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Wrestling coach Satpal named for Padma Bhushan, Sardar Singh and PV Sindhu among 5 for Padma Shri

Wrestler-turned-coach Satpal named for the Padma Bhushan award, while five sportspersons have been named to receive the Padma Shri award.

News 25 Jan 2015, 23:22 IST
Sardar Singh
Sardar Singh

New Delhi, January 25 (IANS)

Iconic wrestler-turned-coach Satpal was on Sunday named for the prestigious Padma Bhushan award, while national hockey team captain Sardar Singh was among the five sportspersons chosen for this year's Padma Shri awards.

Women's badminton star P.V. Sindhu, former women's hockey captain Saba Anjum, Arunima Sinha – the first woman amputee mountaineer to climb Mount Everest, and Indian women's cricket team skipper Mithali Raj were the other sportspersons selected for this year's Padma Shri awards.

The Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian awards of the country, are given for distinguished service of high order and Padma Shri for distinguished service in any field. These awards are conferred by the President at a ceremonial function at Rashtrapati Bhawan here.

The 59-year-old Satpal was a trailblazer in Indian wrestling, winning the bronze medal in the 1974 Asian Games and then improving his performance by striking gold in the 1982 Asiad held here.

Continuing his contribution for the country's ancient sport, he established an akhada in Chhatrasal Stadium, which produced India's only two-time individual Olympic medal winner Sushil Kumar who also became a World Champion in 2010.

Satpal was conferred the Arjuna Award in 1974, Padma Shri in 1983, and the Dronacharya award in 2009 in a glittering career both as a player and coach.

Among the Padma Shri award winners, Sardar Singh stand out for captaining the side to a Asian Games gold after 16 years. The talismanic centre-half also led the team to a silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games. The 28-year-old has represented India in more than 200 international matches.

Badminton protege Sindhu's most notable performance last year was winning the bronze at the Copenhagen World Championships. With the medal, she became the first and only Indian ever to win two World medals, that too back-to-back in the sport's most prestigious tournament.

The teenager maintained a top-10 ranking for most of the year and also reached the finals of India Grand Prix Gold in Lucknow in January 2014. However, she peaked when she won the Macau Open GP Gold crown in November. The Hyderabadi also consistently defeated top players and backed it up with the Commonwealth Games silver.

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