The Odisha government has nominated sprinter Dutee Chand for the country’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. According to an official here, the Odisha government made five additional recommendations to the Sports Ministry in addition to Dutee.
“I’m thankful to Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik for nominating my name for the Khel Ratna Award. May your blessing always be upon me,” Dutee said on Twitter.
Dutee Chand beat her own national record in the India Grand Prix 4 last week in Patiala clocking 11.7 seconds. However, she did lose out on automatic qualification for the Tokyo Olympics by 0.02 seconds. But it won’t be a problem for her because she has cut based on her world rankings.
After clinching silver medals in the 100m and 200m events at the 2018 Asian Games, Chand, who is now 25 years old, was conferred the Arjuna Award last year.
Olympic-bound Indian hockey vice-captain Birendra Lakra (Arjuna Award), hockey coach Kalu Charan Choudhury (Dronacharya), and former sprinter and Olympian Anuradha Biswal (Dhyan Chand) have all been nominated for National Sports Awards by the Odisha government’s Sports and Youth Services Department.
For spotting and developing young talents in the region, the state government also nominated KIIT Deemed University and Odisha Mining Corporation for the Rashtriya Khel Prostahan Puraskar.