Khel Ratna an "added responsibility" for Manika Batra

Table tennis player Manika Batra, who will be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award this year, on Saturday said that the accolade would be an added responsibility for her to bring more laurels for the country.

Apart from Batra, Mariyappan T. (Para-Athletics), Rohit Sharma (Cricket), Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling) and Rani Rampal (Hockey) will be conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award this year.

"It is an honour for me to be named as one of the receipents for this year's Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. I would like to thank god, Sports Ministry, all my sponsors and the Sports Authority of India," Batra told reporters.

"This award is an added responsibility for me to continue performing well and I am looking forward to bring more laurels for the country," she added.

Sprinter Dutee Chand, cricketer Ishant Sharma, and shooter Manu Bhaker are among the 27 athletes who will be conferred with the Arjuna Award.

National Sports Awards which include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Arjuna award, the Dronacharya award, and the Dhyan Chand award, are conferred on athletes every year by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, the National Sports Day.

However, this year, the names would be announced by President Ram Nath Kovind virtually due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

"The ceremony will take place virtually but what we will have to see how the exact process would pan out," a source within the Sports Ministry had told ANI.

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