By A Staff Reporter
IMPHAL | May 17
Two state women sports legends have been recommended for this year Arjun Award by their respective sports authorities.
So far, 17 state sportsmen’s have received the prestigious award in different sports disciplines. Notably, weightlifter Nameirakpam Kunjarani is the first sport person to be awarded with the prestigious award in 1990.
State women football legend, Oinam Bembem Devi has been nominated by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) for this year’s Arjun Award and women pugilist Sarjubala has also been recommended by the Boxing Federation of India (BFI) for the same award.
Oinam Bembem Devi began her career as a footballer in 1988 when she began training at the United Pioneers Club in Imphal.
In 1991, she was selected to represent the Manipur U-13 team in the sub-junior football tournament. Her performance in the tournament got noticed, and was signed up by Yawa Singjamei Leishangthem Lekai club, and two years later, by the Social Union Nascent (SUN) Club.
At the national level, Bembem has been a regular member of the Manipur state football team for woman since the year 1993.
She has been appointed the captain of her state team since the 32nd National Games held in Hyderabad, where she led her state to victory.
On 9 June 2014 Maldivian Football club New Radiant, announced the signing of Devi and another Indian youngster Lako Phuti.
The AIFF nominated Bembem among three other Indian players Jeje Lalpekhlua and Gurpreet Sandhu for the Arjuna Awards this year.
Bembem led her side Eastern Sporting Union (ESU) to win the inaugural Indian’s Women League, 2017.
On the other hand, Boxing Federation of India (BFI) has nominated Sarjubala Devi (51kg) with other two boxers Saweety Boora (81kg), Sonia Lather (57kg) for this year’s Arjuna awards.
All the three boxers have been consistently performing well for India and are regulars in the national team. The trio have also the silver medal in World Championships.
Sarjubala is a former youth world champion and won a silver medal at the season-opening Nation’s Cup in Serbia early this year.
Sarjubala Devi was born on June 1, 1993 in a farmer’s family. After a successful achievement in Youth World Women Boxing Championship organised at Turkey, the Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) announced to support Sarjubala Devi in 2012.
She joined boxing at school in 2005, after two years later, she joined Sports Authority of India training centre in Imphal.
A 23 years old pugilist won gold medal in the third Women's Senior National Boxing Championship, 2016 at Haridwar, Uttarakhand.
Her weight category raised to 51 from 48 kg. She won the world youth championships in 2011 and later went on to win the senior national championships the same year. In the Olympics in 2016, she is expected to be a serious medal prospect.