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BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2021 award: PV Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu in the running

The winner will be announced on March 28. Golfer Aditi Ashok, women’s boxer Lovlina Borgohain and Paralympian shooter Avani Lekhara are the other nominees.

Badminton star PV Sindhu, weightlifter Mirabai Chanu, golfer Aditi Ashok, Paralympic shooter Avani Lekhara and women’s boxer Lovlina Borgohain were named as the five nominees for the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2021 award on Tuesday.

Started by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in 2020, the award, now in its third edition, celebrates female athletes and recognises their successes in various sports from across the country.

The nominations are selected by a panel of eminent Indian sports journalists and experts.

Apart from the Sportswoman of the Year award, an Emerging Sportswoman of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award will also be given out.

Two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu won the inaugural award while the legendary PT Usha was conferred with the Lifetime Achievement award in the same year.

Last year, chess player Koneru Humpy won the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award for her achievements in 2020. Ace Indian shooter Manu Bhaker and former long jump star Anju Bobby George bagged the Emerging Player of the Year and Lifetime Achievement awards, respectively.

Online voting lines for the third edition will be open to the public till February 28 on the BBC website. The winner will be revealed on March 28 at a ceremony in New Delhi.

BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2021 nominees

PV Sindhu is India’s most successful badminton player. The former world champion scripted history at Tokyo 2020 Olympics by winning a bronze medal and becoming the first Indian woman to win medals at multiple Olympics. She won a silver medal at Rio 2016 earlier.

Mirabai Chanu became the only second Indian weightlifter to win an Olympic medal after Karnam Malleswari. Apart from winning silver in the women’s 49kg weight class at Tokyo 2020, Mirabai Chanu is also a former world champion and two-time Commonwealth Games medallist.

Golfer Aditi Ashok, meanwhile, emerged as the dark horse in the women’s golf tournament at Tokyo 2020. Aditi Ashok, who finished 41st at Rio 2016, defied all expectations to finish fourth at Tokyo, narrowly missing the bronze medal.

Avani Lekhara, a Paralympic shooter, was another Indian woman to script history in Japan last year. Avani became the first Indian woman to clinch a gold medal at the Paralympics after winning the women’s 10m air rifle shooting SH1 competition at Tokyo 2020. She added a bronze in the 50m air rifle 3 positions SH1 event at the same edition.

Lovlina Borgohain bagged the women’s 69kg boxing bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 last year to become only the second Indian women’s pugilist after MC Mary Kom to win an Olympic medal. Lovlina Borgohain, 24, has won multiple medals at world and Asian championships.

By Ali Asgar Nalwala


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