Sushil, Anand, Humpy, Manpreet and Rani get awards

Cricketer Joginder, kabaddi player Ajay Thakur and boxer Akhil Kumar conferred with the ‘Giant off the Field’ honour

Sushil Kumar, Viswanathan Anand, Koneru Humpy, Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal were the big winners of the 2021 Sportstar Aces Awards on Saturday.

“I am very happy that the jury has chosen me for this award,” said wrestler Sushil after winning the Sportsman of the Decade (Individual Olympic Sports). “I am honoured that you would continue to support me as I continue to serve my country.”

Malini Parthasarathy, Chairperson, The Hindu Publishing Group, presented the ‘Sportsman of the Decade’ (Individual non-Olympic Sports) award to Anand, the five-time World champion in chess.

Each one significant

“I’m really delighted to win the ‘Sportsman of the Decade’ award. For me, that includes two World Championships, the qualification [for the World Chess Championship] in 2014 and the World Rapid Championship in 2017.

“Each one of these was very significant for me, and emotionally draining,” Anand said.

Humpy was adjudged the ‘Sportswoman of the Decade’ in the same category.

India’s hockey National team captains Manpreet Singh and Rani Rampal were named the ‘Sportsman and Sportswoman of the Decade for Team Sports’. “This award is for women’s hockey. I hope this award will encourage more and more girls to take up sports,” said Rampal.

Hero MotoCorp was named the decade’s ‘Best Corporate for the Promotion of Sports’. “Coming from such great icons [jury] from the field of sports, it’s a true vindication of all that we have been doing to nurture sports in the country.

“I would like to assure you all that Hero MotoCorp and I remain committed to making India a sporting powerhouse in the years to come,” said Dr. Pawan Munjal, Hero MotoCorp’s chairman, managing director and chief executive officer.

Sportstar also recognised the efforts of three Indian athletes who, as frontline workers, have been at the forefront of the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. Malini Parthasarathy, while highlighting the role played by frontline workers, said: “This year, Sportstar also pays tribute to unsung heroes and heroines of this long-drawn fight to keep us and our homes safe during these deadly times.

“The idea was to salute these COVID warriors who. as sportsmen. are giants off the field.”

2007 T20 World Cup hero Joginder Sharma, former India kabbadi captain Ajay Thakur and Commonwealth Games gold medal-winning boxer Akhil Kumar were conferred with the ‘Giant off the Field’ honour.

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