New Delhi, August 13,2014: India’s kabaddi champion Mamata Poojary, has been listed for the prestigious Arjuna Award .She hails from Hermunde of Karkala taluk. She is the daughter of Bhoja Poojary and Kitti Poojarti.
Mamata Poojary led the Indian kabaddi women’s team to victory in the World Cup in March 2012. She married Abhishek Kotian, son of Sanjeeva and Indira on January 23rd, 2013.
The Arjuna Awards selection committee, headed by World Cup winning cricket captain Kapil Dev, couldn’t find a suitable candidate for the prestigious highest sports honour Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and nominated 14 others, which includes cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin and pistol shooter Heena Sidhu, for the Arjuna Awards.
Eight names, consisting of discus throwers Vikas Gowda, Krishna Poonia, shuttler P V Sindhu and golfer Jeev Milkha Singh, were initially recommended for the Khel Ratna. Only Jeev and Sindhu came close but the selection committee was not impressed with the former’s 2012 Scottish Open win in the last four years. The committee also felt that Sindhu’s bronze in last year’s World Championships was not enough and she still has age on her side to get the award.
“Jeev’s performance in the last four years was not impressive,” said Kapil.
In addition to Mamata, Ashwin and Heena, who rose to world No 1 spot in April, the other nominees for the Arjuna Award were Abhishek Verma (archery), Tintu Luka (athletics), H N Girish (paralympics), V Diju (badminton), Geetu Ann Jose (basketball), Jai Bhagwan (boxing), Anirban Lahiri (golf), Saji Thomas (rowing), Anaka Alankamany (Squash), Tom Joseph (volleyball), Renubala Chanu (weightlifting) and Sunil Rana (greco roman wrestling).
Ashwin has been a consistent performer for the past three years. Currently he is the No 1 all-rounder in ICC Test rankings. World No.5 Heena rose to the top of the international rankings after she won the gold medal in the World Cup finals in Munich last year. This year she has won the gold in the Asian Shooting Championship and silver in the Fort Benning World Cup.