HomeNewsPadma Shri 2019 Awardees in Sports | Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri
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Padma Shri 2019 Awardees in Sports | Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri

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On India’s 70th Republic Day, the Government of India announced that Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri, Bajrang Punia among the eight sports stars will be honoured with the prestigious Padma Shri Awards. While mountaineer Bachendri Pal was on Friday conferred with the Padma Bhushan, India’s highest civilian award.

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Bachendri Pal, who became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest in 1984, has been bestowed with the honour for ‘distinguished service of a high order.

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Meanwhile, World Cup-winning cricketer Gambhir, India football captain Chhetri and World Championship silver medallist wrestler Bajrang, have been conferred with the Padma Shri, along with Dronavalli Harika (chess), Sharath Kamal (table tennis), Bombayla Devi Laishram (archery), Ajay Thakur (kabaddi) and Prashanti Singh (basketball).

Gambhir awarded for his contribution to Indian Cricket

Gautam Gambhir played match-winning knocks in the finals of India’s World T20 win in 2007 and the 2011 World Cup title triumph. Having played 58 Tests, 147 ODIs and 37 T20Is for India since making his international debut in 2003, the left-handed batsman announced his retirement from all forms of cricket on December 2018 after scoring 10,324 International runs.

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Sunil Chhetri: The highest active international goal scorer

Chhetri, who guided India in the AFC Asian Cup 2019 this month, is all set to become the sixth Indian Footballer to be awarded the Padma Shri. He went past Argentina great Lionel Messi to become the second highest active international goal scorer with 67 goals behind Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. Chhetri has won 3 Nehru Cups (2007, 2009, 2012), an AFC Challenge Cup (2012), and 2 SAFF Championships (2011, 2016) in his illustrious career.

“At the moment, it’s just pure happiness. It hasn’t sunk in as yet. I need some time to feel it. I need some time to understand what the recognition actually means,” said Chhetri.

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“Every person has flaws, so do I. I understand it and strive to be a better version of myself a better human being. I feel I need to set a better example to others.”

“On that perspective, I am loving that extra pressure which has come with this Padma Shri announcement.”

“Look at that list the late Gostho Paul, the late Sailen Manna, PK Banerjee, Chuni Goswami and Bhaichung-bhai. They are all legends. To be in that same list is an honour for me. It gives me goosebumps. It is also a reminder to me on what I need to do, all in my effort to improve every minute as a footballer.”

Besides, Bajrang Punia lashed out at the government last year for not including him for the Khel Ratna awards which were taken by cricket captain Virat Kohli and weightlifter Mirabai Chanu.

Bajrang is a World Championship silver and bronze medallist and had also won gold at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018 and will now be awarded Padma Shri.

Here’s the full list of recipients of the Padma awards in the sports:

Padma Bhushan

Bachendri Pal – Mountaineering

Padma Shri

Gautam Gambhir – Cricket

Sunil Chhetri – Football

Harika Dronavalli – Chess

Sharath Kamal – Table Tennis

Bambayla Devi – Archery

Prashanti Singh – Basketball

Ajay Thakur – Kabaddi

Bajrang Punia – Wrestling

The government conferred Padma awards to 112 people this year including four Padma Vibushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri.

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Bhawna Kothari
Bhawna Kothari
Lover of cultures, varied colors, and underdogs, Bhawna is a by-heart and professional playwright. Hailing from a journalism & communication background, she incorporates a careful study at both flips of the coin which is essentially required to be analytical in thoughts and words. Actively abreast of the current affairs around the globe, she likes knowing and bringing into light the unexplored. Problem solving via the power of content is what inspires her and hence KreedOn, a platform created for the betterment of sports ecosystem in India, is now her happy workplace!


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