The badminton player Prakash Padukone received the Lifetime Achievement Award while Virat Kohli and Jaspreet Bumrah named the Sportsman of the Year (cricket) at the Sportster Aces Awards ceremony at the Taj Mahal Palace here on Thursday.
Prakash Padukone’s wife, daughter Deepika and son-in-law Ranveer Singh were also present when he received the award from cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar.
After receiving the award Prakash Padukone said “I am extremely delighted that I have been able to play a small part in the evolution of badminton in India. Now, the Chinese and Indonesians check whether they are playing an Indian in the draw. I am happy Indian badminton is doing well.”
Prakash Padukone received Arjuna and Padma Shri award. He has also won a bronze medal at the 1974 Asian Games, gold at the 1979 Commonwealth Games and became the first Indian to win the All England Championships in 1980.
Indian women’s cricket team opener Smriti Mandhana bagged the Sportswoman of the Year (Cricket) award.
Mandhana said the award would motivate her to score more runs.
In racquet sports, nine-time national championships winner paddler Sharath Kamal won the Sportsman of the Year award.
Olympic silver medalist shuttler P V Sindhu and paddler Manika Batra were declared joint winners of Sportswoman of the Year award (a racquet sport).
Young javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra got the Sportsman of the Year (track and field) award, while athlete Hima Das won the Sportswoman of the Year (track and field) award.
The awards which ran from 1994 to 2003 in their first stint, were re-instituted as Sportster celebrated its 40th birthday in 2018.
Sunil Chhetri, Mary Kom, Bajrang Punia, and Deepa Malik were some of the other awardees on the occasion, an event graced by sporting greats of the likes of Viswanathan Anand, Gagan Narang, Mithali Raj and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, whose State was declared the best for the promotion of sports.”