New Delhi: Tokyo Olympics-bound athletes – wrestler Bajrang Punia and shooter Elavenil Valarivan – bagged the top honours at the FICCI India Sports Awards 2020. The FICCI programme was held virtually this year owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. Both Bajrang Punia and Elavenil Valarivan have had an impressive 2019-20 season. They won the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ awards in their respective categories.
Freestyle wrestler Bajrang is currently training in the USA. He expressed his delight at receiving the award. “My aim in the future will again be to give my best and win lots of medals for India. Such recognitions motivate me to keep doing well, and it gives me huge joy. I also want to take this opportunity to congratulate all the other winners,” Bajrang said.
Elavenil was also delighted at receiving the FICCI award. “I would like to thank my family first for always standing by me. Also thanks to mentor Gagan Narang and coach Neha Chauhan for always believing in me. “I would also like to thank the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) for always supporting and pushing us through all our hard times. Also thanks to the Sports Authority of India for making sure that we are equipped with everything we need,” Elavenil said.
Wrestling Federation of India and Paralympic Committee of India were jointly named as the best national sports federation. The best para-athlete award was won jointly by Sundar Singh Gurjar and Simran Sharma. The coach of the year award was bagged by Radhakrishnan Nair of athletics.
The sports awards are an attempt by FICCI to acknowledge and recognise the contribution of sportspersons and various stakeholders who deliver excellent results throughout the year.
Cricket legend Anil Kumble received the ‘Best Company Promoting Sports (Private Sector)’ award on behalf of his enterprise – Tenvic Sports.