Here are all the Sports Padma Awardees 2019.
At a glistening ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award to 9 sporting people. Awarding the recipients who were earlier announced on India’s 70th Republic Day in January, the President presented the honour in the company of some of the most revered, respected and reputed people in the country.
Reserving a name for himself for the award was yet another cricketer, this time with Delhi player Gautam Gambhir being selected for the coveted award. Capping for a scintillating and sensational international career for himself, one from which he had retired in late 2018, Gambhir was one of the 112 selected to be presented with the Padma Award.
“It’s an honour I accept with gratitude. But it’s an honour which also comes with responsibility. I’m living for the day when Gautam Gambhir the human being beats Gautam Gambhir the cricketer. That will be my day, my award to myself. #PadmaAwards2019”: Gautam Gambhir tweeted after receiving the top award.
Other notable sportspersons who received the honour include table tennis player Sharath Kamal and chess player Harika Dronavalli.
The awards which saw a record 50,000 nominations received for the 2019 awards, indulged citizens from across the country to come out and vote in large numbers for the most deserving candidates. An official said, “The technological intervention has made the nomination process accessible to the people at large and the emphasis of the government to confer Padma awards on unsung heroes, who are doing selfless service for the nation, have resulted into the above transformation. This is reflected in the awardees selected with an eclectic list, covering diverse fields.”
From 1954 to 2019, a total of 234 civilian awards (Padma Awards & Bharat Ratna) have been given to the sporting fraternity in India with cricketers dominating the list hands down. The most loved game in the country has seen a total of these awards being presented to cricket players, a staggering 24% of the total awards conferred to athletes. Among cricketers, the representation of the honours handed out saw 43 being given the Padma Shri, 11 the Padma Bhushan, one Padma Vibhushan and one Bharat Ratna.
The next highest saw 35 awards going to mountaineers while 25 awards have been presented to Hockey players, 13 to athletes, 11 to tennis players, 10 to badminton players, 10 to wrestlers, 7 to chess players, 6 each to boxers and football players and 5 each to swimmers and shooters.
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Over the years, at least two or more awards have been presented to individuals from 17 different sports while only one award was given to individuals from 15 different sports. With 34 winners, Maharashtra has continued to consolidate its position at the top of the list. Delhi follows closely with 29 winners and Punjab ensues with 16.
Sports Padma Awardees 2019
- Gautam Gambhir– Cricket
- Harika Dronavalli– Chess
- Sharath Kamal– Table Tennis
- Prashanti Singh– Basketball
- Ajay Thakur– Kabaddi
- Bajrang Punia– Wrestling
- Bachendri Pal—Mountaineering
- Sunil Chhetri—Football
- Bombayla Devi Laishram—Archery
The government conferred Padma awards to 112 people this year including four Padma Vibushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri.