Greatest Indian sportswoman of all time to make us proud of being Indian.
In the current scenario, India is developing in terms of women empowerment where females of our nation are not only opting various career options but also is making India proud. These women have not only proved their skills but also have encourages other girls to break the gender stereotypes by taking up sports profession. Recently Indian female athletes: Sakshi Malik, Dipa Karmakar, and P.V. Sindhu have created a history at the 2016 Rio Olympics and showed the girl power to the nation. Below is the list of some of finest talent that the Indian soil has produced who gave their heart, body, mind and soul to achieve their dream to become.
Sakshi Malik is an Indian freestyle wrestler who was born on 3rd September 1992. Recently she gained fame at the 2016 Summer Olympics where she won the bronze medal in the 58 kg category and became the 1st Indian female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics and the 4th female Olympic medalist from the country. Earlier at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championship of Doha, she won a bronze medal and a silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Born in the Mokhra village of Haryana, Sakshi got her motivation towards wrestling by seeing her grandfather Badhlu Ram. Even after facing opposition from the locals she continued towards her dream and marked her 1st success as a professional wrestler at the Junior World Championships 2010 by winning the bronze medal in the 58 kg freestyle event. Apart from her various success in wrestling field she is currently employed with Indian Railways in the commercial department of its Delhi division, in the Northern Railway zone and is a part of the JSW Sports Excellence Program. Due to her performance, she has received multiple cash prizes including a brand new BMW from former Indian Cricketer Sachin Tendulkar and is also honored with the highest sporting honor of India-Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016.Â
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is an Indian professional badminton player born on 5th July 1995. At the Summer Olympics of 2016, she became the 1st Indian woman to win an Olympic silver medal and is one 2 Indian badminton players to ever win an Olympic medal other than Saina Nehwal. She has won various medals at international badminton championships like bronze at the World Championships in 2013 and 2014, Incheon Asian Games in 2014 and Asia Championship (2014) and a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2011. Daughter of Arjuna award winner was also honored with the same award in 2013 along with Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (2016) and Padma Shri (2015). Since 2013, she has been employed with Bharat Petroleum as deputy sports manager in Hyderabad.
Dipa Karmakar is an artistic gymnast who was born on 9th August 1993 in Agartala. She is the 1st Indian female gymnast to compete in Olympics in 52 years. She is also one of the 5 women who has successfully landed the Produnova that is considered the most difficult vault in gymnastics. She is also the 1st Indian female gymnast to win a medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Since 2007 she has won 77 medals including 67 gold in the state, national and international championships. She was honored with Khel Ratna award for her commendable performance in Rio Olympics in 2016.
Sania Mirza is an Indian professional tennis player and is currently ranked as the No. 1 in women doubles. Born on 15th November 1986, tennis sensation is one of the highest-paid and high-profile athlete in the country.30 years old is the 1stIndian tennis player to win women doubles Grand Slam title with Martina Hingis in Wimbledon 2015. She is also the 2nd Indian tennis player to receive highest sports honor- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. Other awards include Arjuna Award (2005), WTA New Comer of the year (2005), Padma Shri (2006), Padma Bhushan (2016) and in 2014 government of Telangana appointed her as the brand ambassador of the state. She is also the 1st South Asian woman to be appointed as the UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in their history and has established a tennis academy in Hyderabad. Tennis queen began playing tennis at the age of 6 and rose to prominence when went to the 3rd round of the Australian Open in 2005. A distant relative of former cricket captains Ghulam Ahmed of India and Asif Iqbal of Pakistan was born in Mumbai, Maharashtra. According to Google Trends in 2010 she became the most searched tennis player as a result of her wedding with cricketer Shoaib Malik of Pakistan.
