Mirabai Chanu
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu

World champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu and Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and were jointly recommended for the country’s highest sporting honour — the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award on Monday.

“Yes, Virat Kohli and Mirabai Chanu’s names have been recommended by the awards committee,” sources said.

For Chanu, the award comes as a massive morale-booster as she is currently recovering from a lower back injury, which forced her to skip the Asian Games in Jakarta.

She is the current Commonwealth Games gold-medallist and India’s only medal hope in weightlifting going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

She had bagged the gold at the CWG in April by lifting a personal best of 196 kg (86kg+110kg), a national record. After coming back from the CWG, she headed straight to the training centre at Shilaru, Himachal Pradesh. Mirabai had also requested the Sports Ministry to install CCTV cameras in her room and training hall as she feared her food could be spiked to implicate her in a doping scandal.

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