Vijay, Dutt conferred with Khel Ratna
An unprecedented 25 sportspersons, including cricketer Yuvraj Singh, were conferred with the Arjuna Award by President Pranab Mukherjee in the presence of a host of Ministers, dignitaries and sports celebrities.
Pistol shooter Vijay had won a silver in the 25m rapid fire event at the London Games, while wrestler Yogeshwar bagged a bronze in 60kg free style event. Both the medallists collected the trophy that consists of a medal, citation and cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh each.
"It`s the biggest award that I have received in my career. I am really excited and feeling proud. I would like to maintain my Olympic form into the next big events like Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. I will begin my practice at Mhow from next month," said Vijay.
The 29-year-old Yogeshwar, who had injured his right eye during bouts at the London Games, gave credit to his `gurus` and parents for helping him chase and realise his dream of winning an Olympic medal.
"It is a great occasion for us and the happiest moment of our lives. It is a proud moment for me. I am thankful to the people of the country and to all my well wishers who have shown great faith in me," he said.
The choices were made by a selection committee headed by 2004 Olympics silver-medallist shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and comprised noted sportspersons such as Akhil Kumar (boxing), Khajan Singh (swimming) and Bhaichung Bhutia (football) among others besides a few bureaucrats.