India’s finest table tennis player Sharath Kamal has been recommended for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by the sport’s governing body TTFI.
Kamal, who is set to compete in his fourth Olympics, had become the first Indian paddler to get the Padma Shri in 2019.
The world number 32 is a multiple-time gold medallist at the Commonwealth Games but his bigger achievement is being part of the bronze-winning team at the 2018 Asian Games, ensuring India’s first ever table tennis medal in the continental event.
He had also won a mixed doubles bronze alongside Manika Batra to cap off a dream campaign at the Asian Games three years ago.
The much younger Batra had become the first table tennis player to receive the Khel Ratna last year.
“He is a deserving candidate for Khel Ratna. Hope he gets his due,” TTFI advisor MP Singh told PTI.
Kamal’s former teammate turned coach Soumyadeep Roy has been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.
The nominations for the Arjuna Award include the name of Olympic-bound Sutirtha Mukherjee. The others recommended for Arjuna are Ayhika Mukherjee and Manav Thakkar.
The national sports awards are given away every year on August 29 to mark the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand as the National Sports Day.
Besides recommendations from the national federations, athletes can also nominate themselves through online applications. The last date for submission is July 5.