Chennai, Aug 29 (PTI): Tamil Nadu Chief Minister K Palaniswami and DMK president M K Stalin congratulated para- athlete Thangavelu Mariappan and J Ranjith Kumar, who were conferred with the Khel Ratna Award and Dhyan Chand Award, respectively on Saturday.
India's sporting heroes, including Mariappan, were bestowed the annual national awards in an unparallelled online ceremony on Saturday amid the COVID-19 pandemic during which athletes logged in from multiple cities to be honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind.
Taking to twitter Palaniswami said, 'my special wishes and congratulations to my Thamizh brothers Thangavelu Mariappan and Ranjith Kumar, who have been conferred with the Khel Ratna Award and Dhyan Chand Award today.' In another tweet, the Chief Minister paid tributes to Dhyan Chand and said 'Remembering Major Dhyan Chand on his 115th birth anniversary. A true inspiration for every sportsman and generations to come.' 'On this #NationalSportsDay, I salute all our sportsmen who work tirelessly to bring laurels to the nation,' he said.
The legendary hockey player's birth anniversary is celebrated as National Sports Day.
Palaniswami also uploaded a picture of his party leader, late chief minister J Jayalalithaa, with a quote which said, 'sports teaches us the three most essentials required for our lives--hard Work, fighting spirit and Teamwork.' The photo also featured Palaniswami holding a badminton racket and a shuttlecock.
DMK chief Stalin too took to the microblogging site to say, 'On this #NationalSportsDay, let us remember the remarkable performances of our sports personnel and encourage the young talents to set foot on new horizons. My hearty congratulations to Khel Ratna and Dhyan Chand awardees, Thangavelu Mariyappan and Ranjith Kumar.' Mariyappan Thangavelu and four others- cricketer Rohit Sharma, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, women's hockey team captain Rani Rampal, and paddler Manika Batra to be selected for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the countrys highest honour for sportspersons, this year.
The high jumper from Tamil Nadu created history when he won the gold medal for India in the men's high jump T-42 category at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio. He has already been honoured with Padma Shri and Arjuna Award.
J Ranjith Kumar (Para Athletics) won the bronze medal in the Men's Seated Discus Throw EAD at the 2006 Commonwealth Games with a throw of 29.88 meters. PTI JSP SA APR RAVINDRANATH APR RAVINDRANATH