India’s best table tennis player, Sharat Kamal, has been nominated for the Rajiv Gandhi Hel Ratna Award by TTFI’s governing body.
Kamal, who is set to compete in his fourth Olympics, was the first Indian rower to take Padma Sri in 2019.
World No. 32 is a multiple gold medalist at the British Community Games, but his greatest achievement is being part of the bronze medalist team at the 2018 Asian Games, securing India’s first-ever table tennis medal in the continental event. He also won bronze mixed doubles with Manica Batra to complete his dream campaign at the Asian Games three years ago. The much younger Batra became the first table tennis player to receive Khel Ratna last year.
“He is a worthy candidate for Hel Ratna. I hope he gets what he deserves,” TTFI adviser Singh told PTI.
Kamal’s former teammate, who became Coach Sumiadip Roy, has been nominated for the Dronacharya Award.
Nominations for the Arjuna Prize include the name of Olympic-related Sutirtha Mukherjee. The others recommended for Arjuna are Ayhika Mukherjee and Manav Thakar.
The National Sports Awards are presented each year on August 29 to mark the anniversary of the birth of hockey legend Major Diane Chand as National Sports Day. In addition to recommendations from national federations, athletes can also be nominated through online applications. The deadline for submissions is July 5.