New Delhi, Jan 25: India's captain Virat Kohli and seven other sports persons were on Wednesday (January 25) confered the prestigious Padma Shri award, country's 4th highest civilian honour.
The 28-year-old Kohli has made it to the list of 75 Padma Shri award winners this year. The awardees list was announced on Wednesday by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Kohli was joined by Rio Paralympics gold medallist Mariyappan Thangavelu, Rio Paralympics silver medallist Deepa Malik and Rio Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik for bringing laurels to the nation at the world's biggest sporting event.
Kohli joins Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Harbhajan Singh, VVS Laxman, Yuvraj Singh and other cricketers in the prestigious Padma Shri awardees list.
"Padma Awards - one of the highest civilian Awards of the country, are conferred in three categories, namely, Padma Vibhushan, Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
Here are the sportspersons who won Padma Shri awards for year 2017:
Virat Kohli (Cricket)
Team India's skipper Virat Kohli was the highest run-getter across all formats.
The charismatic skipper led India to historic wins against New Zealand and England in the Test series.
The skipper slammed 3 Test doubles in the year 2016 apart from hitting 4 centuries in the IPL 2016.
Shekhar Naik (Blind Cricket)
He is the captain of Indian Blind Cricket team and led India to victory in the maiden T20 World Cup in 2012 and ODI World Cup in 2014.
In is career spanning 13 years, 30-year-old Naik has slammed 32 centuries. The all-rounder has played 63 matches across all formats for India.
Coming from a poor background, Naik lost his parents at the age of 12.
Mariyappan Thangavelu (Paralympian Gold Medalist)
The 21-year-old paralympian from Tamil Nadu won 3rd gold medal in Indian history of Paralympic Games, after Muralikant Petkar and Devendra Jhajharia (2). He won a gold in Rio 2016 Paralympics (T42 High Jump).
Thangavelu donated a part of his prize money received from the government to the school for improvement of sports facility. He suffered permanent disability in right leg when he was run over by a drunk bus driver on his way to school.
Dipa Karmakar (Gymnastics)
The 23-year-old gymnast from Tripura made the nation proud with her performance at the Rio Olympics where she missed a medal by a whisker by coming fourth in Artistic Gymnastics.
Karmakar also became only the 5th women in the gymnastic history to land Produnova Vault.
Deepa Malik (Paralympian Silver Medalist)
The 46-year-old became the first Indian woman Paralympic medallist when she clinched silver at the Rio Games with a personal best throw of 4.61 metre in the women's shot put - F53 final event.
Deepa, who is a recipient of the Arjuna Award in 2012, is a paraplegic, paralysed from waist down and mother of two and wife of an Army officer.
A spinal tumour left her paralysed waist-below in 1999. The spinal tumour had to be operated and 31 surgeries were conducted on Deepa which was healed after 183 stitches between her waist and legs.
After six years of being in the wheelchair, she turned to para-sports.
Vikas Gowda (Discus throw)
The reigning Asian champion discus thrower Vikas Gowda may have failed to qualify in the Rio Olympics 2016. But has brought laurels for the nation at other platforms.
The 33-year-old won Asian Championships gold in 2016.
PR Sreejesh (Hockey)
One of the best goalkeepers in the world, PR Sreejesh, took over India's captaincy from Sardar Singh last year.
Under his leadership, India had won the 2016 Men's Hockey Champions Trophy. He was also part of the victorious Indian Junior hockey setup as a mentor in the recently-concluded World Cup.
Sakshi Malik (Bronze Medallist at Rio Olympics)
Sakshi Malik wrestled her way into history books as she claimed a bronze medal at Rio Olympics 2016. She, thus, became the first woman wrestler from India to clinch a medal at Olympics.
The champion wrestler from Haryana ended India's wait for a medal in Rio after 12 days after defeating Kyrgysztan's Aisuluu Tynybekova in bronze medal play-off match in Freestlye 58kg category.