Born 17th March 1990, Saina Nehwal is the 1st and only female Indian former world no. 1 professional badminton singles player from India. She represented India 3 times in the Olympics and won the bronze medal in her 2nd appearance. She is the 1st Indian badminton player to have won an Olympic medal, the BWF World Junior Championships and is the 1st Indian female and youngest Asian to win a 4-star tournament. She is also credited for increasing the popularity of badminton in India and was awarded highly prestigious awards like Padma Bhushan, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, and Arjuna award. Apart from being a successful badminton player, she is also a brown belt in Karate. She is one of the athletes supported by Olympic Gold Quest.
Left-handed Indian international badminton player, Jwala Gutta was born on 7th September 1983 in Wardha, Maharashtra and brought up in Hyderabad. Indo-Chinese descent started her training at the age of 10 under the professional training of S.M Arif. At the age of 13, she won Under-13 Mini National Championship in Kerela (1996). Till 2013, she won the National Badminton Championship for 14 times and has been consistently shining among the top 20 in the world charts. She bagged many medals for India including major events like BWF World Championships, Commonwealth Games, Thomas & Uber Cup team, Asian Badminton Championships, Nepal International Series tournament 2008 and Yonex Dutch Open Grand Prix 2008 in the Women(s) Doubles category. She is also the 1st women to qualify for 2 events in Olympics in Indian History. She was also awarded the India(s) 2nd highest sporting honor-Arjuna Award for her achievements as a badminton player in 2011.
Manika Batra is the top-ranked female table tennis player born on 15th June 1995 in Delhi, India. She represented India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow and 2014 Asian games. She won the silver medal for 2011 under-21 category of Chile Open, 3 medals at the 2015 Commonwealth Table tennis Championships and 3 Gold at the 2016 South Asian Games.Indian ace is ranked 115th in the India International Trade Fair (IITF) world ranking.Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â
Born on 12 June 1985, Saba Anjum Karim was a member of the Indian woman hockey team and was the youngest of all at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. The former hockey player was born in the state of Chhattisgarh represented India in many games like under-18 AHF Cup in 2000, Asian Games in 2002, Asia Cup in 2004, Commonwealth Games in 2002 and 2006, Manchester, Junior World Cup in 2001, Buenos Aires and Australian Test Series and New Zealand Tour. She and her team bagged many medals for India like gold in Manchester Commonwealth Games (2002) and Delhi Asia Cup (2004) and bronze in Doha Asian Games (2006). She was honored with Arjuna award by the President of India (2013), 4th highest civilian award in India- Padma Shri (2015) and Government of Chhattisgarh gave her the post of Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) in the police department.
Mithali Raj is the captain of the Indian Women cricket team. All-rounder right-hand batsman was born on 3rd December 1982 in a Tamil family in Jodhpur, Rajasthan. She was picked for the Indian women cricket team at the age of 17 and made her debut ODI against Ireland in 1999 with an impressive score of 114 (and remain not out). At the age of 19, in her 3rd international test she broke the record of Karen Rolton of the world(s) highest individual test score by scoring a new high of 214 against England in August 2002 that stood for 19 months. At 2013 Women(s) World Cup, she was starred as the No.1 Cricketer in the ODI (One Day International). She is also named as the Tendulkar of Indian women(s) cricket as she is currently the all-time leading run-scorer of India in all formats (Tests, ODIs, and T20s). Indian skipper is the 1st woman to cross the 5000 runs milestone in One-Day Internationals who was awarded the Arjuna award by the Government of India in 2003 and Padma Shri in 2015.
Jhulan Nishit Goswami is an all-round cricketer of the Indian national women(s) cricket team who was born on 25th November 1982 in Nadia, West Bengal.She is India(s) fastest woman bowler who always surprises the batsman. In 2009 she was appointed to lead the team for the upcoming world cup.Right-hand batsman also won the ICC Women(s) Player of the Year in 2007. She was also honored with the Arjuna Award in 2010 and Padma Shri in 2012.
