'I will try hard to win more medals for the country and make India proud.'
Ace Indian sprinter Dutee Chand said the Arjuna Award will motivate her to win a prestigious Olympic medal at the Tokyo Games next year.
The Sports Ministry on Friday confirmed that five athletes will receive the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award while 27 athletes will be conferred with the Arjuna Award on August 29 at the National Sports Awards ceremony.
Star cricketer Rohit Sharma, along with paddler Manika Batra, women's hockey captain Rani Rampal, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and para-athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu were this year awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award -- the country's highest sporting honour.
Chand, shuttler Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy, cricketer Ishant Sharma and shooter Manu Bhaker are among the 27 athletes who will be conferred with the Arjuna Award.
"First of all, I would like to thank the state government for recommending me for this year's Arjuna Awards. I'm very happy and proud that I will get the prestigious award in 2020. I have worked hard for this and bagged many medals in the last three years," Chand said.
The India's fastest woman thanked the Athletics Federation of India, Sports Authority of India and KIIT Foundation for lending their support in her journey.
"These awards motivate athlete to achieve more in upcoming tournaments. It will motivate me for the next year's Tokyo Olympics and it will act as an inspiration for young athletes. I will try hard to win more medals for the country and make India proud," Chand said.
However, the 24-year-old is yet to qualify for the next year's Tokyo Games, which was postponed to 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. She will aim to clinch her Olympic berth in a qualification event.
Dutee's made the country proud at the 2018 Asian Games where she picked up a silver in both the 100m and 200m races. She had won bronze medals in 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships. She is the first Indian athlete to win in the World University Games.
The awardees will receive their awards from President Ram Nath Kovind at a specially organized function through the virtual mode from Rashtrapati Bhawan on August 29.