After being conferred the highest sporting honour of the country, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, awardee gymnast Dipa Karmakar said that the joy has doubled as her coach Bishweshwar Nandi also received the Dronacharya award here on Monday.
Dipa, along with Rio Olympics medallists — shuttler P.V. Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik — and shooter Jitu Rai were conferred the prestigious Khel Ratna at a special function at Rashtrapati Bhavan.
President Pranab Mukherjee presented the awards amid thunderous applause at the Darbar Hall of Rashtrapati Bhavan on the occasion of National Sports Day.
Dipa, who became an overnight sensation after finishing fourth in artistic gymnastics, said she was on cloud nine after receiving the award.
“It really feels great to receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Its a dream for every sportsperson in the country. The joy is doubled as my coach also got the Dronacharya award, I am very happy for him,” Dipa said after receiving the award.
Besides Dipa’s mentor Nandi, President Mukherjee also gave away the Dronacharya awards to Indian cricket Test skipper Virat Kohli’s coach Raj Kumar Sharma, athletics coach Nagapuri Ramesh, boxing coach Sagar Mal Dhayal, Pradeep Kumar (Swimming, lifetime) and Mahabir Singh (wrestling, lifetime).
They were given certificates and a cheque of Rs.5 lakh each.