Arjuna Awardees from Kerala

C. Balakrishnan, Mountaineering

 

Born:

 

Achievements:

 

Awards
Arjuna Award 1965

 

 

T.C Yohannan, athlete

 

Thyadathuvila Chandrapillai Yohannan

 

Born:   Maranadu Village, Kollam,Kerala on 19 May 1947

 

Achievements:

  • Gave a new dimension to Long Jump in Asia by clearing a distance of 8.07 metres at the 1974 Teheran Asian Games for a new Continental record.
  • Won gold medals in various international competitions at Tokyo, Hiroshima and Kobe.
  • Held the national record in Long jump for nearly 3 decades. Won Gold in both Long and Triple jump at the National Games.
  • Represented India in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal, Canada. He hung up his shoes after that.

Awards:

Arjuna Award in 1974

 

Titbits:

Father of former Indian cricketer Tinu Yohannan

 

 

 

K C Elamma, Volleyball

 

Born:  Mulakulam, Muvattupuzha, Kerala.

 

Achievements:

  • First woman from Kerala to win the Arjuna Award

Awards

Arjuna Award 1975

 

 

Jimmy George, Volleyball

 

Jimmy George

 

Born:  Peravoor, Kannur, Kerala on 8th March, 1955

 

Achievements:

  • Represented his state, Kerala, right from the age of 16 and nine times.
  • He was the first Indian volleyball player to become a professional and played club volleyball in the Persian Gulf and Italy and in his prime was considered one of the best attackers of the world.
  • Played for India's national volleyball team in the Asian Games in Tehran (1974), Bangkok (1978) and in Seoul (1986) where India won the bronze medal.
  • Captain of the Indian team that played at Saudi Arabia in 1985
  • Led the Indian team to victory in India Gold Cup International Volleyball Tournament at Hyderabad in 1986.

     

Awards:

  • Arjuna Award in 1976 and the youngest volleyball player to win this at 21.
  • G.V. Raja Award in 1975
  • Manorama Award, for the best sportsman of Kerala, in 1976.
  • Best player in the Gulf Region while playing for Abu Dhabi Sports Club, from 1979-82

Titbits:

 

After his tragic death in an accident in 1987, an indoor stadium has been built in his memory at Montichiari, Brescia, Italy as also in Trivandrum. 

 

 

Sam Christu Das.A , Ball Badminton

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1976

 

 

Suresh Babu, Athletics

 

BornKollam, Kerala on 10th February, 1953

Died : 19 February 2011   

 

Achievements:

  • Contested in High Jump in the 1972 Munich Olympics. 
  •  National title holder in long, triple and high jumps in 1974, 1976, 1978.
  • Won bronze medal in the Asian games 1974 at Tehran
  • Won the gold medal in 78 at Bangkok
  •  1974, 1975 and 1978 he was the champion in decathlon (consisting of ten track & field events). 

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1978-79

 

Titbits:

He had served as Special Officer for Sports and Games, on the Kerala State Electricity Board, Sports Officer with Kerala Sports Council and as a member of the Technical Committee of the All India Electricity Sports Control Board. At Bangalore he had worked as a coach of the Sports Authority of India (Southern Centre) and later as the State Supervisor of Sports Authority of India of Kerala and Lakshadweep. He died on 19 February 2011 during the National Games at Ranchi.

