Indian ace shuttler player Kidambi Shrikanth on Tuesday said that he was surprised when he got a call from the government about his selection for the Padma Shri. The badminton player made headlines when he won four international trophies last year in 2017 and has been the leading man for the badminton players in recent times.
Srikanth received the award from President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati in New Delhi.
The 25-year old was surprised when he was shortlisted for the prestigious award.
"I am really happy and excited at getting the Padma Shri this evening. In fact, I was surprised when I was informed that I have been shortlisted for the award," Shrikanth told IANS.
"I had applied thinking that I was eligible for this award. Glad that even the screening committee thought as much. This is really motivating," he added with a smile.
At 25, Shrikanth is the second youngest sportsperson in India to have got the Padma Shri. Earlier, P.V. Sindhu got it at the age of 19.
Srikanth took to Twitter to upload a picture, thanking his staff, family and the government of India.
"I am very happy to receive the prestigious Padmasri Award. I would like to thank Government of India and my Family, Coches and Support Staff at the academy for always believing in me and taking good care of me".
I am very happy to receive the prestigious Padmasri Award. I would like to thank Government of India and my Family, Coches and Support Staff at the academy for always believing in me and taking good care of me. #padmaaward #padmaaward2018 #padmasriawardee #proudmoment pic.twitter.com/30yQSnEY7O— Kidambi Srikanth (@srikidambi) March 20, 2018
Shrikanth, an Arjuna awardee, was the first male badminton player to win gold at the 2015 Swiss Open Grand Prix Gold.
Along with the ace badminton player, former Team India captain MS Dhoni and multiple champion cueist Pankaj Advani were conferred with the Padma Bhushan.
(With IANS Inputs)