Sportspersons from Odisha who are Arjuna Award Winners
Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand has made the state proud yet again as she was chosen for the Arjuna Award 2020. The Jajpur-born sprinter is the current national champion in women’s 100metres category.
Dutee Chand will be presented the award by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind through an online function on August 29.
As Odisha celebrates Dutee Chand’s latest achievement of getting honoured with the prestigious Arjuna award, here is the full list of all the nine Arjuna Award winners from Odisha –
Minati Mohapatra (1980)
Cyclist Minati Mohapatra is the first sportsperson from Odisha to receive the Arjuna award. She is also the first cyclist in the country to receive the honour.
Minati was an eight-time national champion in cycling and won five gold medals in the Indo-Sri Lanka cycling series held in 1979.
She was also an athlete and has won medals in the 400m sprint and high jump in state-level competitions.
Bijay Kumar Satpathy (1981)
Weightlifter Bijay Kumar Satpathy won gold in the Mini Commonwealth Games in 1981 and silver in Brisbane Commonwealth Games in 1982.
Bijay Kumar won the senior national gold consecutively for five years between the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Rachita Mistry (1998)
Sprinter Rachita Mistry is the second woman athlete from Odisha to win the Arjuna award. She got the award in 1998.
Rachita held the record of 100metres for 13 years before Merlin K Joseph bettered it. She was also part of the 4×100 metres relay at the 2000 Sydney Olympics with V. Jayalakshmi, Vinita Tripathi and Saraswati Saha. She also won the bronze medal in the Bangkok Asian Games.
Dilip Tirkey (2002)
Arguably, Odisha’s most iconic sportsperson of all time, Dilip Tirkey was honoured with the Arjuna award in 2002.
He made his senior debut in 1996 and went on to represent India in three Olympics. He also captained the Indian side in the 2003 Afro-Asian Games in which India won gold.
A legend, Dilip Tirkey had a major role to play in helping establish a hockey turf at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar, which has now earned the tag of ‘Hockey Home.’
Currently, he is serving as the Chairman of Odisha Hockey Promotion Council.
Jyoti Sunita Kullu (2007)
Field hockey player from Odisha, Jyoti Sunita Kullu was awarded the Arjuna award in 2007. She made her international debut in 1996 and was part of the gold medal-winning team in the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games, 2003 Afro-Asian Games and 2004 Asia Cup in Delhi.
Jyoti was also part of the Indian team that bagged silver in the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games and 1999 Asia Cup.
Ignace Tirkey (2009)
Hockey star Ignace Tirkey made his debut in 2001 against Belgium. He was part of the gold medal-winning team in the 2003 Kuala Lumpur Asia Cup.
Ignace Tirkey also participated in the Athens Olympics 2004. Ignace’s younger brother Prabodh too represented the India team in hockey.
K Ravi Kumar (2011)
Indian weightlifter Katalu Ravi Kumar hails from Berhampur district from Odisha. He won the gold medal in the 69kg category in the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Delhi.
Ravi Kumar also bagged three gold medals in the Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships in Malaysia in 2009.
Pramod Bhagat (2019)
Pramod Bhagat is ranked world number one para-badminton player in men’s singles SL3. He has four gold medals in the BWF Para-badminton World Championships.
Pramod won a gold medal each in singles and doubles in International Wheelchair and Amputee Sports (IWAS) World Games in 2019. He also bagged a gold medal in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Para-Games.
Dutee Chand (2020)
The latest addition in the list of Arjuna Award winners is sprinter Dutee Chand. The fastest woman in India, Dutee holds the current national record in women’s 100 metres.
Having participated in the Rio Olympics, Dutee is India’s medal hope for the Tokyo Olympics as well.