Imphal: Manipur’s Shushila Devi Likmabam and Assam’s Nayan Moni Saikia were among the 25 athletes who were bestowed with Arjuna Award 2022, India’s second-highest sporting honour, by the President of India, Droupadi Murmu, in a National Sports Awards ceremony held at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Wednesday.
Shushila Devi, who got a silver in women’s judo 48kg final during the Commonwealth Games 2022, also bagged golds in both Commonwealth Judo Championship, 2018 and 2019.
Born in February 1995 in Heingang, Imphal East, Shushila herself took up the sport when she was only around five years old. She started training when she was seven in judo academy at Khuman Lampak.
Saikia received the prestigious award for her achievements in Lawn bowls. She won gold in Commonwealth Games 2022 and a bronze medal in Asian Championship, 2018.
Legendary Table Tennis player Sharath Kamal Achanta was conferred with the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, country’s highest sporting honour, by President Droupadi Murmu.
Sharath, who has been a part of the TOP scheme since December 2018, is the sole recipient of the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award this year.
This year 25 athletes across the Olympic sports, Paralympic sports and Deaflympics sports have received the Arjuna Awards that include shuttlers Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, woman boxer Nikhat Zareen, track and field athletes Eldhose Paul and Avinash Sable, Para-shuttlers Manasi Girishchandra Joshi, Tarun Dhillon, Para-athletes Nir Bahadur Gurung, deaf shuttler Jerlin Anika J and others.
Indian Grandmaster R Praggnanandhaa also got felicitated with Arjuna Award for his various achievements in chess.
Other awards given out in the evening include the Dronacharya Award, Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games, the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar, the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad trophy as well as the Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Award.
The Dronacharya Award in the regular category was awarded to Jiwanjot Singh Teja (Archery), Mohammad Ali Qamar (Boxing), Suma Siddharth Shirur (Para shooting), Sujeet Maan (Wrestling), and Dronacharya Award (Lifetime) was presented to Bimal Prafulla Ghosh (Football), Raj Singh (Wrestling) and Indian cricket team caption Rohit Sharma’s coach Dinesh Jawahar Lad (Cricket).
Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime achievement was awarded to Kabaddi player B.C Suresh for his achievements and contribution in the World Cup 2004 and 2002 Asian Games.
List of Awardees-
Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award 2022: Achanta Sharath Kamal.
Arjuna Awards for outstanding performance in Sports and Games 2022: Seema Punia (Athletics), Eldhose Paul (Athletics), Avinash Mukund Sable (Athletics), Lakshya Sen (Badminton), HS Prannoy (Badminton), Amit (Boxing), Nikhat Zareen (Boxing), Bhakti Pradip Kulkarni (Chess), R Praggnanandhaa (Chess), Deep Grace Ekka (Hockey), Shushila Devi (Judo), Sakshi Kumari (Kabaddi), Nayan Moni Saikia (Lawn Bowl), Sagar Kailas Ovhalkar (Mallakhamb), Elavenil Valarivan (Shooting), Omprakash Mitharval (Shooting), Sreeja Akula (Table Tennis), Vikas Thakur (Weightlifting), Anshu (Wrestling), Sarita (Wrestling), Parveen (Wushu), Manasi Girishchandra Joshi (Para Badminton), Tarun Dhillon (Para Badminton), Swapnil Sanjay Patil (Para Swimming), Jerlin Anika J (Deaf Badminton).
Dronacharya Award for outstanding coaches in Sports and Games 2022 Regular Category: Jiwanjot Singh Teja (Archery), Mohammad Ali Qamar (Boxing), Suma Siddharth Shirur (Para Shooting), Sujeet Maan (Wrestling).
Lifetime Category: Dinesh Jawahar Lad (Cricket), Bimal Prafulla Ghosh (Football), Raj Singh (Wrestling).
Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime achievement in Sports and Games 2022: Ashwini Akkunji C (Athletics), Dharamvir Singh (Hockey), B C Suresh (Kabaddi), Nir Bahadur Gurung (Para Athletics).
Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2022: TransStadia Enterprises Private Limited, Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Ladakh Ski & Snowboard Association.
Maulana Abul Kalam Azad (MAKA) Trophy 2022: Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.