Nikhat Zareen, PV Sindhu nominated for BBC ISWOTY Award

Winner will be chosen by a public vote that began on Monday and will continue till February 20 midnight

Hyderabad: Women’s World Boxing Champion Nikhat Zareen, ace shuttler PV Sindhu and three others athletes are nominated for the BBC Indian Sportswoman Of The Year (ISWOTY) award on Monday.

The other three athletes are wrestlers Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik, who recently staged a protest against WFI chief Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh and accused him of sexual exploitation and intimidation.

The athletes were short-listed after a panel of jury, consisting of sports journalists and writers, voted for their preferred players, based on their achievements.

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BBC ISWOTY winner will be chosen by public vote

The winner will be chosen by a public vote that began on Monday and will continue till February 20 midnight. The winner will be announced on March 5.

Rupa Jha, the Head of India BBC News, announced that they have introduced a new award category — BBC Indian para-sportswoman of the year.

Ekta Bhyan, the 2018 Asian para Games gold medallist, welcomed the move and emphasised on the need to make the stadiums more accessible to the physically challenged athletes.

“The stadiums and swimming pools should be accessible easily for the disabled athletes. Mental barriers need to be broken, about 60 to 70 percent of disabled population is still restricted to homes. More awareness and work is required at grassroots level,” Bhyan, flanked by London Olympics bronze-winning boxer Vijender Singh, said.

“Sports should be a part of education. Why should disabled athletes start their careers at the age of 15 or 16, sport should be accessible to them much earlier and there should be a comprehensive and non-discriminatory policy for disabled,” she added.

Nikhat Zareen claimed a hat-trick of gold medals in 2022

Nikhat Zareen claimed a hat-trick of gold medals in 2022. She started the year by etching her name in the history books as she became the first Indian boxer to win a second gold medal at the prestigious Strandja Memorial meet, Europe’s oldest international boxing tournament.

The Telangana boxer replicated her idol Mary Kom’s world championship-winning feat. It was India’s first worlds title in four years and only the second (after Mary) outside the country.

The 26-year-old boxer then entered the Commonwealth Games as a strong medal contender and she didn’t disappoint, clinching the 50kg title.

The Indian boxing contingent returned home with six medals from the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

Five-time world championships medallist PV Sindhu

With the India Open 2023 being upgraded to the Super 750 status for the first time, the country is gearing up to witness top-notch badminton action of the highest order at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi from January 17 to 22.

Distinguished names from all over the world will be gracing the prestigious tournament with their dynamic performances.

Widely regarded as one of India’s most accomplished sporting personalities, PV Sindhu will be keen on replicating her heroics from 2017 and winning the India Open for the second time in her career.

A five-time World Championships medallist in the women’s singles, the 27-year-old is India’s first and only champion in the tournament, having defeated Nozomi Okuhara in the 2019 finals and also has two Olympics medals to her name. The current World No. 7 secured the gold in last year’s Commonwealth Games to become only the second women’s singles player to win a full set of gold, silver and bronze medals at the event.


It is BBC Hindi’s initiative to celebrate and honour sportswomen from India.

In 2020 when the first edition of the award took place, PV Sindhu emerged as winner. In the recent edition, Mirabai Chanu, Indian weightlifter won the award.

This year, Nikhat Zareen and PV Sindhu who are from Telangana are among the nominated candidates’ list.

With inputs from agencies

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