Six-time World Champion and 2012 Olympic medalist MC Mary Kom has been recommended by the sports ministry for country's second-highest civilian award - the Padma Vibushan. The 36-year-old pugilist becomes the first woman athlete to have been recommended for the award, reported, Times of India. Not to forget, she has been already honoured with Padma Bhushan and Padma Shree in 2013 and 2006 respectively.
Till date, only three sportspersons have received the Padma Vibhushan - Vishwanathan Anand (2007), Sachin Tendulkar (2008) and Sir Edmund Hillary (2008).
In what appears to be a move to motivate women athletes, nine sportspersons recommended by the ministry this year are women. Badminton world champion PV Sindhu has been nominated for Padma Bhushan, which is the country's third highest civilian award. Sindhu recently clinched the World badminton championships title, beating Japan's Nozomi Okuhara 21-7, 21-7, becoming the only Indian to win the title.
Other than these two, Vinesh Phogat (boxing), Harmanpreet Kaur (cricket), Rani Rampal (hockey), Suma Shirur (shooting), Manika Batra (table tennis), Tashi and Nungshi Malik (mountaineering) have been recommended for Padma Shri awards. Archer Tarundeep Rai and hockey Olympian MP Ganesh were on Thursday recommended for the Padma Shri alongside seven women sportspersons by the Sports Ministry.
Archer Rai was part of the Indian recurve team, along side Atnau Das and Pravin Jadhav, that won a silver medal at the World Championships in Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands in June this year.
They earned an Olympic quota along with three single athlete quotas in the men's recurve individual event.
Ganesh was part of the Indian men's hockey team that won the bronze medal in the 1972 Munich Olympics.
He was also a member of the sides that won a World Cup bronze in 1971 Barcelona and silver in 1973 Amsterdam.
A Sports Ministry source confirmed the two new additions to the Padma recommendations list but said they are yet to be approved by the Minister.
"MP Ganesh and Tarundeep were late additions to the list. While the seven women recommended for Padma Shri this year are more or less certain to make the final list, Ganesh and Tarundeep's cases will be decided by the Padma awards committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs," the source told PTI.
The final list of the awardees will be released on 25 January 2020 by the Padma awards committee.
With inputs from PTI
Updated Date: Sep 12, 2019 14:12:09 IST