India’s top shuttler, former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal, was today awarded India's third-highest civilian honour, the Padma Bhushan, by President Pranab Mukherjee in the capital, New Delhi.
It was announced on Republic Day earlier this year that Nehwal would be among 112 Indian personalities who would be honoured in this year’s list of Padma awards.
The only other sports personality in this year’s roster of Padma awardees is tennis star and doubles World No. 1 Sania Mirza, who will receive her own Padma Bhushan in a different ceremony to be held next month.
Nehwal shared a photo of herself with her parents ahead of the ceremony, and posted it to her Twitter account.
Ready for the ceremony pic.twitter.com/zeBjDIx2Xb— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) 28 March 2016
Arjuna Awardee and former World No. 1 archer Deepika Kumari, who won two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, was also felicitated at the ceremony, receiving a Padma Shri.
Olympic medal-winning boxer MC Mary Kom, cricketer Rahul Dravid and Nehwal’s own mentor Pullela Gopichand are among other sports personalities to have received the Padma Bhushan in the past.