New Delhi: India’s cricket and hockey skippers, Virat Kohli and Sreejesh P.R., were among eight sportspersons named on Wednesday for the prestigious Padma Shri, the country’s fourth highest civilian award.
Besides the duo, the six others were Rio Olympics bronze medallist wrestler Sakshi Malik, Paralympians Mariyappan Thangavelu and Deepa Malik, gymnast Dipa Karmakar, discus thrower Vikas Gowda and blind cricket team captain Shekar Naik.
Kohli recently took over as the captain in all three formats of the game after Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped down as skipper of the limited-overs side.
Said Sreejesh, “I would like to dedicate this award to my team who have been exceptionally good over the past few years. We have grown together from strength to strength and have enjoyed success as well as lifted each other from heart-breaking defeats. My recognition could not have been possible if not for the team work.”
Sakshi clinched a bronze in the women’s 58kg wrestling while Thangavelu and Deepa Malik bagged a gold and silver in the men’s high jump T-42 and women’s shot put F53 categories respectively at the Rio Paralympic Games.
Dipa Karmakar finished fourth in women’s vault gymnastic event in Rio while Sreejesh was the captain of the Indian hockey team that reached the quarter-finals.
The eight were among 89 Padma awardees announced by the government on the eve of Republic Day. There were no sportspersons in the list of Padma Bhushan and Padma Vibhushan awardees....