Bhubaneswar: The Odisha government nominated Tuesday ace sprinter Dutee Chand for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. It is India’s highest sporting honour. Apart from Dutee Chand, the Odisha government also sent five other recommendations to the sports ministry, said an official here.
“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.
The Indian sprint ace broke her own 100m national record, clocking 11.7 seconds at the Indian Grand Prix 4 in Patiala last week. However, she missed the automatic Olympic qualification time by 0.02 seconds. She is, however, set to make it to the Tokyo Olympics on the basis of world rankings.
The 25-year-old Dutee won a silver each in the 100m and 200m events in the 2018 Asian Games. She was conferred with the Arjuna Award last year.
The Sports and Youth Services Department of Odisha government has also nominated 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) for the National Sports Awards.
The Odisha government also nominated KIIT Deemed University and Odisha Mining Corporation for Rashtriya Khel Prostahan Puraskar for identifying and nurturing budding talents in the region.