New Delhi, March 11: President Ram Nath Kovind conferred the prestigious Padma Awards, one of the highest civilian honours in India, to nine sportspersons on Monday (March 11).
Star wrestler Bajrang Punia, chess player Harika Dronavalli, table tennis player Sharath Kamal and kabaddi star Ajay Thakur were felicitated at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
On the eve of country's 70th Republic Day, the government announced the names of Padma Awardees which included nine sportspersons. A total of 112 distinguished personalities across various fields were conferred with the Padma Awards.
India football captain Sunil Chhetri, former Indian cricketer and World Cup-winner Gautam Gambhir, ace wrestler Bajrang Punia, chess player Harika Dronavalli, table tennis player Sharath Kamal, archer Bombayla Devi Laishram, basketball player Prashanti Singh and kabaddi star Ajay Thakur were among the sportspersons who were conferred with Padma Shri - fourth highest civilian honour.
The government conferred Padma awards to 112 people this year - 4 Padma Vibushan, 14 Padma Bhushan and 94 Padma Shri.
Here are a few images from today's felicitation ceremony:
Harika Dronavalli - Chess
President Kovind presented Padma Shri to Harika Dronavalli for her contribution towards the sports of chess. She is among the world's top-ranked chess players.
Sharath Kamal Achanta - Table Tennis
President Kovind presents Padma Shri to India's table tennis star Sharath Kamal Achanta. Sharath has won over 60 international medals in the past 16 years and has been the face of Indian table tennis.
Bajrang Punia - Wrestling
President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Bajrang Punia his achievements in wrestling. The grappler represents India in the 65Kg category. He is recognised for his achievements in the Commonwealth Games and Asian games.
Recently, the star wrestler clinched a gold medal at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov in Bulgaria and dedicated his yellow metal to Indian Air Force (IAF) Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman.
Ajay Thakur - Kabaddi
President Kovind presents Padma Shri to Ajay Thakur. Thakur is a professional kabaddi player and current captain of the Indian kabaddi team.
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