Devendra Jhajharia has received the Padma Bhushan, Neeraj Chopra has received the Padma Shri.© AFP
Para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia was named on Tuesday to the prestigious Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian honor in the country, while Olympic gold-winning javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was one of eight athletes named for the Padma Shri award. Forty-year-old Jhajharia has won two gold medals in the javelin throwing competition of the Paralympic Games, 2004 in Athens and more recently in Rio 2016. Last year he won silver in the F46 event at the Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Chopra, the 24-year-old javelin thrower, made history at the Tokyo Olympics by becoming the first Indian to win gold at an athletic event in the history of the Games.
He also became only the second Indian to win an individual Olympic gold after archer Abhinav Bindra.
Other Padma Shri winners include 20-year-old para-shooter Avani Lekhara, para-badminton player Pramod Bhagat and para-javelin-thrower Sumit Antil.
Also included are 93-year-old Kalaripayattu (indigenous martial art) legend Sankaranarayana Menon Chundayil, former international martial arts champion Faisal Ali Dar, 67-year-old former captain of Indian football team Brahmanand Sankhwalkar and 29-year-old women’s hockey player Vandana Kataria.
The Padma Awards are presented every year around March-April by the President of India during a ceremonial function in Rashtrapati Bhawan.
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