NEW DELHI: The best of Indian sport in 2019 was honoured during a glittering function in the Capital on Thursday, with shuttler PV Sindhu claiming the Sportsperson of the Year award at the fourth Times of India Sports Awards (TOISA), powered by BHIM-UPI.
Year 2019 saw Sindhu winning a historic gold at the World Championships in Basel, Switzerland. She staved off competition from wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, boxer Amit Panghal, shooters Saurabh Chaudhary and Manu Bhaker, and cricketer Rohit Sharma to grab the top honour.
Besides 12 special awards, which included Sportsperson of the Year, Team of the Year, Coach of the Year, Emerging Player of the Year, Youth Icon of the Year and Lifetime Achievement award, TOISA 2019 saw winners in both men and women categories across 15 sporting disciplines. They were: archery, athletics, badminton, billiards/snooker, boxing, chess, cricket, football, hockey, shooting, squash, table tennis, wrestling, weightlifting, and para sports.
AS IT HAPPENED:
Times of India Sports Awards 2019
The Indian men’s hockey team won the Team of the Year award, beating the Indian women’s hockey team, Indian men’s blind cricket team, Indian men’s U-19 cricket team and Indian senior men’s cricket team. Jaspal Rana bagged the Coach of the Year award, ahead of boxer MC Mary Kom‘s personal coach Chhote Lal Yadav and Yogeshwar Dutt – the mentor of Bajrang Punia.
Reigning badminton world champion PV Sindhu with three-time Olympic gold medallist and hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr
Shooter Anish Bhanwala clinched the Emerging Player of the Year (men) award over rising cricketer Shubman Gill and shuttler Lakshya Sen.
Striker Lalremsiami, who was recently named the 2019 FIH Women’s Rising Star of the Year by the International Hockey Federation, secured the Emerging Player of the Year (women) award.
A special award – Icon of the Century – was given to three-time Olympic gold medallist and hockey legend Balbir Singh Sr.
Among other awards, Pullela Gopichand was given the Mentor of the Year, Inspiration of the Year went to hockey star Rani Rampal, Change Agent of the Year was awarded to Odisha, Corporate Supporter of the Year was given to Reliance Foundation, and Sindhu also won the Unbreakable Spirit of Sports award.
A six-member jury panel – comprising former national hockey team captain Zafar Iqbal, ex-India opening batsman Gautam Gambhir, former track star Ashwini Nachappa, Bhutia, twice Paralympics gold medallist Devendra Jhajharia, and Times Internet’s chief editor Rajesh Kalra – chose the winners.