Bhubaneswar: World weightlifting champion Jhilli Dalabehera has bagged the prestigious 27th Ekalabya Award for the year 2019.

The Ekalabya Award Committee comprising of jury members drawn from different walks of life were unanimous in selecting Dalabehera for the prestigious award in a meeting held here on Sunday.

Jhilli Dalabehera, with 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 bronze medals in international weightlifting events between April 2017 to March 2019 emerged as the clear winner this year. She will get a cash award of Rs 5 lakh along with a citation at the Ekalabya Award function, the date of which will announced later.

Women Football player Jabamani Tudu and hockey talent Namita Toppo will be felicitated on the this occasion for their achievements in national and international sports and games field. Both will receive a cash prize of Rs. 50,000/- each along with citations.

Trustee of IMPaCT and former MP Baijayant Panda said, “IMPaCT has been in continuous pursuit to recognize and foster excellence in sports and literature besides contributing to the general welfare of the society at large. Ekalabya award is instituted to encourage and inspire young sports persons to perform at national and international arena.”

Ekalabya Award, instituted by IMPaCT in the year 1993 has come a long way to be recognized as the most prestigious sports award of Odisha, drawing parallels with many national awards. The award is given every year to young sportspersons of Odisha in recognition of their outstanding performance in the preceding two years.