Mirabai Chanu named BBC's Indian Sportswoman of the Year

Mirabai Chanu named BBC's Indian Sportswoman of the Year

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Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, who won a silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics, has been chosen as the 2022 "BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year" following a popular poll. The 28-year-old became the first athlete to win the prestigious award for the second time in a row in the country.

"I am really excited and want to say that I will be working even harder for the forthcoming games and win more medals for India," said Chanu. The wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, the boxer Nikhat Zareen, and the badminton star PV Sindhu were the other individuals that made the short list for the prize.

Bhavina Patel, a table tennis player, received the "BBC Para Sportswoman of the Year" award, a new category this year. She became the first Indian paddler to accomplish the milestone by winning a silver medal at the 2020 Paralympics in Tokyo. At the Commonwealth Games in 2022, Bhavina also captured gold.

"It is indeed a gratifying feeling to win this prestigious award which is part of a wonderful initiative empowering women and sportspersons. It is also commendable to see BBC focusing on para sports and making India more inclusive," said Bhavina.

Pritam Siwach, a former captain of the Indian women's hockey team, received the "BBC Lifetime Achievement Award" in recognition of her contributions to Indian sports and role modelling for future generations of athletes. The Dronacharya Award, the top national honour for coaches, was handed to Siwach as the first woman in the hockey coaching profession.

"This award has been conferred upon eminent sportswomen in the past three years. I was very happy to know that this year, I will be getting the award. The specialty of this award is that it is given to women. It motivates us when we get such awards," said Siwach.

The winner of the "BBC Emerging Player of the Year" award is boxer Nitu Ghanghas. She has won a medal at the Commonwealth Games and is a two-time youth world champion. In the minimum weight division, she took home a gold medal in the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Given the "BBC Changemaker of the Year Award" was the women's lawn bowls team of Lovely Choubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey, Pinki, and Nayanmoni Saikia, who captured gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, India's first-ever medal in the competition.

The BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year Award was established in 2019 to recognise Indian sportswomen who have distinguished themselves on a global scale.

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