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India badminton duo Rankireddy - Shetty receives Khel Ratna 2023

India's star badminton men's doubles duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty have received the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award at the Rashtrapati Bhawan by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu on Tuesday.

Khel Ratna is the country's highest sporting honour given annually by the Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. The nominated stars receive their awards from the President of India.

Satwiksairaj and Chirag, popularly known as 'Sat-Chi' have secured three Badminton World Federation (BWF) titles this year, the Swiss Open, the Indonesia Open and the Korea Open. They also won India's historic first-ever badminton gold at the Asian Games in Hangzhou and also the Asian Championships gold in April.

The duo in October became the first doubles pair in Indian badminton history to be ranked at world number one in BWF rankings. Last year, the Indian shuttlers were a part of the country's historic, game-changing Thomas Cup win. They also bagged medals at the Commonwealth Games Gold in Birmingham and a Bronze at the World Championships.

So far, five shuttlers have been given the Khel Ratna award so far: Pullela Gopichand (2001), Saina Nehwal (2010), PV Sindhu (2016), Pramod Bhagat (2021) and Krishna Nagar (2021).

Earlier in the ceremony, Star India bowler Mohammed Shami, archers Ojas Pravin Deotale, Sheetal Devi, and Aditi Gopichand Swami, and wrestler Antim Panghal are among the stars who received the Arjuna Award.

The Arjuna Award, India's second-highest athletic honour, is given for good performance over a period of the previous four years and for showing qualities of leadership, sportsmanship, and a sense of discipline.

List of Arjuna Awardees: Mohammed Shami (cricket), Ajay Reddy (blind cricket) Ojas Pravin Deotale (archery), Aditi Gopichand Swami (archery), Sheetal Devi (para archery), Parul Chaudhary and Murali Sreeshankar (athletics), Mohd Hussamuddin (boxing), R Vaishali (chess), Divyakriti Singh and Anush Agarwalla (equestrian), Diksha Dagar (golf), Krishan Bahadur Pathak (hockey), Sushila Chanu (hockey), Pinky (lawn ball), Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar (shooting), Antim Panghal (wrestling), Ayhika Mukherjee (table tennis).

(ANI)

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