Laxman, Sushil among seven sportspersons conferred Padma Shri

New Delhi, Jan 25 (PTI) Star cricketer VVS Laxman andworld champion wrestler Sushil Kumar were among sevensportspersons who were today honoured with the prestigiousPadma Shri Award for their contribution in their respectivesports.

Besides Laxman and Sushil, the other five conferred withthe civilian award were weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, shooterGagan Narang, discus thrower Krishna Poonia, para jumperShital Mahajan and mountaineer Harbhajan Singh.

36-year-old Laxman, who has scored 7903 runs in 120 Testsat an average of 47.32, has played many a memorablematch-winning knocks for India in his nearly 15-year-oldinternational career starting 1996.

He entered into the cricketing folklore with hismagnificent 281 against Steve Waugh''s Australia in 2001, whichhelped India script a historic win after following on at theEden Gardens Test.

In the past one year, the stylish batsman from Hyderabadhas been the saviour on many occasions. He won the third Testfor India against Sri Lanka with an unbeaten 103 to level thethree-match series 1-1 in August last year.

Laxman then battled severe back pain to hit an unbeaten73 and win the second Test against Australia in Mohali inOctober last year, before a similar act last month againstSouth Africa in Durban, where he scored 96 to win the secondTest and level the series.

Laxman, who was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2001,has scored 16 hundreds and 49 half centuries in Tests, besidesscoring 2338 runs from 86 one-day internationals.

Sushil shot into limelight by bagging the bronze medal in66kg freestyle competition in the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games-- the first by an Indian since K D Jadhav''s bronze medal-winning feat at the 1952 Helsinki Olympics.

He then won the 2010 World Wrestling Championships inMoscow and clinched gold in the Asian Championships andCommonwealth Games, both in Delhi last year.

Sushil received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, thecountry''s highest civilian award, in 2009. .

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