The Times of India Sports Award 2019 was hosted in the national capital on Thursday. Powered by BHIM-UPI, the award ceremony is hosted each year to recognise the contribution of Indian sportspersons. This year, the highest and most decorated title of the ‘Sportsperson of the Year’ has gone to none other than revered Indian badminton icon PV Sindhu.
Sindhu, currently eyeing for a gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, was the crowned champion at the 2019 BWF World Championships, where the BWF world no. 6 clinched gold in the women’s singles event, and made history as the first Indian to achieve the feat.
From a jury panel consisting of archetype figures of Indian sports fraternity- Gautam Gambhir, Bhaichung Bhutia, Zafar Iqbal, Ashwini Nacha, Devendra Jhajharia and Rajesh Kalra, Chief Editor of Times Internet Ltd, Sindhu’s name was selected as the greatest Indian sportsperson in the year of 2019 for her remarkable achievement at the BWF World Championships. Sports minister Kiren Rijiju handed Sindhu the award.
Sindhu also won her third ‘Unbreakable Spirit of Sport award’, and was named the joint winner of ‘Badminton Player of the Year’ award, alongside B. Sai Praneeth. Praneeth, currently ranked 10th, secured a bronze at the World Championships last year.
The icon of Indian football and captain of the national men’s football Team Sunil Chhetri was chosen as the ‘Footballer of the Year’.
The ‘Cricketer of the Year’ award went to none other than India’s limited overs team vice-captain and opening batsman Rohit Sharma.
Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia were chosen as the ‘Wrestlers of the Year’. Both Phogat and Punia secured a bronze each at the 2019 World Wrestling Championships, and have qualified for the Olympics this year.
The award for ‘Federation of the Year’ went to National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) president Raninder Singh was presented the award by Sports India MD Parvin Dabas.
The Indian men’s national field hockey team was honoured as the ‘Team of the Year’. The Men in Blue reached their highest FIH rank of 4, and also secured a berth at the Olympics. The 1975 Field Hockey World Cup winning coach and three times Olympic gold medallist Balbir Singh Sr. made his prominent appearance at the gala event.