Steeplechase specialist Lalita Babar, who finished a creditable 10th in the Rio Olympics, have been chosen for the Sports Journalists Association of Mumbai’s (SJAM) Golden Jubilee Annual Awards 2016. Chess GM Shardul Gagare will receive the Sportsman of the year award and Lalita Babar will be the Sportswoman of the year award.
About Lalita Babar :
Lalita Babar is an Indian long-distance runner. She was born in a small village in the Satara district,Maharashtra. She predominantly competes in the 3000 metres steeplechase and is the current Indian national record holder and the reigning Asian Champion in the same event.
- Babar was named as the Sports Person of the Year in the India Sports Awards 2015 organised by Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India. She is currently supported by Anglian Medal Hunt Company.
- Babar began her career in track and field athletics as a long-distance runner.
- In 2014, she became the hat-trick winner of the Mumbai Marathon. Determined to win a medal in multi-discipline events like the Asian Games and Commonwealth Games, she switched to 3000 metres steeplechase in January 2014, following her win at the marathon.
- At the2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, she won the bronze medal clocking 9:35.37 in the final. In the process, she broke the national record held by Sudha Singh. But after disqualification of the gold medalist Ruth Jebet fromBahrain, Lalita was promoted to the silver medal.
- At the 2015 Asian Championships, Babar won the gold medal clocking 9:34.13 and broke her own personal record, the Indian national record and the games record. In the process, she qualified for the 2016 Summer Olympics. She went on to break the record again at the 2015 World Championships in Beijing with a time of 9:27.86 in her qualifying heat. Being the first Indian woman to qualify for the steeplechase final, she placed eighth in the final.
- In April 2016, she again bettered the national record with a time of 9:27.09 at the Federation Cup National Athletics Championships in New Delhi.At the Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympics, she bettered it with a time of 9:19.76 in her heat, qualifying to the final, and in the process became the first Indian in 32 years to enter a final in any track event. At the final, she finished 10th with a time of 9:22.74.
It is noted that Chess Grand Master Gagare will receive the Sportsman of the year award and the Satara-based Lalita the Sportswoman of the year award.
- Mumbai and India middle-order batsman Ajinkya Rahane has been chosen for the International Cricketer of the Year award
- Rohit Sharma for a special award for making the highest ODI score at Kolkata in 2014 while Shardul Thakur and Shreyas Iyer would share the Ranji Trophy Cricketer of the year award.
- The awarding ceremony is to be held here on September 3 in which former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan would be chief guest and present the trophies and certificates.