Manipur: Mirabai Chanu, a silver medalist in weightlifting at the Tokyo Olympic Games, has been named the 2022 ‘BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year’ following a public vote.
The 28-year-old Commonwealth champion, who also won in 2021, is the first person to do so.
Chanu said via a live link from the award ceremony in Delhi, “I am really excited and want to say that I will be working even harder for the upcoming Olympic Games and winning more medals for India.”
Wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshee Malikkh, boxer Nikhat Zareen, and badminton player PV Sindhu were also named as contenders.
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After winning Commonwealth gold, table tennis player Bhavina Patel was named Para Sportswoman of the Year, a newly created category.
“It is a gratifying feeling to win this prestigious award, which is part of a wonderful initiative empowering women and athletes,” Patel, 36, said.
“It’s also encouraging to see the BBC focusing on parasport and making India more inclusive.”
Pritam Siwach, a former hockey player and coach, received the Lifetime Achievement award for her contributions to Indian sports and for inspiring future generations of players.
The 48-year-old was the first female hockey coach to receive the Dronacharya Award, which was established in 1985 to honour Indian sports coaches.
“I’d like to thank the BBC for choosing me,” she said. “When we receive such accolades, it motivates us.”
Nitu Ghanghas, a boxer, was named Emerging Athlete of the Year.
Ghanghas, 22, is a two-time youth world champion who won Commonwealth gold in 2022.
The annual award, now in its fourth edition and started three years ago by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), celebrates Indian female athletes and recognises their successes in various sports over the past year.
Before public voting to determine the winner, a panel of eminent Indian sports journalists and experts voted to select the nominees. On Sunday, the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2022 was announced at a gala.