Bringing laurels to Vizag, Nagisetty Usha, a two-time silver medallist at the World Championship (boxing), has been nominated for the Sports Ministry’s prestigious Dhyan Chand award. On Tuesday, the 12-member committee constituted by the Union Sports Ministry, announced the winners of National Sports Awards 2020.
The National Sports Awards include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Arjuna award, the Dronacharya award, and the Dhyan Chand award, conferred every year by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on 29 August.
In a bid to honour her immense contribution to the sport, the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) had earlier recommended Nagisetty Usha for the Dhyan Chand award. The 2008 Asian Boxing gold medalist is the only female boxer to have been invited for demonstration bouts in the 2009 Men’s World Boxing Championship in Milan. The 36-year-old boxer was also a six-time senior national champion from 2004-2010. With 11 international medals and 12 national medals to her credit, Ms Nagisetty bagged 13 gold, five silver, and five bronze medals altogether. A pathbreaker for women’s boxing, the veteran boxer had coached the Indian senior women’s team from 2013-2017. Currently, the seasoned athlete works at Diesel Loco Shed of the Waltair Division, East Coast Railways (ECoR). She continues to coach Indian Railways Women’s Boxing Team as well.
Apart from the Vizag boxer, Nagisetty Usha, fourteen other sportspersons were recommended for the Dhyan Chand award. Cricketer Rohit Sharma and hockey player Rani Rampal, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, table tennis player Manika Batra, and 2016 Paralympic gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu have been recommended for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. As many as 29 athletes, including Indian pacer, Ishant Sharma has been shortlisted for the Arjuna Award. Eight names have been put forward for the Dronacharya Lifetime award, and five coaches have been nominated with regards to the regular Dronacharya award. Given the coronavirus pandemic, the award ceremony will be held virtually this year.