 

 

V M Kuttikrishnan, Volleyball

 

Born:

 

Achievements:

 

Awards:

Arjuna Award 1978-79

 

 

Angel Mary Joseph, Athlete

 

Born: Details not available

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1978-79

 

 

M D Valsamma, Athlete

 

Manathoor Devasia Valsamma  

 

Born: Ottathai,  Kannur, Kerala on 29th October 1960 

 

Achievements:  

  • Contested 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Game in 400 meter hurdle.
  • Won 5 gold medals in the 1981 Inter – State meet at Bangalore for 100 & 400 meter hurdles, 400 meter flat sprint and 100 & 400 meter relays.
  • National Champion in 400 meter hurdles creating a record of 58.47 sec which was also the Asian record in 1982.
  • At the National Games meet in 1985 won gold and silver medals in 100 & 400 meter hurdles respectively.
  • Won a silver medal in quarter mile Malaysian pen
  • Won gold in 4 x 400 meter relay and silver in 4 x 100 meter relay in Asian Track and Field events at Delhi.
  • Has participated in several International events in Moscow; S A F in Beijing Asian Games, world cup meets in Havana, Tokyo, London and Asian Games in 1982, 86, 90 and 1994

    .

Awards

 

  • Arjuna Award in 1982,
  • Padma Shri in 1983 
  • G V Raja cash award of Kerala State. 

 

Titbits: Service Worked as employee in Southern Railway

 

 

P. T. Usha, Athletics

 

Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha

 

Born:  Payyoli, Kozhikode, Kerala on27th June, 1964

 

Achievements:

  • Set a national record at the State Athletic meet at Kottayam, 1977.
  • Participated in the Moscow Olympics, 1980.
  • Became the first Indian woman to reach the finals of an Olympic event.
  • Became the youngest Indian sprinter, at 16, to compete in the quadrennial sporting extravaganza at the Moscow Olympics.
  • Participated in the 1982 Delhi Asiad and won the first medal of the games.
  • Achieved a record of 55.42 seconds at Los Angeles, in 400m hurdles, when the event was added to the women's athletics for the very first time. This is the current Indian national record.
  • Won five gold medals and one bronze in 1985, at the Jakarta Asian Athletic meet.
  • Won four gold medals and one silver medal in the 1986 Seoul Asian Games, winning the title of Asia's Sprint Queen.
  • Participated in three Olympic Games, Moscow 1980, Los Angeles 1984 and Seoul 1988.
  • Her team of Rachita Mistry, E. B. Shyla, and Saraswati Saha won the gold medal in 4 x 100 metres relay at the 1998 Asian Championships in Athletics setting the current national record of 44.43 s.

 

Awards

  • Arjuna Award, 1984
  • Padma Sri, 1984
  • Greatest woman athlete, 1985 Jakarta Asian Athletic Meet
  • Best Athlete in Asia Award, 1984, 1985, 1986, 1987 and 1989
  • World Trophy for the best athlete, 1985, 1986
  • Adidas Golden Shoe award for the best athlete, 1986 Seoul Asian Games
  • Kerala Sports Journalists Award, 1999
  • Thirty international awards for excellence in athletics

Titbits

Usha is referred to as The Payyoli Express, as also The Golden Girl

 

 

Shiny Wilson, Athlete

 

Shiny Wilson

 

Born:  Thodupuzha, Idukki, Kerala on 8th May, 1965.

 

Achievements:

  • Participated in four consecutive Olympic Games: Los Angeles (1984), Seoul (1988), Barcelona (1992) and Atlanta (1996).
  • Powered India to an unexpected Women's 4X400 relay final at the 1984 Games with P.T.Usha.
  • Became the first Indian woman to reach the semi-finals of an Olympic event: Los Angeles (1984).
  • Captain of the Indian Contingent at the 1992 Games.
  • Represented India in three Asian Games and won one gold, two silvers and one bronze medal.
  • In the Asian Track and Field meets, she has won seven gold medals, six silver medals and two bronze medals.

 

Awards

  • Arjuna Award 1984
  • Chinese Journalist Award in 1991 given to the ten best sports persons in Asia
  • Padma Sri 1998

 

Titbits:

Both P T Usha and Shiny Wilson were coached by P.J.Devesia

 

 

P. J. Joseph, Power Lifting

 

Born:

 

Achievements:

 

Awards:

Arjuna Award 1984

 

 

Saly Joseph, Volleyball

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards:

Arjuna Award 1984

 

 

Cyril C. Valloor, Volleyball

 

Born: Kerala

 

Achievements:

  • Captained the 1986 Seoul Asian Games Indian team that won the bronze medal.
  • The backbone of the 1980s Indian volleyball Jimmy George and Cyril Valloor played for the country.

