New Delhi: As many as names of nine female athletes have been recommended for the prestigious Padma awards by the Sports Ministry on Wednesday.
This is also the first time that a woman athlete’s name has been put forward for the coveted silverware.
While six-time world champion boxer Mary Kom has been recommended for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan award, PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian to win the world championship in August, has been recommended for the Padma Bhushan.
The other seven athletes in this year’s list includes— wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis star Manika Batra, cricket captain Harmanpreet Kaur (T20Is), hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur and mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik.
Mary Kom has been honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006. If she receives the Padma Vibhushan award, it would make her the fourth sportsperson to do so after chess wizard Viswanathan Anand in 2007, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar in 2008 and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary, who got the award posthumously in 2008.
Sindhu was overlooked for the Padma Bhushan honour in 2017 after her name was recommended by the sports ministry. She had got the Padma Shri in 2015.
The recommendations have been sent to the Padma awards committee in the home ministry. The names of the awardees will be announced on the eve of the Republic Day next year.