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Advani gets Khel Ratna

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Pankaj Advani.
Pankaj Advani.

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Ace cueist Pankaj Advani was on Wednesday conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest individual sporting honour in country.

The award, which carries a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakhs, a scroll of honour and a medal, is given to one sportsperson in recognition of his/her spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports.

Badminton player Aparna Popat is one of the Arjuna Award winners. The awards, comprising a cash prize of Rs. 3 lakhs, a statuette and a scroll of honour, is given to not more than 15 sportspersons in recognition of outstanding achievements at international level and for showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship and sense of discipline.

The Dhyan Chand Awards for lifetime achievement in sports and games, comprising a cash award of Rs. 3 lakhs, plaque and a scroll of honour, are given to not more than three sportspersons in a particular year in recognition of their contribution to sports by their performance and continued contribution even after retirement from active sports career.

The Dronacharya Awards, comprising a cash award of Rs. 3 lakhs, a plaque and a scroll of honour, are given to not more than five coaches for outstanding and meritorious work on a consistent basis to enable sportspersons to excel in international events.

The President, Dr. A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, will present the awards at a function in the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29.

The awardees:

Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2005: Pankaj Advani (billiards and snooker).

Dhyan Chand Awards for 2006:Uday K. Prabhu(athletics),Commander Nandy Singh(hockey),Harish Chandra M. Birajdar(wrestling).

Arjuna Awards for 2005:Tarundeep Rai(archery), Dola Banerjee (archery),Manjit Kaur (athletics), Aparna Popat (badminton),Anuja Prakash Thakur (billiards & snooker), Akhil Kumar (boxing),Surya Shekhar Ganguly (chess),Anju Jain (cricket),Viren Rasquinha (hockey),Ramesh Kumar(kabaddi),Gagan Narang(shooting), Shikha Tandon (swimming),Soumyadeep Roy(table tennis), Sushil Kumar(wrestling), Rajinder Singh Rahelu (physically handicapped).

Dronacharya Awards:Captain M. Venu(boxing), Balwan Singh(kabaddi), Maha Singh Rao(wrestling),Ismail Baig(rowing).

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