Rana, Somayya bag prestigious honours
Pistol shooter Jaspal Rana, who made history by winning three gold medals at the Doha Asian Games in December, has been conferred 'Sportsperson of the Year 2006' award by the Petroleum Sports Promotion Board.
Rana bagged a cash incentive of Rs 25,000 along with a trophy presented to him at a gala function attended by nearly 100 sportspersons from various disciplines and employed with various petroleum companies in New Delhi on Thursday.
Hockey legend MM Somayya was bestowed with 'Lifetime Achievement' award while ONGC, which has star cricketers Virender Sehwag among other well known personalities on its payroll, won the 'Trophy for Excellence' for its contribution to sports.
Arjuna Awardee Somayya was presented a cash award of Rs. 50,000.
Davis Cup tennis player Rohan Bopanna, chess Grandmaster Koneru Humpy, badminton starlet Saina Nehwal and Khel Ratna cueist Pankaj Advani were chose Elite Sporspersons of the Year. The award carried a purse of Rs 15,000 each.
Five others -- Sreesanth (cricket), Karan Rastogi (tennis), Tushar Khandekar (hockey), Krishnan Sasikiran (chess) and Chitra K Soman (athletics) -- were crowned Meritorious Sportspersons. They were awarded Rs 10,000 each.
Bopanna, Saina and Sreesanth, however, were absent at the function, as were Wasim Jaffer, Rohit Sharma (cricket), Anup Sridhar (badminton) and Joseph Chakola (golf).
Union Minister of State for Petroleum, Dinsha Patel, presented the awards. The total prize fund disbursed was Rs 11.80 lakh.
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- Indian para archer Rakesh Kumar stood on top of the podium in the Compound event while the pair of Harvinder Singh and Pooja grabbed gold in the recurve mixed team event