NEW DELHI, July 22 (IANS): India's top shooter Gagan Narang, who bagged four gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, has been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the highest sporting award in the country, a member of the selection committee said.
Narang, who became the first Indian to qualify for the 2012 London Olympics, was repeatedly ignored for the award for the last couple of years.
The awards' selection committee headed by legendary athlete P.T.Usha, however, decided to select the 28-year-old shooter for his consistent performance.
The recommendations have been forwarded to the sports ministry, who will officially announce the list next week.
Indian pace spearhead Zaheer Khan, footballer Sunil Chettri, Somdev Devvarman and ace badminton player Jwala Gutta have been recommended for Arjuna Awards.
Zaheer, 32, who is currently playing the Test series in England, has taken 271 Tests wickets at an average of 31.94. He has 273 ODI wickets at an average of 28.84.
Somdev, who is the highest ranked Indian singles tennis player, won a singles gold medal in the Commonwealth Games and two golds in the Asian Games. Gutta also won the women's doubles gold medal in the Commonwealth Games with Ashwini Ponappa.
Flyweight boxer Suranjoy Singh, a Commonwealth Games gold, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, bronze medallist in the Asian Games, and long-distance runner Preeja Sreedharan, also a Asian Games gold-medallist, were recommended for the Arjun Award.
India's first woman world champion shooter Tejaswini Sawant, Commonwealth gold medallist archer Rahul Banerjee, gymnast Ashish Kumar, silver medallist in Commonwealth Games, and Wushu player Sandhya Rani, Asian Games silver medallist, were also recommended for the Arjuna Award.