Saina wins Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year award
Gurgaon: Olympic bronze medallist Saina Nehwal was declared Sports Illustrated Sportsperson of the Year while her mentor and India coach Pulella Gopichand was given the Coach of the Year award for nurturing new crop of talented young shuttlers.
The event was organised by the sports magazine to honour good performances of the year 2012.
Saina had also bagged this award in the inaugural edition in 2009.
The 14 categories in which the awards were presented include Young Player of the Year award, won by U-19 world cup winning captain Unmukt Chand, while Athlete of the Year was presented to young India cricketer Virat Kohli.
Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman, the Indian batting stalwarts, who retired from international cricket last year were given the Lifetime Achievement Award for their contribution to the sport.
Wrestler Sushil Kumar, who won became the first Indian to win back-to-back individual Olympic medals, was adjudged the ` Gamechanger of the Year` for bagging a silver medal at London Games.
Team of the Year award was given to India U-19 Cricket Team for winning country`s third ICC Under-19 World Cup in Australia.
Paralympic high jumper H N Girisha`s silver medal winning effort at Paralympic last year was awarded `Sporting moment of the Year`.
The list also included Asian champion Sawarn Singh Virk (Rowing) and race walker KT Irfan as `Surprise Package of the Year`.
The other awardees include footballer Uttam Rai (Sportskid of the Year), Service Sports Control Board (Administrator of the Year) and Services (Domestic Performance of the Year).
This is the fourth year of the India awards, which are inspired by the world`s most prestigious sports awards, the Sportsman of the Year, established by Sports Illustrated in 1954.