New Delhi: It’s one of the biggest moments of their career was the unanimous verdict as this year’s Khel Ratna and Arjuna awardees vowed to touch greater heights by drawing inspiration from the honour bestowed on them.
Gautam Gambhir, the first cricketer to get the Arjuna in six years, dedicated his trophy to his teammates.
“To get an award from the President of India is a big thing. I owe it to my team because cricket is a team sport and an individual can’t do it alone,” Gambhir said.
Badminton ace Saina Nehwal said the award has come as huge motivation for her.
“To be here is such a huge moment in my life. I feel motivated to do better,” Saina said.
Veteran hockey player Ignace Tirkey said he had given up hope to get the trophy before being pleasently surprised this year.
“I had given up hope to get this honour but now that I have got it, I feel proud. It gives me a sense of accomplishment,” Ignace Tirkey.
Asian chess champion Tania Sachdev was left awe-struck by the grandeur of the Rashtrapati Bhawan.
“I always worked hard but to get this award is a bit of surprise. It is an unbelievable moment,” Tania said.
Saina’s coach Pullela Gopichand, who got the Dronacharya award, exulted in pride.
“I have been into coaching for just five years and to get such an honour is a moment of pride for me,” Gopichand said.
First Published: Saturday, August 29, 2009, 23:30