Former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir, Indian football team captain and all-time top scorer Sunil Chhetri, Table tennis sensation Sharath Kamal, wrestler Bajrang Punia were among the recipients for the Padma Shri awards announced on the eve of the Republic Day on Friday.
Amongst other sportspersons to receive the Padma Shree are Harika Dronavalli (Chess), Prashanti Singh (Basketball), Sharath Kamal (Table Tennis), Bombayla Devi Laishram (Archery), Ajay Thakur (Kabaddi).
Veteran women mountaineer Bachendri Pal was honored with the Padma Bhushan, the second highest civilian award.
Gautam Gambhir’s Illustrious Career:
Gambhir played a crucial role in the inaugural World T20 triumph in 2007, where he got India off to brilliant starts along with Virender Sehwag. Following this, he also played a significant role in the final of the 2011 Cricket World Cup, where his crucial 90+ helped India win the 50-over World Cup for the second time. The Delhi-born batsman has been successful in IPL as well where he led Kolkata Knight Riders to a win on two occasions.
The batsman represented Team India in 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is, managing to score more than 10000 runs in international cricket.
Sunil Chhetri Heroics:
The Indian skipper carried the hopes of a billion and famously led the Indian team to the top 100 FIFA ranking. Chhetri has played a crucial role in revolutionizing Indian football and he continues to do so. The Indian football team won the Intercontinental cup under his leadership and qualified for the AFC Asian Cup in 2019. Another incredible achievement by Sunil Chhetri this year was he equaled the tally of the Argentine legend Lionel Messi as the second highest international goalscorer among the active footballers with 64 goals.
Chhetri’s famous video on Twitter urging fans to visit the stadium and support the Indian football team was the most retweeted video on 2018 in India and in a nation which is dominated by cricket, the Indian football captain has done a marvelous job.
The wrestler displayed stellar performances across 2018 season, winning five major medals including CWG and Asian Games gold and a silver at the World Championship. He also achieved the rank one position in the world in the 65 kg category.
Sharath Kamal :
Achanta Sharath Kamal is the best table tennis player in India. In the Commonwealth Games 2018, Kamal bagged three medals – gold, silver, and bronze. He also won India’s first-ever table tennis at Asian Games.
Here’s the full list of sportsperson recipients of the Padma awards:
Bachendri Pal – Mountaineering
Gautam Gambhir – Cricket
Sunil Chhetri – Football
Harika Dronavalli – Chess
Sharath Kamal – Table Tennis
Bambayla Devi – Archery
Prashanti Singh – Basketball
Ajay Thakur – Kabaddi
Bajrang Punia – Wrestling