Olympic javelin star Neraj Chopra has been nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Hel Ratna Award by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI).
The 23-year-old Chopra’s nomination came after sprinter Dutee Chand was nominated for the same award by the Odyssey government.
This is the fourth time Chopra has been recommended for Khel Ratna since 2018.
“Neeraj has been recommended by the award committee for Khel Ratna this year,” an official PTI source said on condition of anonymity.
Chopra has already received the Arjuna Prize in 2018 after winning gold in the British Community Games on the Gold Coast. This year he was also recommended for Khel Ratna.
He was again recommended for Khel Ratna in 2019, after winning gold at the 2018 Asian Games.
Last year he was also recommended for the highest honor.
Chopra, who qualifies for the Tokyo Olympics in January 2020 in South Africa, is currently in Europe preparing for the Tokyo Olympics.
He has participated in three events – in Portugal, Sweden and Finland – since June 10.
He was scheduled to compete in an event in Switzerland on Tuesday, but withdrew from it to give his body enough time to rest after many trips.
He is expected to take part in the Gateshead Diamond League (England) on July 13. This would be Chopra’s biggest event before the Olympics, which open on July 23.
Chopra won bronze at the Quortan Games in Finland on Saturday last year with an effort of 86.79m, behind season leader and 2017 world champion Johannes Fetter (93.59m) and gold medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games and bronze medalist of the 2016 Games Keshorn Walcott (89.12 m).
It was Chopra’s third best performance this season after rewriting his own national record during the Indian Grand Prix 3 with a throw of 88.07m in March at NIS Patiala. A few days later, he threw 87.80m during the Federation Cup at the same venue.