Awards

1986, Arjuna Award  

 

 

Wilson Cherian, Swimming

 

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1988

 

 

Mercy Kuttan, Athlete

Mercy Mathew Kuttan

 

Born: Kerala on 1st January, 1960

 

Achievements:

  • Came to 2nd round in long jump, representing India at the 1988 Seoul Olympics 
  • Won bronze medals for long jump & relay 4 x 400 meter  at the 1981 Asian Championship 
  • Silver medal at the  1982 Asian games
  • Contested 83 world cup she was a contestant.  

Awards

Arjuna Award 1989

 

Titbits:

She is in service at TATA Steel, Jamshedpur with her husband, Murali Kuttan a former 400 meter National champion. He was also her coach. He persuaded he r to shift from long jump to sprint.   

 

 

K. Udayakumar, Volleyball

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1991

 

 

K. Saramma, Athletics

 

Born: Details not available

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1993

G V Raja Award 1991-92

 

 

Rosa Kutty , Athletics

 

Born: Aayavana, Muvattupuzha, Kerala in 1964.

 

Achievements:

  • Participated in 1996 Atlanta and 2000 Sydney Olympics in 4x 400 relay race

  • Won silver medal in 1998 Asian Games in 800 mt race.

 

Awards

Arjuna Award  in 1994

 

 

 

Padmini ( Thomas) Selvan, Athletics

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1996

 

 

S. Omanakumari, Hockey

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1998

 

 

Roopa Unnikrishnan, Shooting

 

Born:

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1998

 

 

T. V. Pauly, Body Building

 

Born:

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 1998

 

 

George Thomas, Badminton

 

Born: Kerala, India on  15th April, 1966 .

 

Achievements:

  • Won the National Singles title in 1990
  • National Doubles title with Jaseel P. Ismail in 1992.
  • Was a member of the Indian team that won a silver medal in the 1998 Commonwealth Games

Awards

Arjuna Award in 1999 for his contribution to Indian Badminton

 

Titbits

He is at present working for Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited and is posted at Kochi

 

 

Sebastian Xavier, Swimming

 

Born: Kerala on 10th February 1970 

 

Achievements:

  • Represented India in the 1996 Olympics Games at Atlanta.

Awards

Arjuna Award in 2001

 

Titbits

Sebastian is married to former Indian athlete Molly Chacko and the couple is working with Southern Railways.

 

 

I M Vijayan, Football

 

Inivalappil Mani Vijayan

 

Born: Thrissur, Kerala on 25th April, 1969

 

Achievements:

  • He scored one of the fastest ever international goals in a match against Bhutan in the 1999 SAF Games, he did this in just 12 seconds
  • Played in a number of tournaments such as Nehru Cup, pre-Olympics, pre-World Cup, SAAF Cup and SAF Games
  • Vijayan and Baichung Bhutia formed one of the deadliest forward lines the Indian Football team had ever seen, and helped the team score various vital goals in international tournaments
  • He also finished top scorer in the Afro-Asian Games event held in India in 2003 with four goals
  • By the end of his career he had scored 40 international goals in 79 matches for India

Awards:

  • Indian Player of the Year in 1993, 1997 and 1999
  • Arjuna Award 2003

 

Jenil Krishnan, Rowing

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 2004

 

 

K M Binu, Athlete

 

Kalayathumkuzhi Mathews Binu 

 

Born: Idukki, Kerala on  20th December 1980  

 

Achievements:

  • Holds the current 400 metres national record of 45.48 s set at the 2004 Athens Olympics on 20 August 2004
  • Broke the 44-year-old Olympics mark (by an Indian) held by Milkha Singh who set an Indian National Record with a timing of 45.73 s at the 1960 Rome Olympics.
  • He and his elder sister K. M. Beenamol made history when they became the first Indian siblings to win medals in a major international competition. They won medals at the Busan Asian Games (2002). While Binu won the men's 800 metres silver, his sister won the gold medal in the women's event.

