TENNIS ACE SANIA MIRZA and India's leading shuttler Saina Nehwal will be conferred with the Padma Bhushan award for 2016 by the government of India, the news was confirmed on Monday.
The World no. 2 shuttler has already received the Arjuna Award in 2009, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2009–2010) and Padma Shri in 2010. In 2015, Nehwal experienced both ups and downs by starting on a good note but injuries marred her towards the end.
However, the shuttler from Hyderabad has been training hard in Bangalore with her coach Vimal Kumar to regain her form and fitness. She is one of India's biggest hopes of winning a medal at the Rio Olympics later in the year. Saina won a Bronze at the London 2012 Olympics.
Sania Mirza too was conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2004, Padma Shri in 2006 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2015.
Sania also from Hyderabad, along with Swiss doubles partner Martina Hingis is currently on a record-breaking streak in the world of women's doubles tennis. The pair has won 33 matches on the trot at present and are about to break the all-time record of 44 wins.
The Indo-Swiss pair have put on a stunning display in 2016 and are the overwhelming favourites to win the year's first major in Melbourne, the Australian Open.
Apart from the celebrated pair, ace archer Deepika Kumari was also named for the Padma Shri award, while popular commentator Sushil Doshi will also get the same.
Deepika, a former World No.1, continued her journey by bagging a silver medal in the women's recurve event at the 2015 Archery World Cup Final in Mexico City. It was the 21-year-old Jharkhand archer's fourth medal in five appearances at World Cup Finals.
She had won the Arjuna Award in 2012.