Sportstar Aces Awards: Manoj, Suyash named parathlete Sportsman of the Year

The para-badminton star Manoj Sarkar and para-swimmer both expressed their happiness on receiving the honour.

Manoj Sarkar and Suyash Yadav were joint winners in the Sportsman of the Year (Parathlete) category.   -  Vivek Bendre

Manoj Sarkar and Suyash Yadav were joint winners in the Sportsman of the Year (Parathlete) category at the Sportstar Aces Awards supported by Supreme Committee of Delivery and Legacy, in association with MRF, held at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai on Thursday.

"This is my third award for the year. I received the Arjuna Award and then GoSports Spirit of the Year Award. I cannot exactly say why, but this award makes me feel really happy because it has come at a time when things are not going well for me from a personal angle and this award is a huge boost for me coming at the right time," para-badminton star Sarkar said on winning the award.

About his performance in 2018 and goals set for this year, he said: "2018 started really well for me and I performed well at few of the major international competitions. But then somewhere I lost the momentum due to various distractions and could not really end it the way I would have liked it to. I have learnt my lesson from that and would like to make sure that I do no repeat the same in future by focusing only on my game."

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Meanwhile, para-swimmer Yadav was extremely proud and happy to receive the award from Sportstar and said, "The year 2018 was a year of extremes. On one side I suffered a lot, going through a bad injury phase, while on the other side, all that pain was overshadowed when I clocked my best timing at the Para Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta to become the first Indian para-swimmer to win a gold medal at the Para Asian Games. I hope that I can better my own performance in 2019."

Former India cricket captain Sunil Gavaskar, The Hindu Publishing Group chairman N. Ram, former India hockey captain M.M. Somaya, Olympian shooter Anjali Bhagwat and Olympian long-jumper Anju Bobby George selected the deserving winners in categories involving young athletes, teams, coaches and parathletes.

The Aces Awards are an effort to highlight the untold stories of struggle, fierce dedication and selfless work behind an athlete’s ascension, irrespective of the popularity of the sport.

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