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Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award Renamed

New Delhi: The Khel Ratna Award has been named as Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award.

“I have been getting many requests from citizens across India to name the Khel Ratna Award after Major Dhyan Chand. I thank them for their views. Respecting their sentiment, the Khel Ratna Award will hereby be called the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award!” Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted on Friday.

The nation’s highest sports award was previously named after former PM Rajiv Gandhi.

The demand for the change gained momentum on social media following Indian hockey teams’ brilliant outings in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Chess legend Viswanathan Anand was the first recipient of the award in 1991-1992. The award carries a cash prize of Rs 25 lakh.

The Hockey Wizard, Major Dhyan Chand, played a key role in India’s three successive gold medal victories at the 1928, 1932 and 1936 Olympics and scored over 400 goals in his international career spanning 23 years.

His birthday on August 29 is also celebrated as National Sports Day in India.

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