Ace trap shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu has been chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for 2006, an official announcement said on Thursday night.
He became only the second Indian last August to win a world championship gold. That victory propelled him to the top spot in the world rankings for trap shooting. Earlier in the year, Manavjit won a bronze at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games and followed it with two silvers at the Doha Asiad in December.
The 29 year old has already qualified for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
The government also named 14 sportspersons for the Arjuna Awards 2006, including archer Jayanta Talukdar, athlete K Mathew Binu, B Chetan Anand (badminton), Subhajit Saha (table tennis) and chess player Pentala Harikrishna.
Others chosen for the Arjuna Awards were boxer Vijender, Ms Anjum Chopra (cricket), Ms Jyoti Sunita Kullu (hockey), Vijay Kumar (shooting), Saurav Ghosal (squash), Ms Geeta Rani (weightlifting), Ms Geetika Jakhar (wrestling), Navneet Gautam (kabaddi) and Rohit Bhakar (badminton-disabled category).
The Dhyan Chand Awards for the year 2007 for lifetime achievement in sports were given to Varinder Singh (hockey), Shamsher Singh (kabaddi) and Rajendra Singh (wrestling).
The Dronacharya Awards for the year 2006 for outstanding coaches went to R D Singh (athletics, Paralympic Games), Damodaran Chandralal (boxing) and Koneru Ashok (chess), the announcement said.
The awards will be given away by President Pratibha Patil on August 29 at Rashtrapati Bhavan, it added.