President Pranab Mukherjee honoured Indian badminton sensation Saina Nehwal with the Padma Bhushan award Monday. It was announced ahead of Republic Day this year that Saina, along with tennis superstar Sania Mirza, will be conferred with India's third-highest civilian award this year, in the sports category.
Sania will, however, receive the honour at a separate ceremony in New Delhi, scheduled for next month.
Saina, 26, currently ranked No. 6 in the world, had an impressive 2015 where she remained World No. 1 for some months after clinching the 2015 India Open Grand Prix Gold and also become the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the finals of All England Open Badminton Championships.
Sania, who has previously won the Arjuna Award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna as well as the Padma Shri, also participated in the BWF World Superseries Finals in December and recorded an emphatic win over current World No. 1 Carolina Marin of Spain.
"Its a proud moment for me, hope to continue to make India proud," Saina told ANI after bagging the honour.