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Zee News Fairplay Awards: Women sports stars felicitated for outstanding achievements

Feb 09, 2019, 15:13 PM IST
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Bachendri Pal was honoured with 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the ZeeNews Fairplay Awards

Indian mountaineer Bachendri Pal was honoured with 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the ZeeNews Fairplay Awards on Thursday.

In 1984, Pal became the first Indian woman to climb the summit of Mount Everest. She was awarded the highest civilian award Padma Bhushan in 2019. 

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"We face a life and death situation while climbing mountains in order to reach the peak"

Recounting her experience while climbing Mount Everest in 1984, Pal said: "We face a life and death situation while climbing mountains in order to reach the peak. Even after reaching the peak, you are concerned about a safe return as getting back down is all the more difficult. There have been several instances where accidents have taken place while climbing back down from the summit. After reaching the peak, we spent close to 40 minutes on the mountain as the weather conditions were better that day. I placed a statue of Goddess Durga which I had carried with me at the top of Mount Everest."

She further stated that during those days, women were discouraged from being involved in mountaineering with a lack of female instructors as well.

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Heena Sidhu felicitated at the ZeeNews Fairplay Awards ceremony

Heena Sidhu, who won a gold and silver in the 2018 Commonwealth Games, was also felicitated at the awards ceremony. The pistol shooter enjoys the unique distinction of being the first Indian to reach the number one spot in the International Shooting Sport Federation world rankings. Sidhu who has been a part of the sport for the last 10 years, stated that she faced numerous internal as well as external challenges.

"There were certainly days when I felt like giving up. However, I believe that the sport has become a part of my lifestyle. It is necessary to keep your head down and work hard. I have learnt to be humble and simply follow the path, rather than being affected in case of failure to achieve my goals. No sportsperson is entitled to winning medals. I am just a humble student of the sport which is bigger than all of us," she said.(Image Credits: Twitter/@ZeeNewsHindi) 

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Sidhu is a joint world record holder in the 10 metre air rifle event

Sidhu further hailed the emergence of talented youngsters, citing the increasing number of participants in national championships. She believes that her achievements have also played a part in the growth of emerging youngsters, citing the motivation in her mind after witnessing the achievements of current sports minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and retired shooter Abhinav Bindra, who became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games.

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Suma Shirur gets Lifetime Achievement Award

Suma Shirur was also given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the event. 

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"My real career eventually started after I got married and had my first child"

Recalling her journey, she said: "I started my career 25 years ago when people did not know about shooting being an Olympic sport. I spent around 8 years gathering knowledge and sporting equipment. However, my real career eventually started after I got married and had my first child. That is a major challenge for a woman especially when you start your career late." The former Indian shooter is a joint world record holder in the 10 metre air rifle event, having achieved the feat at the 2004 Asian Shooting Championships in Kuala Lumpur.

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Zee News Fairplay Awards also felicitated Dutee Chand

Zee News Fairplay Awards also felicitated Dutee Chand for her contributions to the sport. She is the third Indian woman to ever qualify for the Women's 100 metres event at the Summer Olympic Games. Chand stated that she had to face a lot of struggle off the field and had to battle a lot in her career. 

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Chand was dropped due to hyperandrogenism

"I have struggled a lot in my life and faced a lot of problems. I was dropped from the team due to hyperandrogenism and did not know whether I will be able to make a comeback. As a result, I used to be extremely. I appealed to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) who notified the IAAF to lift the suspension, enabling me to represent the nation again. Thankfully, I was able to make a comeback in the sport again," she said. 

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