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Rediff.com  » Sports » Tendulkar, Anand get Padma Vibhushan

Tendulkar, Anand get Padma Vibhushan

January 25, 2008 19:51 IST

Sachin Tendulkar and Viswanathan Anand added another feather to their caps after being selected for the prestigious Padma Vibhushan, the country's second-highest civilian award.

The 34-year-old Tendulkar, who is in vintage batting form in the ongoing Test series against Australia, and chess wizard Anand are among five sportspersons selected for this year's Padma awards.

Ace footballer Baichung Bhutia and swimmer Bula Chowdhury are named for the Padma Shri, while the late Edmund Hillary, the first to scale Mt Everest, will be conferred the Padma Vibhushan posthumously.

Tendulkar, who made his international Test debut against Pakistan in Karachi in 1989 at the tender age of 16, received the Arjuna award  in 1994 and Padma Shri in 1999.

He was conferred the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, the country's highest sporting honour, in 1998. He was also chosen as Wisden cricketer of the year in 1997 while Time magazine named him in November 2006 as one of the Asian heroes.

For the 37-year-old Anand, the award caps a brilliant phase in his illustrious career during which he rose to world number one after a series of impressive performances.

Anand also won the inaugural Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1991-1992 and Padma Bhushan in 2000.

He won the Arjuna in 1985 and Soviet Land Nehru award in 1987. Besides, he also won the coveted Chess Oscar in 1997, 1998, 2003 and 2004.

Bhutia won the Arjuna in 1999, becoming the fifth Indian footballer, after Gostho Pal (1962), Sailen Manna (1971), Chuni Goswami (1983) and P K Banerjee (1990), to be conferred the acccolade.

For Bula, the first Indian woman to swim English Channel twice, the award is in recognition of her numerous long-distance endeavours.

In a career spanning more than two decades, she became the first woman in the world to conquer the seven seas in five continents, a distinction she earned in August, 2004.

Bula swam the English Channel in 1989 and repeated the feat in 1999, becoming the first Asian woman to conquer the channel twice.

She then crossed the Strait of Gibraltar in 2000, Tiranian Sea in Italy (2001), Great Toroneos Gulf in Greece (2002), Catalina Channel in the US (2002) and Cooks Straits in New Zealand (2003).