New Delhi, Aug.29 (ANI): The President, Pratibha Devisingh Patil, will confer the national sports awards on 25 sportspersons on Saturday.
For the first time, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award will be presented to two boxers-woman boxer M C Marykom and Beijing bronze medalist boxer Vijender Singh, and wrestler Sushil Kumar.
The country's best boxer and four-time World Champion, MC Mary Kom, gets the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna after applying for it for the past three years.
Vijender Kumar gets the highest national award a year after he won the bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics, while wrester Sushil Kumar also gets the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award a year after winning India a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics.
Sushil said the recognition would be a huge fillip for wrestling in India and the country can look forward to more medals in future.
Badminton ace Saina Nehwal will receive the Arjuna award for her excellent show in the last one year, as also cricketer Gautam Gambhir.
Badminton coach Pullela Gopichand will achieve a rare feat when he receives the Dronacharya award.
He is the only sportsperson in the nation to have won the Khel Ratna, the Arjuna Award and the Padma Shree and now the Dronacharya award due to Saina Nehwal's superb performance. (ANI)