Padma Shri Glory: Tennis Star Rohan Bopanna Tops List of Sporting Honorees

The Ministry of Home Affairs in India has announced the Padma Award 2024 winners, bestowing the Padma Shri, India’s fourth-highest civilian honor, upon seven distinguished sportspersons. Among the honorees is the illustrious tennis player Rohan Bopanna, who has recently made headlines with remarkable achievements on the international stage.

Bopanna, 43, secured his place in history by winning the first-ever Gold in mixed doubles alongside Rutuja Bhosale at the 2023 Asian Games. Furthermore, he reached the finals of three Grand Slam tournaments last year, showcasing his prowess on the global tennis circuit. Adding to his accolades, Bopanna recently attained the world’s no.1 spot in the ATP doubles rankings, becoming only the fourth Indian tennis player to achieve this milestone. Currently, he is vying for his second Grand Slam title in the men’s doubles at the ongoing Australian Open 2024, with the final scheduled for Saturday.

Joshna Chinappa, a seasoned squash player, is another noteworthy name on the list. The 37-year-old athlete is set to receive the Padma Shri after winning a Bronze at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou. Chinappa’s achievements also include securing the World Championships title in doubles in 2022 and clinching Commonwealth Gold in 2014.

Para swimmer Satendra Singh Lohiya, recognized for his remarkable contribution to the sport, will also be conferred with the Padma Shri 2024 award. Lohiya notably played a pivotal role in the swimming relay team that accomplished the extraordinary feat of crossing the English Channel in 2018.

Uday Vishwanath Deshpande, a veteran Mallakhamba coach, is set to receive the prestigious civilian award following Maharashtra’s outstanding performance at the National Games 2023 in Goa. His coaching prowess has played a pivotal role in the success of mallakhamba, a traditional Indian sport that involves performing gymnastic and yoga postures on a vertical wooden pole.

The list further includes former archer and coach Purnima Mahato, badminton coach Gaurav Khanna, and hockey coach Harbinder Singh, all of whom will be honored with the Padma Shri award for their distinguished service and contributions to their respective sports.

The Padma Shri awards recognize not only individual excellence but also the collective dedication and passion of these sportspersons and coaches in uplifting Indian sports on the global stage. The ceremony is expected to be a momentous occasion, celebrating the indomitable spirit and commitment of these outstanding individuals.

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