Mirabai Chanu BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year for 2nd yr running

BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year 2022 Mirabai Chanu

Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has won the 2022 BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award after a public vote.

Chanu becomes the first athlete to win the award twice in a row after winning for the year 2021.

Born in Manipur state, Chanu learned to weightlift by carrying firewood.

At the 2020 Tokyo Olympics she became the first Indian to win a Silver medal in weightlifting and in 2022 secured Gold at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. She won a Silver medal at the World Weightlifting Championships 2022.

Joining the award ceremony through a live link, Chanu thanked everyone who supported her. She said: “I am really excited and want to say that I will be working even harder for the forthcoming games and win more medals for India.”

The other shortlisted contenders for BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year were wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, boxer Nikhat Zareen, and badminton player PV Sindhu.

BBC Para Sportswoman of the Year, a category introduced for the first time went to Bhavina Patel. The para table tennis player won a Silver medal at the 2020 Summer Paralympics in Tokyo, becoming the first Indian table tennis player to achieve this feat. Patel also won Gold at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Patel said: “It is indeed a gratifying feeling to win this prestigious award which is part of a wonderful initiative empowering women and sportspersons. It is also commendable to see BBC focusing on para sports and making India more inclusive.”

The former captain of the Indian women’s hockey team Pritam Siwach was conferred with the BBC Lifetime Achievement Award for her contribution to Indian sports and inspiring generations of players. Siwach was the first woman hockey coach to be given the Dronacharya Award, which honours sports coaches in India.

Boxer Nitu Ghanghas was chosen as the BBC Emerging Player of the Year. She is a two-time youth world champion and Commonwealth Games medallist. She won the gold medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in the minimumweight category.

Lovely Choubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey, Pinki and Nayanmoni Saikia, who won Gold in lawn bowls women team event at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which was India’s first-ever medal in the sport, were given the BBC Changemaker of the Year Award.

BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year Award was launched in 2019 to celebrate sportswomen in India who have made their mark on the world stage, while highlighting challenges faced by women athletes.

The five nominees for the BBC Indian Sportswoman award were announced in February, having been chosen by a jury panel comprising of well-known sports journalists, writers and experts.