Awards

Arjuna Award for the year 2006  

 

Titbits

 Binu was coached by Ury from Ukraine who also coached Beenamol 

 

 

Johnson Varughese, Boxing

 

Born: 

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 2007

 

 

Chitra Kulathummuriyil Soman, Athletics

Chitra K Soman

 

Born: Kerala on 10th  July, 1983

 

Achievements:

  • Finished seventh in 4x400 metres relay at the 2004 Athens Olympics, together with Satti Geetha, K M Beenamol and Rajwinder Kaur.
  • Was also a part of the Indian team that won a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne
  •  In 2007, Chitra Soman won gold medal in 400m race at Asian Grand Prix series held at Gawahati on 23 June 2007 and at Puen held on 27 June 2007.
  • Led Indian women 4x400m relay team to Gold in Asian Athletics Championship held at Amman in July 2007.
  • In 2008, led another win for Indian women 4x400m relay team in 3rd Asian Indoor Championship in Athletics held in Doha in Feb 2008.
  •  Her personal best time in 400 m is 51.30 seconds, achieved in June 2004 in Chennai.

Awards

Arjuna Award 2007

 

 

Sinimole Paulose, Athletics

 

Born: Piravom, Ernakulam, Kerala on 24th June 1983

 

Achievements:

  • Represented India at Beijing Olympics

Awards

Arjuna Award 2009

 

 

K. J. Kapildev, Volleyball

 

Born:

 

Achievements:

 

Awards

Arjuna Award 2010

 

 

Joseph Abraham, Athlete

 

Joseph Ganapathiplackal Abraham 

 

Born: Kottayam, Kerala on  11th September 1981 

 

Achievements:

  • holds the current 400 metre hurdles national record of 49.51 seconds set during the 2007 World Championships in Athletics in Osaka on 26 August 2007
  •  At Osaka, he became the first Indian male athlete to clear the opening round of an event in the  World Athletics Championships when he reached the 400m hurdles semifinals.
  • Also won the 400m hurdles gold medal at  2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. 

Awards

Arjuna Award 2010

 

 

Preeja Sreedharan, Athletics

 

Born: 13 March 1982 at Mullakkanam,Idukki Kerala

 

Achievements:

  • Won gold medal in the 10000 meter event and Silver in 5000 metres in the Guangzhou Asian Games.

  • Holds Indian National Record for both 5000 and 10,000 metres.

  • Finished fifth in both the 5000 and the 10,000 metres at the 2006 Asian Games

  • Won the silver medal in the 10,000 metres at the 2007 Asian Championships at Amman 

  • Qualified for the Beijing Olympics in June 2008 after achieving a B qualifying mark for the Games. She finished twenty-fifth at the Olympic 10,000 metres.

  • Her personal best for the 10,000 metres is 31:50:28 minutes in Guangzhou Asian Games. This is the current Indian national record.

Awards

Arjuna Award 2011

 

Preeja was the Manorama Newsmaker of the year 2010 selected through public voting on sms.

 

 

Dipika Pallikal, Squash

 

Born: Chennai on 21st September 1991(but hails from Kochi, Kerala)

 

Achievements:

  • The first Indian woman to break into the top 10 in the WSA rankings.
  • Won 3 WISPA tour titles in 2011 that saw her attain a career best ranking of 13. Later, she bettered that with a top 10 ranking in December 2012
  • Was runner up in the Tournament of Champions 2012 and reached the semifinals of Australian Open 2012.
  • Won her sixth WSA title by winning the Meadowood Pharmacy Open on February 2013.   first international tournament in London when she was in her sixth grade,
  • To date, she has won the German Open, Dutch Open, French Open, Australian Open, Scottish Open on the European Junior Squash Circuit.  
  • First Indian ever to reach the summit clash of a Silver event when she reached the final of the Tournament of Champions squash meet in New York 2012
  • First Indian to reach the semi finals of a Gold event, the 2012 Australian Open.

