Kamal, Chhetri, Punia and Gambhir to receive Padma Shri Award

Ace Indian paddler Sharath Kamal, Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, celebrated wrestler Bajrang Punia and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir will be conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award.

Sharath Kamal had a remarkable 2018 that saw him bag three medals in the 2018 Commonwealth Games.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

Ace Indian paddler Sharath Kamal, Indian football captain Sunil Chhetri, celebrated wrestler Bajrang Punia and former cricketer Gautam Gambhir will be conferred with the prestigious Padma Shri Award, the government announced the name of the Padma awardees 2019 on the eve of the 70th Republic Day.

Among the awardees also are Ajay Thakur (kabaddi), Prashanti Singh (basketball), Harika Dronavalli (chess) and Bombayla Devi (archery). While, mountaineer Bachendri Pal has been conferred with the Padma Bhushan.

Gambhir, 37, played match-winning knocks in the finals of India’s World T20 win in 2007 and the 2011 World Cup title triumph in 2011.

The 34-year-old Chhetri has led the Indian football team with distinction for over a decade now, and is the all-time highest scorer in the country.

Bajrang is a World Championship silver and bronze medallist besides winning gold at Asian Games and Commonwealth Games in 2018.

Last year Bajrang was left fuming when he was not selected for the prestigious Khel Ratna award. Cricketer Virat Kohli and Weight lifter Mirabai Chanu were recommended for country’s highest sports award.

The government conferred Padma awards to 112 people this year -- 4 Padma Vibushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri.

(with inputs from PTI)

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