The National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has recommended the names of pistol shooter Heena Sidhu and shotgun shooter Ankur Mittal to be considered for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. The national shooting body has also recommended the names of Anjum Moudgil (rifle), Shahzar Rizvi (pistol) and Om Prakash Mitharwal (pistol) for the Arjuna Award while Jaspal Rana and Ronak Pandit have been recommended for the Dronacharya Award.
Former World No. 1 Heena, in 2013, became the first Indian pistol shooter to win a gold at an ISSF World Cup Final. She won the title with a world record in women’s 10m air pistol.
The 29-year-old Heena won a gold in 25m pistol and a bronze in 10m air pistol at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. She also won a bronze in the women’s 25m pistol at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta. In 2014, she was conferred with the Arjuna Award.
Ankur, on the other hand, had won a gold in men’s double trap at the World Championship in Changwon in 2018. He also won a silver at the World Championship in Moscow in 2017.
The 27-year-old Ankur won a bronze in double trap at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. Last year, he was conferred with the Arjuna Award.
Anjum was the first Indian shooter to win an Olympic quota for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics when she won silver medal in the women’s 10m air rifle at the World Championship in Changwon in 2018.
Shahzar had won a gold with a world record in the World Cup in Guadalajara and a silver in the World Cup in Changwon in 2018.
Mitharval won gold in men’s 50m pistol at the World Championship in Changwon in 2018. He won bronze in the 10m air pistol and 50m pistol at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast.
Earlier, shooters Abhinav Bindra, Anjali Bhagwat, Rajyavardhan Rathore, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Vijay Kumar, Gagan Narang, Ronjan Sodhi and Jitu Rai have been conferred with the prestigious Khel Ratna Award.