Seven sport sensations are winning Padma Shri Awards this Republic day–Rio Olympic medalist,  Sakshi Malik is one of them, a source told The Indian Express on Wednesday.

Along with the wrestler, Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, discus thrower Vikas Gowda, shot put champion Deepa Malik, national hockey team captain PR Sreejesh, captain of India’s blind cricket team Shekhar Naik and Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu will receive awards.

READ:Olympic victor Sakshi Malik’s training included 12 years of fighting misogyny

Sakshi took home India’s first medal in women’s wrestling at Rio Olympics in 2016.  She is also the first Indian female wrestler ever and the fourth female Indian athlete to win an Olympic medal. This news is another feather in her cap.

Also Watch: Don’t let the bronze change the colour of your heart: Mary Kom to Sakshi Malik

Shortly after, Thangavelu Mariyappan won the gold medal at the Paralympics. It was the the first time any India has won a medal in the event.

On the other hand, Dipa Karmakar missed winning a medal by a whisker at the Rio Olympics, even though the Agartala girl amazed everyone with her moves, particularly the Produnova performance in artistic gymnastics.  Even so, she has been  widely appreciated because she was India’s first representative in the Olympics gymnastics competition in more than 52 years. Though she had finished fourth, her effort was laudable.

Also Read: Sakshi Malik becomes ‘Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao’ ambassador

Padma Awards for the year will be conferred on this Republic Day.

Sakshi and Dipa’s achievements thus far have propelled efforts to improve sport facilities for women. But it’s just a beginning. We salute you both!

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