Awards

  1. Arjuna Award

2014 Padmasri

 

Titbits

Her coach is the six time world champion, Sarah Fitz-Gerald. On 15 November 2013, she got engaged to Indian Cricketer Dinesh Karthik

 

Tom Joseph, Volleyball

 

Born: Poothampara, Kozhikode ,Kerala on 1st January 1980

 

Achievements:

 

  • Represented India and won a gold medal at the SAF games conducted at Kathmandu, Nepal in 1999.

  • 2000, he was the captain when India lifted the title at the Rashid International tournament in Dubai.

  • Indian captain in 2000 and 2004.

  • Represented India in two Asian Games and four Asian Volleyball Championships.

  • Helped Kerala win the National Volleyball Championship numerous times.

     

Awards:

 

Arjuna Award 2014.

 

Titbits:

 

Considered a successor to Jimmy George.

 

Geethu Ann Jose, Basketball

 

 

Born: Kottayam, Kerala on 30th July 1985

 

Achievements:

 

  • Asia’s top scorer in badminton

  • Top scorer at the 2009 FIBA Asian Basketball Championship

  • Invited for tryouts by WNBA teams, Chicago Sky, Los Angeles Sparks and San Antonio on April 2011.

  • Represented the Indian Railways winning team in numerous Senior National competitions.

     

Awards:

 

Arjuna Award 2014.

Jaycees ‘Youngsters’ Award.

Rotary Clubs ‘Achievement’ Award.

 

Saji Thomas, Rowing

 

Born: Alapuzha, Kerala on 10th May 1977

 

Achievements:

 

  • 2005, he won three gold in the Asian Rowing Championship.

  • Achieved two silver medals at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.

 

Awards:

 

Arjuna Award 2014

 

 

Valiyaveetil Diju, Badminton

 

Born: Ramanattukara, Kozhikode, Kerala on 4th January 1981  

 

Achievements:

 

  • The second badminton player from Kerala, after Vimal Kumar, to represent India in Olympics, at London 2012

  • National mixed-doubles champion with his game partner Jwala Dutta

  • Won the Bitburger Open Championship in Germany along with Jwala Gutta

  • Ranked 7th in the world by Badminton World Federation

  • four-time National mixed-doubles champion

  • bronze medal in Commonwealth Games at Melbourne 2006

  • Diju partnering Jwala Gutta became the first Indian badminton mixed doubles pair to win a Grand Prix Gold title in 2009

  • Silver medal in 2010 Commonwealth Games with his mixed doubles partner Gwala Gutta.

  • 2011 Ranchi National Games winner

     

Awards

 

G. V. Raja award

Arjuna Award 2014

 

Tintu Luka , Athletics

 

Born: Valathode, Kannur, Kerala on 26th April 1989

 

Achievements:

 

  • Finished sixth in her heat clocking an 1:59.69 seconds for 800 metres event at the London 2012 Olympic Games

  • National record holder in the women's 800-metre race.

  • Broke Shiny Wilson’s 15-year-old national record of 1:59.85 in the 800m event at the Continental Cup, Croatia, 2010, timing 1:59.17

  • Won a silver medal in the 800-metre race at the Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Jakarta.

  • 2010 Commonwealth Games Luka finished in sixth place in the women's 800m with a timing of 2:01.25s.

  • Won the bronze medal in the women's 800 metres event of the track and field competitions at the Asian Games 2010

Awards

 

Arjuna Award 2014

 

Titbits

 

She is coached by P.T. Usha at the Usha School of Athletics, Koyilandy, Kerala,