Ashwini Akkunji C., a native of Udupi district, received the Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement in Sports and Games in 2022, awarded by Droupadi Murmu, the President of India, for embracing athletic achievements.
The Dhyan Chand Award is given to recognised athletes who have contributed to sports through their performance and who continue to contribute to the promotion of sports events even after retirement. It’s a ceremony attended by sports minister Anurag Thakur and a slew of other dignitaries, including his deputy, Nisith Pramanik. Ashwini Akkunji C. has finally won the Dhyan Chand Award in 2022 after 12 years of sportsmanship.
Ashwini Chidananda Shetty Akkunji, a native of Udupi’s Siddapura district, is known as the Indian sprint athlete who specialises in the 400 meters. She started off by winning gold medals in the 4×400-meter relay team event with Manjeet Kaur, Mandeep Kaur, and Sini Jose at the 2010 Commonwealth Games, and later, an individual gold medal in the 400-meter hurdles on November 25 at the 2010 Asian Games held in Guangzhou, China. She also received the Rajyotsava Prashasti (2010). In 2018, she was appointed as a coach by the Sports Authority of India, and she’s still pursuing her career there.