Asian Games gold medal-winning wrestler Bajrang Punia, women's hockey player Rani Rampal, Test cricketer Rishabh Pant and pistol prodigy Manu Bhaker won this year's Delhi Sports Journalists Association's (DSJA) Best Sportspersons awards here Thursday. The awards were presented by Indian Olympic Association and world hockey body (FIH) president Narinder Batra.
While Bajrang and Rishabh won the award among men, Rani and Manu were conferred the recognition in the female category."It is very inspiring when sports journalists give such awards," said Bajrang, adding that the award would inspire him to work harder in the run-up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. Cricketer Pant echoed a similar sentiment.
"I can never forget how many Delhi sports journalists encouraged me from my early days," said Pant about the support he received from the media during his junior cricketing days. Manu's award was received by her father as the ace shooter is currently representing the country at the Asian Air Gun Championship in Chinese Taipei. Besides, Jaspal Rana (shooting) and Tarak Sinha (cricket) were conferred with the best coaches award. Rishabh, a product of Tarak Sinha's Sonnet Club, collected the award on behalf of his coach.
The function was attended by a galaxy of sportspersons, with International Olympic Committee member Randhir Singh, hockey Olympians Harbinder Singh, Jagbir Singh and Zafar Iqbal, trap shooter Moraad Ali Khan and JK Tyre Motor Sports Head Sanjay Sharma presenting the awards to the winners.