Vikas Gowda, Seema Punia recommended for Khel Ratna

New Delhi: Commonwealth Games gold medallist discus thrower Vikas Gowda has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for the second time along with his female counterpart and CWG silver winner Seema Punia for the coveted award this year.

Vikas Gowda and Krishna Punia

The names of Gowda and Seema, who won a gold in 2014 Incheon Asian Games, have been recommended by Athletics Federation of India. Gowda, who won a silver in Incheon, was among those shortlisted for the Khel Ratna last year by the Sports Ministry though the selection panel ultimately decided not to name any sportsperson for the award.

The AFI also recommended quartermiler M R Poovamma, triple jumper Arpinder Singh, middle distance runner O P Jaisha and Seema for the Arjuna Award. Besides Gowda and Seema, para-athletes H N Girisha and Devendra Jhajharia have also been recommended for the Khel Ratna.

Jhajharia, who was also among those shortlisted by the Sports Ministry, was recommended by the Rajasthan government while Girisha got the nod from the de-recognised Paralympic Committee of India.

Jhajharia won a gold in Javelin-F46 event in the 2013 IPC World Championships in Lyon. He had also won a gold in the same event in the 2004 Athens Paralympic Games.

Girisha, who received the Arjuna Award last year, had won a silver in the high jump F-42 event in the 2012 London Paralympic Games. The performance of the past three years will be considered for both Khel Ratna and Arjuna Awards.

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