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Gaurav Gill wins Arjuna Award, becomes first-ever recipient from motorsport

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Gaurav Gill wins Arjuna Award, becomes first-ever recipient from motorsport

In what could prove to be a major boost to the motorsport in India, ace rally driver Gaurav Gill has been conferred with the prestigious Arjuna Award 2019. The honour was bestowed upon Gill for his achievements in motorsport by President Ram Nath Kovind at the National Sports Day Awards ceremony organised at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Thursday.

In an illustrious career spanning nearly two decades, Gill has won the Asia Pacific Rally Championship thrice and Indian National Rally Championship six times. In 2018, he participated in four rounds of the World Rally Championship 2 and this year he might compete in three rounds -- Rally Turkey, Wales Rally GB and Rally Australia.

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports presents the Arjuna Award to athletes for their outstanding feats in sports. The Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India had been advocating Gill's name for the past three years. Now that the ace rally driver has finally won the award, expectations are that the popularity of motorsport will bolster in the country.

Paralympian Deepa Malik was conferred with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honour in the country.

Among the other athletes to be honoured with the Arjuna Award 2019 were Ravindra Jadeja (Cricket), Gurpreet Singh Sandhu (Football), Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi), Bhamidipati Sai Praneeth (Badminton), Pramod Bhagat (Para sports-badminton), Harmeet Rajul Desai (Table Tennis), Pooja Dhanda (Wrestling), Fouaad Mirza (Equestrian), Simran Singh Shergill (Polo), Poonam Yadav (Cricket) and Swapna Burman (Athletics).