Voting begins for the BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year award

The five nominees have been selected by journalists and writers

BBC is back with its fourth edition of the BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year (ISWOTY) Award 2022 to  honour the achievements of Indian female players and a new award category introduced to honour the Indian  Para Sportswoman Of The Year. 

The nominees for the BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year were announced today at a press conference in  New Delhi.  

• Mirabai Chanu, Weightlifter: The first Indian weightlifter to clinch a silver medal at the Tokyo  Olympics, followed by a gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022. 

• Sakshi Malik, Wrestler: The first Indian woman wrestler who won a medal at the Rio Olympics,  followed by a gold at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. She has won a silver and bronze at  previous Commonwealth games. 

• Vinesh Phogat, Wrestler: The first Indian woman to win two World Championship medals in  wrestling, also the first to win gold at both Commonwealth and Asian Games. Her latest gold medal  was won at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games. 

• P V Sindhu, Shuttler: The first Indian woman to win two consecutive medals at the Olympics, bronze  at the Tokyo Olympics and silver at the Rio Games. She ended 2021 with a silver at the Badminton  World Federation World Tour finals. 

• Nikhat Zareen, Boxer: After winning the Junior World Boxing Championship in 2011, she won a gold  medal at the IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships in 2022. 

BBC news head, Rupa Jha, elaborated on BBC’s initiative of recognising women athletes’  achievements in more categories, “We are delighted to announce that this year we are introducing the BBC Indian  Para Sportswoman Of The Year award,” she added, “This is to recognise and celebrate women para athletes and  their terrific journey.” 

Ekta Bhyan, para athlete and a gold medallist in 2018 Asian Para Games appreciated the BBC for rewarding  para athletes and sending a powerful message that people with disabilities have talents and abilities which  should be celebrated and recognised. She said, “Such recognition helps in increasing public awareness and inclusivity of para sports. I hope this leads to more opportunities for para athletes to compete and excel and  inspire more people with disabilities to participate in sports.” 

At the press conference, Vijender Singh Beniwal, first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal in 2008 expressed  delight that the achievements of Indian female players is being praised and their stories are now reaching  people through the BBC’s initiative. He further added: “Our sportswomen have proven their calibre on the  grounds time and again. They are the real fighters, it’s not easy to quantify how much respect they truly  deserve.”  

On March 5 2023, the winner of BBC ISWOTY will be announced at the awards ceremony. The BBC  Emerging Player Of The Year award and the BBC Lifetime Achievement Player award will also be named and honoured along with the new category of Indian Para Sportswoman Of The Year. 

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