The 36-year-old boxer, who is a six-time world champion, has garnered several accolades in her illustrious career.
The Manipuri boxer is the fourth sportsperson in the country to be given the Padma Vibhushan after chess wizard Viswanathan Anand, mountaineer Edmund Hillary and cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar who all got the coveted award in 2008. She was conferred with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006.
Apart from the boxer, India’s ace shuttler PV Sindhu will be awarded with the prestigious Padma Bhushan, while former cricketer Zaheer Khan and India women hockey team skipper Rani Rampal will be conferred with the Padma Shri on the same day.
Sindhu bagged a silver in the previous Olympics held in Rio in 2016 and is the only Indian to win a world championship gold in badminton.
Besides the gold medal, she won last year, the 24-year-old has clinched two silver and two bronze in the same competition.
Former Indian men’s hockey player M P Ganesh, shooter Jitu Rai, former Indian women’s football team captain Oinam Bembem Devi, and archer Tarundeep Rai are the other sportspersons who will be conferred with the Padma Shri on Republic Day.
Zaheer was a key member of the 2011 World Cup-winning Indian team and was the joint leading wicket-taker in the tournament.
Meanwhile, India’s hockey skipper Rani has featured in over 200 international matches and also scored a crucial goal against the USA last year, which helped the country secure a Tokyo Olympics berth.
The names of the awardees were announced by the government on the eve of the Republic Day.
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