For the very first time in her illustrious career of boxing, great Indian boxer Mary Kom has been nominated for Padma Vibhushan Award 2020. The 36-year-old Asian Games gold medallist Kom was bestowed with the great civilian honour Padma Bhushan in 2013 while in 2006 she was honoured with prestigious Padma Shri award by Indian President at Rashtrapati Bhawan, New Delhi.
Interestingly, this time Sports Ministry of India has nominated nine female athletes and no male athletes for Padma Awards 2020, ace Indian shuttler PV Sindhu is one of them. The star badminton player Sindhu recently became the first Indian shuttler who win BWF World Championships. This came after the 24-year-old Hyderabad-born superstar Sindhu clinched the gold medal at BWF World Championships 2019 against Japanese opponent Nozomi Okuhara at St. Jakobshalle, Basel. Sindhu made her country proud with her outstanding performances in the badminton court and this is the reason why she has been nominated for Padma Awards next year.
Apart from both the legendary female superstars Mary Kom and PV Sindhu, other seven women in the list recommended for Padma Shri are young talented wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis star Manika Batra, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, Indian hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur and mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik.
If Marry Kom is crowned with the Padma Bhushan Award 2020 then she will create history as none of the Indian women athlete has been honoured with this award so far in the sports. Earlier, Indian batting maestro Sachin Tendulkar, chess star Vishwanathan Anand, and last but not the least mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary were awarded with the honour. Once all the names of the nominees are announced by the sports ministry, they will be sent to Padma awards committee, Ministry of Home Affairs. After this, the final names of Padma awardees will be declared on January 25, 2020.
This year Padma Shri Awards 2019 was conferred to many Indian sports veterans including former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir, world champion Bajrang Punia, table tennis player Achanta Sharath Kamal, Kabaddi star Ajay Thakur and chess player Harika Dronavalli.
Padma Awards are divided into different categories namely Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri. These awards are given to those sports personalities who are excellent in their respective fields and disciplines.