Asian Games gold medalist wrestler Bajrang Punia, women’s hockey player Rani Rampal, Test cricketer Rishabh Pant and pistol prodigy Manu Bhaker won this year’s Delhi Sports Journalists Association’s (DSJA) Best Sportspersons awards on Thursday.
The awards were presented by the Indian Olympic Association and International Hockey Federation (FIH) president Narinder Batra.
— Delhi Capitals (@DelhiCapitals) March 28, 2019
“It is very inspiring when sports journalists give such awards,” said Bajrang. He also added that the award would inspire him to work harder in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Cricketer Pant echoed a similar sentiment.
“I can never forget how many Delhi sports journalists encouraged me from my early days,” said Pant about the support he received from the media during his junior cricketing days.
#AsianGames gold medallist wrestler #BajrangPunia, hockey star #RaniRampal, cricketer #RishabhPant and pistol shooting sensation #ManuBhaker were presented the #DSJA best sportspersons awards by the #IOA President #NarinderDhruvBatra on March 28.
Photo: IANS pic.twitter.com/5ouU3Afokz
— IANS Tweets (@ians_india) March 28, 2019
Rani Rampal and Manu Bhaker conferred with Best Sports Women
Received ’Best Sportswoman Award’ from @FIH_Hockey and @ioaindia President Dr Narinder Dhruv Batra today. Thank you Delhi Sports Journalists Association for this recognition. @TheHockeyIndia #IndiaKaGame pic.twitter.com/hKEZREyp4h
— Rani Rampal (@imranirampal) March 28, 2019
While Bajrang and Rishabh won the award among men, Rani and Manu were conferred the recognition in the female category.
Hockey star Rani Rampal, who was permitted to take a day off from the National Camp in Bengaluru, was delighted to receive the Best Sportswoman award. “We are focused on doing well for India and such awards keep us going in right direction,” she said.
Karnam Malleshwari received the Lifetime Achievement award for her contribution in Indian sports.
Honored to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from #Delhi Sports Journalists Association (DSJA) for contribution to sports as India’s 1st woman medallist in Olympic Games History and for continued support to #weightlifting.
Deep Gratitude and thanks to #DSJA#KMFoundation pic.twitter.com/DxAJTic55G
— Karnam Malleswari, OLY (@kmmalleswari) March 28, 2019
Manu’s award was received by her father as the ace shooter is currently representing the country at the Asian Air Gun Championship in Chinese Taipei. Besides, Jaspal Rana (shooting) and Tarak Sinha (cricket) were conferred with the best coaches award. Rishabh, a product of Tarak Sinha’s Sonnet Club, collected the award on behalf of his coach.
Elite sportspersons attended the award function
The function was attended by a galaxy of sportspersons, with International Olympic Committee member Randhir Singh, hockey Olympians Harbinder Singh, Jagbir Singh and Zafar Iqbal, trap shooter Moraad Ali Khan and JK Tyre Motor Sports Head Sanjay Sharma presenting the awards to the winners.
Narinder Dhruv Batra, who was the Special Invitee, said recognition of their efforts gives the athletes immense satisfaction and motivation to do better.
“What the DSJA is doing here today is very much in line with that belief. And who can be a better jury that the sports journalists themselves who write, report and chronicle up and coming and elite athletes every day,” he said.
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