Mumbai: India’s Rio Olympic silver medalist P.V Sindhu and her coach Pullela Gopichand were awarded the Sportsperson of the Year and the Coach of the Year awards by Sports Illustrated magazine, in Mumbai, on Thursday.
Interestingly, the current women’s singles World No. 5 P.V Sindhu who won the Syed Modi International and India Open titles earlier this year, was also the person who presented the Coach of the Year award to Pullela Gopichand.
Gopichand was credited with forming a strong pipeline of shuttlers such as P.V Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, B Sai Praneeth, HS Prannoy, and many others that have taken the badminton world by storm recently.
India’s men’s singles shuttlers such as Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth have played their best badminton with the former winning the Singapore Super Series in April while Srikanth won Indonesian Open Super Series and the Australian Open Super Series consecutively in June.
Although HS Prannoy have not win any major titles yet, he showed a lot of potential by defeating players like Olympic silver and gold medalists Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long in consecutive matches in the second round and quarter-finals of Indonesia Open last June.
Sportsperson of the Year: P V Sindhu.
Coach of the year: Pullela Gopichand.
Editor’s Award for excellence: Devendra Jhajharia, MariyappanThangavelu, Varun Bhati.
Outstanding Contribution to sports: K Arumugam.
Athlete of the year: Gaurav Gill.
Gamechanger of the year: K.L Rahul
Extreme Performer of the year: Shiva Keshavan
Lifetime Achievement Award: Abhinav Bindra
Community Development through sports: Milind Soman (Received by his mother Usha Soman).
Inspirational athlete of the year: Deepa Malik
Living Legend: Milkha Singh
Special award for service to Sports: Jayant Rastogi, CEO, Magic Bus.
Team of the year: Junjor Men’s Hockey Team received by Captain Harjeet Singh.