Pune (Maharashtra) [India], Aug 23 (ANI): The Army Sports Institute (ASI), Pune has been awarded Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puraskar 2020 by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The ASI was raised as part of the Indian Army's "Mission Olympics" program on July 1, 2001. The aim was to train the vast reservoir of talent in the Army in selected seven disciplines to include archery, athletics, boxing, diving, fencing, weightlifting and wrestling with an aim of winning medals at Olympics.
The institute draws its sportsmen from the Army as well as from young raw and proven talent in 'Boys Sports Companies' (8-14 years).
These sportsmen are supported by a team of foreign, Indian coaches, physical conditioners, specialists in sports medicine, physiology, psychology, biomechanics, statistics and nutrition.
The institute has made spectacular progress and given an inspired performance in international competitions including Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Championships.
Since raising, the institute has enabled participation of twenty sportsmen in the Olympics and twelve (12) sportsmen have already qualified for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics with more yet to qualify. The institute has won six Youth Olympic Medals, 19 medals in Asian Games and 18 medals in Commonwealth Games.
In the last three years, the sportsmen trained at ASI have won 450 international and 1,118 national medals. In the last three editions of Khelo India, the sportsmen have won 125 medals in five disciplines.
Indian opening batsman Rohit Sharma will be conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award while ace sprinter Dutee Chand will receive Arjuna Award on August 29 at the National Sports Awards ceremony.
Apart from Rohit, Mariyappan T. (Para-Athletics), Manika Batra (Table Tennis), Vinesh (Wrestling) and Rani (Hockey) will also be conferred with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
Shuttler Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy, cricketer Ishant Sharma and shooter Manu Bhaker are among the 27 athletes who will be conferred with Arjuna Award.
Dharmendra Tiwary (archery), Purushotham Rai (athletics), Shiv Singh ( boxing), Romesh Pathania (hockey), Krishan Kumar Hooda (kabaddi), Vijay Bhalchandra Munishwar (para powerlifting), Naresh Kumar (tennis), and Om Parkash Dahiya (wrestling) will receive Dronacharya Lifetime award.
Yogesh Malviya (Mallakhamb), Jaspal Rana (Shooting), Kuldeep Kumar Handoo (Wushu), and Gaurav Khanna (Para Badminton) will be conferred with Dronacharya Award in the regular category.
The awardees will receive their awards from the President Ram Nath Kovind at a specially organised function through the virtual mode from Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29. (ANI)