Pramod Bhagat wins Sportstar Aces 2020 Sportsman of the Year (Parasports)

Para-badminton player Pramod Bhagat won the Para-Sportsman of the Year award at the Sportstar Aces Awards on Monday.

Pramod Bhagat is currently India’s No. 1 men’s para-badminton player.

With 21 international titles including the BWF Para World Championship title in 2019, Pramod Bhagat is the undisputed king of para-badminton. The World No. 1 has nearly double the points than his nearest contender on the road to Paralympics ranking charts and will be the clear favourite to win the gold as para-badminton makes its Paralympics debut this year in Tokyo.

The 31-year-old capped off a year of achievements that included the Arjuna Award and Odisha’s sportsperson of the Year award with the jury award for the best Sportsman of the Year (Parasports) at the Sportstar Aces Awards.

“It was a great moment for me. It was a new experience to be on such a big platform in the midst of all the big stars from sports and film industry. When I stood on the stage to receive the award and give my acceptance speech, I felt like I have finally achieved something in the world of sports — I felt like a star. The award has also made other sportspersons take note of my performance, I am thankful to Sportstar,” Bhagat said.

The shuttler is a polio victim and competes in the SL3 category where players have ‘impairment in one or both lower limbs and poor walking/running balance’.

He is currently undergoing rigorous training in Lucknow to ensure a medal in Tokyo and has decided to stop coaching until he realises his Tokyo dreams. “I have also been coaching shuttlers for the last 7-8 years, but stopped doing for the last one year to focus on preparations for the Paralympics. After all, only when I achieve something big can I be qualified to train and inspire others,” he said.

“The award has added more pressure as well as motivation. It has given me a renewed vigour and encouragement to go and achieve something big at the Paralympics. I will definitely do it,” the shuttler said.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar, chess ace Vishwanathan Anand, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M. M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian shuttler Aparna Popat selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.

The awards look to create a medium of knowledge and vision exchange as it brings all stakeholders of Indian sports under one roof.

You can watch the Sportstar Aces Awards telecast on Sony Ten 1 SD & HD on Sunday 26 January at 8 PM (IST).

1st Repeat : Monday 27 January at 6 PM, 2nd Repeat : Tuesday 28th January  at 7 PM

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