Bengaluru: Star Indian badminton player and Olympian Ashwini Ponnappa has been named ‘Coorg Person of the year, 2017’ in a poll conducted by a news portal dedicated to Kodagu.
Ashwini, who won a gold medal in the women’s double event of the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games, was selected for the honour by www.coorgtourisminfo.com, Kodagu’s first news portal, promoted by senior journalist P T Bopanna.
“What clinched the title of Coorg Person, besides her sporting achievements,was Ashwini’s decision to marry a fellow Kodava, model Ponnachettira Karan Medappa, instead of outside her community,” Bopanna said in a release here.
The close-knit Kodavas (Coorgis) who number less than two lakh, have been worried by the recent trend of community members marrying non-Kodavas, the release said.
Ashwini Ponnappa is perhaps the youngest sportsperson from Kodagu to win the prestigious Arjuna award.
In 2011, the Indian duo of Ashwini and Jwala Gutta came up with one of their finest performances when they etched their names in history books by becoming the first Indian pair to ensure a medal at the World Badminton Championships.
Ashwini and Jwala participated at the 2012 London Olympics together and missed the quarterfinals by a whisker under controversial circumstances.
Her father Ponnappa, who worked for the Reserve Bank of India at Hyderabad, was a hockey player and was in the Indian hockey camp during the 1982 Asiad.
In the past, the winners of the title include Air Marshal K C Cariappa, environmentalist (2008), cricketer Robin Uthappa (2009) and tennis player Rohan Bopanna (2010).