New Delhi: India`s badminton sensation Saina
Nehwal was today declared the Sports Illustrated Sportsperson
of the Year for her stupendous show in 2009.
The Hyderabadi shuttler became the first Indian to have
won a Super Series title when she triumphed in Indonesian
event in June. She also broke into the top-10 zone this year.
India cricketer Virat Kohli was adjudged the Young Player
of the Year while India`s Davis Cup Squad was named as the
Team of the Year.
Jamaican super sprinter Usain Bolt, a Beijing Olympic
gold medallist, was chosen as the International Sportsperson
of the Year while the Lifetime Achievement award will be given
posthumously to former BCCI president Raj Singh Dungarpur.
"These individuals have shown supreme grit and
determination in their endeavours to excel. The awards are our
way of providing further encouragement and support to these
men and women," Sundeep Misra, editor-in-chief of the Sports
Illustrated India, said through a press release.
"Saina Nehwal`s achievements this year make her stand out
like a colossus in the history of Indian sport. Breaking into
the world`s top-10 in a sport dominated for years by the
Chinese and South-East Asians is no mean feat.
"Saina`s focus is her strength and it is this focus that
saw her claim the Indonesian Super Series; an achievement
worthy of being celebrated not just by Saina but the whole
nation," Misra added.