and Arjuna awards was significantly increased in 2020.
  • There have been no recent changes to the prize money for the Dronacharya and Major Dhyan Chand awards.

Additional information:

  • The prize money is not the only benefit of winning a National Sports Award. Winners also receive a bronze statuette, a certificate, and lifetime pension for medal winners in major international tournaments.
  • Some states and sports associations also offer additional financial rewards to award winners.

To find the most up-to-date information on the prize money for the National Sports Awards, you can visit the official website of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports:

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