New Delhi, March 7: Ace weightlifter Mirabai Chanu has won the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year (ISWOTY) award for the second year running.
The BBC announced the winner for the year 2022 at a gala here on Sunday evening.
The 28-year-old Manipuri, Chanu thus earned the distinction of being of the first person to take the honour twice.
Badminton ace PV Sindhu, Olympic bronze medal-winning wrestler Sakshi Malik, two-time wrestling world championships medallist Vinesh Phogat and boxing world champion Nikhat Zareen were the other shortlisted contenders for this year’s award.
Chanu, a former world champion, won a silver medal at the World Weightlifting Championships 2022 in Bogota besides winning the gold medal at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games last year.
Joining the ceremony in Delhi through a live link, Chanu said "I am really excited and want to say that I will be working even harder for the forthcoming Olympic Games and win more medals for India."
Table tennis player Bhavina Patel was named Para Sportswoman of the Year - a category that has been introduced for the first time - after winning Commonwealth gold.
Patel, 36, said: "It is a gratifying feeling to win this prestigious award, which is part of a wonderful initiative empowering women and sportspersons. "It is also commendable to see the BBC focusing on Para-sport and making India more inclusive."
Former hockey player and coach Pritam Siwach was given the Lifetime Achievement award for her contribution to Indian sports and inspiring generations of players.
The 48-year-old was the first female hockey coach to be presented with the Dronacharya Award, which was founded in 1985 and honours sports coaches in the country "It motivates us when we get such accolades." she said
Boxer Nitu Ghanghas was chosen as the Emerging Athlete of the Year. The 22-year-old, is a two-time youth world champion and in 2022 won Commonwealth gold.
The invited audience at the venue watched a video message from gymnastics great Simone Biles before Nitu walked on stage to collect her award.
Biles said: "Nitu works so hard and proved she was the best in her class at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham."
In response, Nitu said: "I am very happy. This will motivate female athletes to perform even better. Last year I was at this ceremony as a guest. So it's a beautiful experience this year to be a winner. All my energies are now on Olympic preparation."
The Commonwealth gold medal-winning lawn bowls team were also honoured at the ceremony - receiving a special trophy for their historic achievement.
And 95-year-old Bhagwani Devi and 106-year-old Rambai received their Changemaker of the Year awards.
Devi won gold in the 100m sprint at the World Masters Athletics in Finland, as well as bronze in the shot put. Rambai won gold in both 100m and 200m at the 2022 National Open Masters Athletics Championships in Vadodara.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot, Hockey India president Dilip Tirkey, Olympic boxing champion Vijender Singh and top-ranked table tennis player Manika Batra were among those who attended the function.