Virat Kohli, Mirabai Chanu Receives Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award By President Ram Nath Kovind

| September 25 , 2018 , 19:56 IST

India's men cricket team captain Virat Kohli and world champion weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu were presented with the country's highest sporting honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award by President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday at the annual National Sports Awards ceremony.

Kohli became the 3rd cricketer to be awarded the Khel Ratna after Sachin Tendulkar (1997) and MS Dhoni (2007).  

Earlier according to reports in media, weightlifter Chanu reflected on her excitement at the honour and took to his Twitter account to describe it, "A really big day for me as I receive the prestigious #RajivGandhiKhelRatnaAward at the #RashtrapatiBhawan today. A big thanks to everyone who have supported me all throughout this journey. Special thanks to my family, my coaches, Govt, Federation, and my fans. Indeed grateful!". Chanu also became the third weightlifter to win the prize after Karnam Malleswari (1995) and Nameirakpam Kunjarani (1996).

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It is learnt that this year's award ceremony was postponed to September 25 from the usual August 29 National Sports Day event due to the clash of dates with the Asian Games in Indonesia.

The Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award is given for a 'spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four years'. Both Kohli and Chanu received a medal, and citation along with a cash prize of Rs 7 lakh.