World rapid chess champion Koneru Humpy has won the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year award.
Humpy was nominated alongside shooter Manu Bhaker, India hockey team skipper Rani Rampal, wrestler Vinesh Phogat, and sprinter, Dutee Chand. She was declared a winner on March 8, basis public voting.
Photo credit- Twitter
“This award is very precious, not only to me but the entire chess fraternity. Being an indoor game, chess doesn’t get as much attention as sports like cricket in India. But, with this award, I hope, the game will draw people’s attention. I think I could win over the years because of willpower and confidence. A woman player should never think about quitting the game. Marriage and motherhood are part of life and should not change the course of our lives,” Humpy said while accepting the award in the virtual ceremony.
She shot to the limelight in 2002, when she became the youngest woman ever to achieve the title of Grandmaster at the age of 15 years, 1 month, 27 days. She has also been conferred with Arjuna Award and Padma Shri.
In the same ceremony, the Lifetime Achievement Award was given to veteran athlete Anju Bobby George. Manu Bhaker was announced as the winner of the Emerging Player of the Year Award. BBC director-general Tim Davie, hosting the virtual awards ceremony, congratulated and felicitated the winners.