Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Jaspal Rana, a triple gold medallist in the 2006 Doha Asian Games, was declared the Sportsperson of the Year 2006-07 at the seventh Petroleum Sports Promotion Board’s annual awards function here on Thursday.

The Union Minister of State for Petroleum Dinsha Patel presented the ace shooter the award that brings with it Rs.25,000 and a silver salver.

Four elite sportspersons — K. Humpy, Pankaj Advani, Saina Nehwal and Rohan Bopanna — and five meritorious sportspersons — Karan Rastogi, S. Sreesanth, Tushar Khandekar, K. Sasikiran and Chitra K. Soman — received Rs. 15,000 and Rs 10,000 respectively.

Both categories of awards carry a silver salver for each recipient.

Quite fittingly, the biggest applause was reserved for former Indian hockey captain M.M. Somaya who was bestowed the Life Time Achievement award. The award carries Rs. 50,000 and a silver salver. An Arjuna awardee, Somaya was a member of the gold-winning Indian team in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

The evening saw 100 sportspersons including several Arjuna awardees share Rs.11,79,500 for their outstanding performances during the 2006-07 season.

An array of champions mainly from badminton, cricket, chess, golf, hockey, cue sports, shooting, tennis and table tennis formed the gathering.

Nearly 90 awardees were present while the notable absentees included cricketers Wasim Jaffer, Sreesanth, Rohit Sharma, tennis player Rohan Bopanna, shuttlers Anup Sridhar, Saina Nehwal and golfer Joseph Chakola, all on overseas engagements.

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) claimed the Trophy for Excellence for contributing the highest number of sportspersons who won laurels at the international level. ONGC also retained the Petroleum Minister’s Trophy for garnering maximum points in the inter-unit Petroleum tournaments in 15 disciplines.

The awards: Life Time Achievement award (Rs. 50,000 and a silver salver): M.M. Somaya (hockey, BPCL). Sportsperson of the Year (Rs. 25,000 and a silver salver): Jaspal Rana (shooting, ONGC). Elite Sportspersons of the Year: K. Humpy (chess, ONGC), Pankaj Advani (cue sports, ONGC), Saina Nehwal (badminton, BPCL) and Rohan Bopanna (tennis, IOC). Meritorious Sportspersons of the Year: Karan Rastogi (tennis, ONGC), S. Sreesanth (cricket, BPCL), Tushar Khandekar (hockey, BPCL), K. Sasikiran (chess, ONGC) and Chitra K. Soman (athletics, ONGC). Trophy for Excellence: ONGC. Petroleum Minister’s Trophy: ONGC. Petroleum Secretary’s Trophy: IOC. President PSPB’s Trophy: Oil India Limited.

More In: SPORT | Today's Paper