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Indian Sportswoman of the Year: PV Sindhu
Indian badminton player PV Sindhu won the inaugural BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award following a public vote.
The shortlist of five contenders also consisted of sprinter Dutee Chand, boxer Mary Kom, wrestler Vinesh Phogat and para-badminton player Manasi Joshi.
In 2019, Sindhu became the first Indian to win badminton World Championship gold in Basel, Switzerland.
She is considered a medal prospect at this year’s Olympics in Tokyo.
PV Sindhu is the first Indian singles badminton player to win an Olympic silver medal
“I would like to dedicate this award to my supporters and fans that have supported me all along and also voted for me,” the 24-year-old said.
“Awards like BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year give us motivation and encouragement to go much further.
“My message to all young sportswomen is that as women we have to believe in ourselves. Hard work is the key to success. I’m sure soon there will be more Indian sportswomen winning medals for the country.”
Sindhu has five World Championship medals and is the first Indian singles badminton player to win an Olympic silver medal.
She entered the top 20 of the world rankings in September 2012, aged 17, and has been in the top 10 for the past four years.
The BBC award ceremony was held in New Delhi in the presence of eminent sportspersons, sports writers and influencers.
Former sprinter PT Usha was given the Lifetime Achievement award for her contribution to Indian sports and inspiring generations of players.
PT Usha is considered to be one of India’s greatest athletes
She won more than 100 international medals and awards during her career.
The Indian Olympics Association also named her Best Sportswoman of the Century.
She finished fourth in the 400m 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, missing out on a medal by one hundredth of a second.
The five nominees for the BBC Indian Sportswoman award were announced in February, having been chosen by a panel from all parts of India.