For the first time in the history of Indian sports, the sports ministry has sent in nine all-women names for the Padma awards this year. Among them are six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom who has been recommended for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award, latest World Champion and badminton star PV Sindhu, has also received the ministry’s nomination for the Padma Bhushan.

​It is a milestone in sports for sure as for the first time the name of a woman athlete – Mary Kom – has been put forward for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award, it is the country’s second highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna. She was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.

If Mary Kom wins the Padma Visbhushan awards this year, she would become only the fourth sportsperson to achieve the feat.

Vishwanathan Anand won the award in 2007, Sachin Tendulkar in 2008 and Sir Edmund Hillary who was posthumously awarded in 2008.

Key Takeaways:

  • Mary Kom has been recommended for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award, while P V Sindhu got a nomination for the Padma Bhushan
  • Nine athletes – all women – have been recommended by the ministry for the Padma awards this year
  • This is a first in the history of Indian sports, that the name of a woman athlete – six-time world champion boxer M C Mary Kom – has been recommended for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award, the country’s second highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna

The Padma Bhushan nominee, ace shuttler Sindhu was nominated for the same award in 2017 but did not make it to the final list. She received the Padma Shri in 2015. The other seven recommendations are all for Padma Shri which includes stars like Vinesh Phogat for wrestling, Suma Shirur for shooting, Harmanpreet Kaur for cricket, Manika Batra for table tennis, Rani Rampal for hockey and Tashi Malik and Nungshi Malik for mountaineering.  Tashi and Nungshi are twin sisters.

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The Olympic silver medallist, Kom, 36, has an 18-year long illustrious career, with six World Championships and five Asian Championships to show. She was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha in April, 2016. The fighter is looking to qualify for her second Olympics – the 2020 Tokyo Games – after securing a historic bronze at the 2012 London Olympics. She has recently announced her retirement plans after the Tokyo Olympics, as she hopes to retire after winning the elusive gold medal missing from her trophy shelf. Late last year, the Manipuri boxer had clinched the world title in 48kg category at home for the record sixth time.

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Rio Olympics silver medallist Sindhu recently became the first Indian to win a World Championship title, defeating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara 21-7 21-7 in Basel, Switzerland.

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Sindhu also bagged the Sportsperson of the Year (Female) title at the ESPN India Awards for 2018, ESPN reported. Overall, Sindhu’s latest achievement was to secure World No. 2 spot, as per the latest BWF rankings. Last year, Sindhu successfully made it to the Forbes List Of 30 Under 30 Asia 2018. She is among a total of four Indians included in the list’s ‘Entertainment & Sports’ category. India’s ace badminton player is a role model to many and her words impact youngsters.

The names of the awardees will be announced on the eve of Republic Day next year.

Feature Image Credit: Outlook India

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