The Indian men’s badminton team, which emerged as the champion of the 2022 Thomas Cup, won the ‘National Team of the year’ award at the Sportstar Aces Awards 2023 at The Taj Mahal Palace Hotel here on Monday.
Lakshya Sen, a member of the winning team, received the award from former India cricket team captain Kapil Dev. Vimal Kumar, the manager of the Indian badminton team, and Lakshya’s father D.K. Sen, were also present on stage.
“Winning the Thomas Cup was a big collective effort from all team members. We can relate a lot to the 1983 Cricket World Cup team,” Lakshya said.
Lakshya also won the ‘Sportsman of the year (racquet sports)‘ award, along with table tennis star Sharath Kamal.
Odisha won the ‘Best State For the Promotion of Sports’ award. Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik received the award. “I would like to thank The Hindu Group and Sportstar magazine for this honorable award. In Odisha, we have tried to do a great deal for hockey in the last few years - in the last 15 months, we have built the largest hockey stadium in the world. We believe investment in sports is an investment in youth, and investment in youth is an investment in the future,” Patnaik said.
Shyam Thapa, regarded as one of India’s finest football strikers, received the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. Thapa was felicitated by former India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia. Thapa was part of the team which won a historic bronze medal at the 1970 Asian Games. “At 74, I’m still coaching young footballers at academies. I am still hopeful that one day, India will play in a FIFA World Cup,” Thapa said.
2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) champion Gujarat Titans won the ‘Club of the year’ award. Arvinder Singh, Gujarat Titans Chief Operating Officer, received the award.
The jury panel was headed by legendary India cricketer Sunil Gavaskar. Olympic gold medal-winning shooter Abhinav Bindra, former India hockey captain M.M. Somaya, chess great Viswanathan Anand, former India football skipper Bhaichung Bhutia and Olympians Anjali Bhagwat and] Aparna Popat were the other members of the jury.
The event is supported by IDFC First Bank, Indian Oil, India Cements, United India, Ramaiah University, Experimenta Science Center, GD Naidu Charity, Finolex Pipes, LIC, BPCL, Samsonite, Big Basket, Nippon Paint, CRICHQ, Wordswork, NewsX and Casagrand.
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