14 players get Arjuna awards
Stylish middle order batsman VVS Laxman, whose stupendous knock of 281 was rated by cricket almanac Wisden as the best Indian batting performance of the century, has been named in the list of 14 Arjuna award winners for the year 2001 announced by the Government in New Delhi on Wednesday.
The list, chosen by the new selection committee headed by former badminton star Prakash Padukone, also includes the present Indian hockey captain Dilip Tirkey, shooter Samaresh Jung, tennis player Sandeep Kirtane, footballer Bruno Coutinho and cager Parminder Singh for their consistent performance last year.
Micheal Fereira (billiards and snooker) and Sunny Thamas (shooting) have been confered with the prestigious Dronacharya Award for outstanding performance as a coach for the year 2001.
The awards will be presented by the President of India at a function on August 29.
Arjuna Award Winners
Parminder Singh (basketball), Devendra Joshi (billiards and snooker), V V S Laxman (cricket), Bruno Coutinho (football), Dilip Tirkey (hockey-men), Sita Gossain (hockey-women), B C Ramesh (kabaddi), Kasam Khan (rowing), Samaresh Jung (shooting), Sandeep Kirtane (tennis), Amir Singh (volleyball), Ramesh Kumar (wrestling), Lt Cdr R Mahesh (Yachting), K R Shankar Iyer (athletics and cricket -disabled).
Dilip Tirkey, the current Indian hockey captain who was also a member of the gold-winning Bangkok Asian Games team, has been nominated in the list which has sportspersons from 14 disciplines.
Devendra Joshi, one of the top billiards players of the country, has also found favour with the selectors for his fine show on the green table.
Former women's hockey captain Sita Gussain, who played a key role in the team's gold-winning effort in the recent Commonwealth Games in Manchester, also finds her name in the list while the experienced Parminder Singh has been awarded for his outstanding peformance in basketball for the last few years.
The selection committee for Dronacharya Awards headed by Ajit Pal Singh had recommended two names for the honour and the Ministry of Youth Affiars and Sports accepted the names of Michael Ferreira and Sunny Thomas.
Former world champion Fereira, who has become one of the most successful billiards and snooker coaches of the country, got the recognition for his outstanding track record as a coach and his contribution to the game.