For the first time ever, six-time World Champion boxer Mary Kom has been recommended for Padma Vibhushan award. The Indian Olympic boxer from Manipur was honoured with the Padma Bhushan in 2013 and Padma Shri in 2006. Padma Vibhushan is the country's second-highest civilian honour after Bharat Ratna. Interestingly, this time the Sports Ministry has recommended 9 female athletes for Padma awards. Indian badminton star PV Sindhu has also received a nomination for Padma Bhushan. Padma Shri 2019 Winners: Gautam Gambhir, Sunil Chhetri & Other Sports Stars Honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind; See Pics.
Recently in August, PV Sindhu became the first Indian to bag Gold at BWF World Championships 2019. She has also won two silver medals in the same event in 2017 and 2018. Sindhu nominated for Padma Bhushan is country's third-highest civilian award. Sindhu was recommended for the Padma Bhushan in 2017, but failed to make to the final list that time. She has been awarded with Padma Shri in the year 2015.
Apart from Mary Kom and PV Sindhu, the other seven women in the list are recommended for Padma Shri. The seven female athletes are wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis star Manika Batra, T20I skipper Harmanpreet Kaur, hockey captain Rani Rampal, former shooter Suma Shirur and mountaineer twin sisters, Tashi and Nungshi Malik.
Mary Kom will be the first women to be honoured with Padma Vibhushan, as prior to this only chess star Vishwanathan Anand, cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar and mountaineer Sir Edmund Hillary has bagged this award. The names have been sent to Padma awards committee in the Ministry of Home Affairs. The final name of selected awardees will be announced on Jan 25, 2020.