New Delhi: Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Kiren Rijiju conferred Arjuna Awards to tennis player Rohan Bopanna and women cricketer Smriti Mandhana on Tuesday.
The sports stars were not in India during Arjuna Awards presentation ceremony honoured by President Ram Nath Kovind held last year on September 25 in Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Bopanna who won the gold medal in tennis men’s double category in Asian Games 2018 was awarded the Arjuna Award. “It is an amazing feeling to hold the award. Definitely, I would have loved to receive it from the President at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, along with other athletes and achievers. But that does not take anything away from the thrill of receiving it,” said Bopanna, who received the trophy along with his wife Supriya Annaiah.
Rijiju praised both the players for their contribution to the sports and country. “Bopanna is practising for Tokyo Olympics 2020 and by giving award I want to keep his morale high. While Mandhana is well known in international cricket. She is the best batsman in the world. I want to congratulate her and want to continue doing the same,” said Rijiju.