New Delhi, March 28 (IANS) Asian Games gold medallist wrestler Bajrang Punia, hockey star Rani Rampal, cricketer Rishabh Pant and pistol shooting sensation Manu Bhaker were presented the Delhi Sports Journalists Association (DSJA) best sportspersons awards by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Dhruv Batra, here on Thursday.
“It is very inspiring when sports journalists give such awards,” said Punia adding the award would inspire him to work harder in the runup to the 2020 Tokyo OlympicS.
Echoing Punia, Pant said: “I can never forget the encouragement from the Delhi sports journalists in my early days.”. He also acknowledged the media has been supporting junior cricketers well.
Rani, permitted to take a day off from the National Camp in Bengaluru, was delighted to receive the award. “We are focused on doing well for India and such awards keep us going,” she said.
The award for Bhaker was received by her father as she is representing India in the Asian Air Gun Championship in Taipei.
Batra, the special invitee, said recognition of efforts gives athletes immense satisfaction and motivation to do better.
“What the DSJA is doing here today is very much in line with that belief. Also, who can be a better jury than sports journalists who write, report and chronicle upcoming as well as elite athletes every day,” he said.
The function was attended by a galaxy of sportspersons. Honorary IOC Member Raja Randhir Singh, hockey Olympians Harbinder Singh and Zafar Iqbal, trap shooter Moraad Ali Khan and JK Tyre’s Motor Sports Head Sanjay Sharma presented the awards.