The winners of the Arjuna Awards 2023 have been announced, recognizing the outstanding achievements of 26 athletes across a diverse range of sports in India. This prestigious honor, named after the legendary archer Arjuna from the Mahabharata epic, is bestowed annually by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
These athletes were bestowed upon with the award on Tuesday, January 9, 2024, by Droupadi Murmu, the President of India.
This year's winners were selected by a committee of eminent sportspersons. The committee considered the athletes' performances in national and international competitions, as well as their contributions to the development of their sports.
The Arjuna Award is the second-most prestigious sporting award in India. Winning the award is a great honor, and it is sure to motivate the recipients to continue to excel in their chosen sports.
This year's laureates hail from various disciplines, including archery, athletics, badminton, basketball, boxing, cricket, football, hockey, kabaddi, rowing, shooting, swimming, table tennis, tennis, volleyball, weightlifting, wrestling, and yachting. Their dedication and talent have brought immense pride to the nation, inspiring countless aspiring athletes.
2023 has been a truly remarkable year for Indian sports, etched in history with the phenomenal performance at the Asian Games and the Arjuna Awards recognizing the exceptional talent of 26 athletes across various disciplines.
A Historic Haul at the Asian Games:
The year 2023 witnessed Indian athletes rewrite the record books at the Asian Games, amassing a staggering total of over 100 medals – a first for the nation in the event's history. This unprecedented feat surpassed the previous best of 70 medals achieved in 2018, showcasing the immense potential and dedication of Indian athletes across various sports.
Arjuna Awards 2023: Complete List of Winners
Further adding to the glory of 2023, the Arjuna Awards, one of India's most prestigious sporting honors, saw 26 athletes being recognized for their outstanding contributions. This year's list included remarkable individuals like:
Mohammed Shami: The sole cricketer to be bestowed with the award, Shami's exceptional fast bowling skills have been instrumental in India's cricketing success.
Sheetal Devi: An inspiration to many, Devi, the world's first armless woman archer, has defied limitations and carved her own path to sporting excellence, winning medals at the Para Games.
Aditi Gopichand Swami and Ojas Pravin Deotale: This archery duo has consistently brought laurels to the nation, with their sharp focus and unwavering determination.
Sreeshankar Murali and Parul Chaudhary: These athletics stars have soared high on the tracks, setting new personal bests and breaking national records.
Mohameed Hussamuddin: In the boxing ring, Hussamuddin's powerful punches and strategic prowess have earned him a well-deserved spot among the Arjuna awardees.
R Vaishali: A chess prodigy, Vaishali's strategic brilliance and calculated moves have made her a force to be reckoned with on the 64 squares.
Pawan Sehrawat and Ritu Negi: Pawan and Ritu were the captains of the Indian Men’s and Women’s Kabaddi teams respectively that won the gold medal in the kabaddi event at the Asian Games in Hangzhou, China.
These are just a few of the exceptional athletes who have been recognized for their dedication and achievements. The complete list of Arjuna Award winners for 2023 includes:
Archery: Ms Aditi Gopichand Swami, Shri Ojas Pravin Deotale
Athletics: Shri Sreeshankar Murali, Ms Parul Chaudhary
Boxing: Shri Mohameed Hussamuddin
Chess: Ms R Vaishali
Cricket: Shri Mohammed Shami
Equestrian: Shri Anush Agarwalla, Ms Divyakriti Singh (Equestrian Dressage)
Golf: Ms Diksha Dagar
Hockey: Shri Krishan Bahadur Pathak, Ms Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu
Kabaddi: Shri Pawan Kumar, Ms Ritu Negi
Kho-Kho: Ms Nasreen
Lawn Bowls: Ms Pinki
Shooting: Shri Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar, Ms Esha Singh
Squash: Shri Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu
Table Tennis: Ms Ayhika Mukherjee
Wrestling: Shri Sunil Kumar, Ms Antim Panghal
Wushu: Ms Naorem Roshibina Devi
Para Archery: Ms Sheetal Devi
Blind Cricket: Shri Illuri Ajay Kumar Reddy
Para Canoeing: Ms Prachi Yadav
These athletes, along with many others, have not only brought glory to the nation but have also inspired countless individuals to pursue their dreams in the sporting arena. Their dedication, perseverance, and talent have made 2023 a year to remember for Indian sports, and one that promises even greater achievements in the years to come.
The Arjuna Awards 2023 ceremony was a momentous occasion, celebrating the extraordinary accomplishments of these athletes who have pushed the boundaries of their respective sports. Their dedication, perseverance, and passion serve as a beacon of hope for future generations, reminding us that with unwavering commitment, anything is achievable.
This recognition not only bestows immense honor upon the recipients but also serves as a vital source of encouragement, motivating them to continue excelling in their chosen fields. The Arjuna Awards undoubtedly play a crucial role in fostering a vibrant sporting culture in India, and the 2023 laureates have undoubtedly added a remarkable chapter to the nation's sporting legacy.
Rishab is an aspiring sports journalist, currently pursuing his master’s in multimedia journalism at Christ University, Bangalore. Having previously worked with various organizations such as TheNewsMinute, TimesNetwork, DeccanHerald, and Sportskeeda, he is an avid sports enthusiast.