New Delhi: Ace shuttler Kidambi Srikanth and tennis star Somdev Devvarman, who is also an Asian Games gold medallist, were conferred the Padma Shri award-the country’s fourth-highest civilian honour by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind on Tuesday at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Murlikant Petkar, who is India’s first gold medallist also was bestowed with the honour.
Earlier this year, former Indian skipper MS Dhoni along with multiple time world champion Pankaj Advani were awarded the Padma Bhushan-India’s third-highest civilian honour. Also Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, who is also the 2017 Weightlifting Champion in the 48kg category was conferred the Padma Shri. But the trio was not present at the ceremony.
Srikanth had a memorable last year where he ended up winning as many as six titles, which included four Super Series victories. The 24-year-old dictated proceedings in world badminton where he won the French Open, Denmark Open, Australian Open, Indonesian Open, Indian Open and China Open.
Petkar was an individual gold medal winner in the 1972 Summer Paralympics in Heidelberg, Germany. He won the 50m freestyle swimming event at a record time of 37.33 seconds. In the same tournament, he took part in slalom, javelin and precision javelin throw where he reached the finals in all these three events.
Dhoni, who had earlier won the ICC Player of the Year in 2008 and 2009, had won the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2007. He had also won the Padma Shri, in 2009.
Advani, just like Dhoni has had an illustrious career where he won the gold at the Asian Games in 2006 and 2010 in Doha and Guangzhou, respectively.
Mirabai, who hails from Manipur had won the silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in the 48 kg weight category. But she grabbed the headlines when she lifted the world record of 194 kg in total (85 kg snatch and 109 kg clean and jerk) which helped her win the gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships last year in Anaheim, United States.