Olympic medallists Vijay Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt have been jointly conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the country's highest sporting honour, while 25 sportspersons have been honoured with the Arjuna awards by the President.
Pistol shooter Vijay had won a silver in the 25m rapid fire event at the London Olympics, while Yogeshwar had bagged a bronze in 60kg free style event. Both of them collected the prize which consists of a medal, citation and a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh each.
Cricketer Yuvraj Singh, preparing to return after his recovery from cancer, got a thunderous applause as he received the Arjuna award.
Dronacharya Award, the top recognition for coaches in the country, was conferred on eight including Virender Poonia (athletics), Sunil Dabas (kabaddi), Yashvir Singh (wrestling), Harendra Singh (hockey), Satyapal Singh (para sports (athletics), JS Bhatia (athletics, for Life Time achievement), Bhawani Mukherjee (table tennis, for Life Time achievement) and BI Fernandez (boxing, foreign coach).
Fernandez became the first foreign coach to receive Dronacharya Award after the selection committee, headed by Olympian Aslam Sher Khan, took into account his outstanding contribution in the performance of the Indian boxers at the international sporting events including Olympics. The Arjuna and Dronacharya awardees got statuettes, citations and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.