Indian Women’s Hockey Team goalkeeper Savita Punia’s stellar performance at the recently concluded Asia Cup garnered her praise nationwide has been recommended for the Arjuna Award by the national federation on Thursday.
Former India player Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu has been recommended for the Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Sanggai Ibemhal Chanu and former men’s captain Bharat Chetri have been recommended for the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement,” Hockey India said in a statement.
Along with her, mid-fielder Manpreet Singh, who led India’s men’s hockey team at last month’s Commonwealth Games, mid-fielder, Dharamvir Singh, have been recommended for the Arjuna Award too.
“We are happy to endorse these hockey players who have immensely contributed to Indian hockey,” Mohd Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India said, Firstpost reported.
“They have proven their worth with significant performances that has elevated the Indian team to new heights. They have donned the India colours with pride and have given it their all to help the team win several accolades within the country and internationally,” he continued.
“We at Hockey India are proud of their achievements and are happy to recommend their names for the National awards,” he added.
Punia, who hails from Jhodka village near Sirsa, initially played in Hisar. Savita, 27, has been chosen as the vice-captain of the squad which is heading to the Asian Champions Trophy Women’s Hockey Tournament, in Donghae City, Korea beginning from May 13. Sunita Lakra is leading the team in absence of Rani Rampal for the fifth Women’s Asian Champions Trophy.
Savita’s role for India to win historic Asia Cup last year was praiseworthy. She made a hard-fought save in the penalty shootout that helped the team beat China in the finals. Also, she helped India qualify for the World Cup as continental champions after a gap of 13 years. Savita proudly stood beside the members of the team when qualified for the Olympics after 36 years. Furthermore, she was a member of the team that won the Asian Champions Trophy in 2016.
Feature Image Credit: The Week