A few days ago, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award 2020 was announced - with a surprise twist. For the first time, it is being awarded to five individuals this year: Table Tennis player Manika Batra, Indian Women’s Hockey Team captain Rani Rampal, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, cricketer Rohit Sharma and para-high jumper Mariyappan Thangavelu. The awards are to be present on August 29, which is celebrated as the National Sports Day, via an online ceremony instead of the usual presentation by the Indian President at the Rashtrapati Bhavan - thanks to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic and social distancing norms.
Interestingly, Manika is the youngest of the lot. At 25, she is also an Arjuna Awardee (2018) and the only Indian to have received Breakthrough Star Award by International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF). Find out more about Manika Batra here.