NEW DELHI: Wimbledon 2015 doubles champion Sania Mirza has thwarted squash player Deepika Pallikal and discus-thrower Vikas Gowda to win the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award granted by the Union sports ministry.
Earlier this month, Indian sports secretary Ajit Sharan had confirmed that the country’s sports minister Sarbanada Sonowal had nominated Sania Mirza for the award. However, he had clarified that the final decision rests with awards committtee.
“We had got a late recommendation from AITA but the minister accepted that and recommended the same to the awards committee.
But the final decision to give the honour rests with the Awards Committee,” said Sharan, reported local media.
The coveted Khel Ratna is the highest honour given for achievements in sports.
Sania, who has won three mixed doubles Grand Slams in her career, added Wimbledon to her trophy cart in June this year by partnering with former Wimbledon singles champion, Martina Hingis.
Switzerland’s Hingis and Mirza beat Russia’s Ekaterina Makarova and Elena Vesnina 5-7 7-6 (7-4) 7-5.
Mirza also became world number one this year, before winning the grass-court major.