India’s women’s hockey skipper Rani Rampal and shooting sensation Saurabh Chaudhary were awarded for their fine performances this season.
The ninth edition of the FICCI Awards, which acknowledges the contribution of sports achievers and various stakeholders, chose Indian women’s national hockey skipper Rani Rampal, and 2018 Asian Games shooting gold medalist Saurabh Chaudhary for the esteemed Sports Person of the Year awards in 2019.
Last year, the award was won by India’s star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, while Hima Das and heptathlete Swapna Barman were honoured with “Breakthrough Sports Person of the Year” award.
Rani was on top of her game this year as she brought her best to the forefront every time the team was in need of inspiration.
Be it her performance at the FIH Series Finals in Hiroshima or the FIH Olympic Hockey Qualifier against the USA last month, the Indian ace’s leadership was widely evident as the team dug deep to eke out results against quality opponents.
While the Indian team has seen the rise of a few talents over the last few years in Sushila Chanu, Savita Punia, Gurjit Kaur and Lalremsiami, Rani has continues to hold a key place in the setup as they prepare for their second successive Olympics in 2020.
Having taken up shooting only as recently as four years back in 2015, Saurabh Chaudhary continued his meteoric rise to the top this season.
While he became the youngest Indian shooter to win an Asian Games gold in 2018, Chaudhary was once again in his elements this year as he along with and Manu Bhaker owned the mixed pistol event, winning all the ISSF World Cup events in the discipline.
Having sealed a quota place for the 2020 Olympics next year, all eyes will be on the youngster as he takes aim in Tokyo in a few months time.