Arunima Sinha was a national level volleyball player who was born in 1988. Her volleyball career was interrupted by a tragic train accident in 2011. In the incident, she was pushed from a running train by thieves while she was resisting them and as a result one of her legs had to be amputated below the knee. She is the world(s) 1st female amputee to climb Mount Everest. Inspired by successful cancer battle of the Indian cricketer Yuvraj Singh, she excelled in the basic mountaineering course from the Nehru Institute of Mountaineering and climbed Everest with a prosthetic leg. She has climbed 6 peaks: Everest in Asia, Kilimanjaro in Africa, Elbrus in Europe, Kosciuszko, Australia, Aconcagua in Argentina as the world(s) five highest peaks and Carstensz Pyramid (Puncak Jaya), Indonesia with an aim to climb all the continent(s) highest peaks and put the national flag of India.
Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom is an Indian boxer hailing from the Kom-Koki tribe in Manipur who was born on 1st March 1983. Magnificent Mary is a 5 time World Amateur Boxing champion and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships. She is only Indian woman boxer to have qualified for Summer Olympics of 2012 and won the bronze medal. She became the 1st Indian woman boxer to get a Gold Medal in the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea. She is also a supporter of animal rights and has been associated with animal rights organization- PETA India. For her achievements in the sports field, she has been awarded Arjuna Award (2003), Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award (2009), Padma Shree (2010) and Padma Bhushan (2013). On 26th April 2016, the 33-year-old was nominated as a member of the Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Indian Parliament, India. The struggle of her life and sports achievements were depicted in her autobiography called Unbreakable and a Bollywood movie named as Mary Kom.
Anjali Bhagwat is a professional Indian shooter who was born on 5th December 1969 in Mumbai. Indian shooting queen is the only Indian to win the ISSF Champion(s) Trophy in Air Rifle Men & Women mixed event in Munich (2002). She has won 12 gold and 4 silver medals in the Commonwealth Games with a record holding position in 10m Air Rifle and Sports Rifle 3P. She has set 13 new records in international competitions with 55 Gold, 35 Silver and 16 Bronze medals in India. In 2002, she became the World No.1 in Air Rifle. She was honored with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel-Ratna in 2003 and Arjuna Award in 2000.
Heena Sidhu is the 1st Indian Pistol shooter to be ranked World No. 1 by ISSF who was born on 29th August 1989 in Ludhiana, Punjab. She is the 1st Indian Pistol shooter to win a Gold in the 2013 ISSF World Cup Finals-Pistol in 10 metre Air Pistol event and also the 1st Indian shooter to appear in ISSF magazine(s) cover since the formation of National Association of India (1951). She also represented India at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. For her international achievements, she was honored with the Arjuna Award in 2014 by the honorable President of India.
Geeta Phogat is a female Indian wrestler who was born on 15th December 1988 in Balali village of Haryana. She is the 1st ever Indian woman wrestler to have qualified for the Olympics and also 1st gold medal winner in the 55 kg freestyle category of the 2010 Commonwealth Games. Her father Mahavir Singh Phogat is also a former wrestler who bravely fought criticism from the villagers for making his daughters practice wrestling. She has also won a gold medal in the Wrestling FILA Asian Olympic Qualification Tournament 2012. Mr. Perfectionist of the Bollywood, Aamir Khan has made a movie based on her and her sister(s) lives called Dangal that is set to release in December 2016.
Sonika Kaliraman is an Indian wrestler who was born on 11 June 1983 and is the daughter of legendary wrestler Chandgi Ram. The Beautiful wrestler is the 1st Indian wrester to won the title of Bharat Kesari. Currently, she is the only woman wrestler who has represented Indian in the Asian Games. In her wresting career, she has won 16 titles at the national level and has participated in many championship events and Commonwealth Games. She was a member of Indian squad in Asian games held at Doha. She has also appeared in many reality shows like Khatron ke Khiladi with Akshay Kumar, Zor ka KHatka by Shahrukh Khan and Bigg Boss Season 5 by Salman Khan and Sanjay Dutt.
Tania Sachdev is an Indian chess player who was born on 20th August 1986. He holds the FIDE titles of International Master (IM) and Woman Grandmaster (WGM).She became the 8th Indian player to be awarded the Woman Grandmaster title in 2005. She was introduced to the game at the age of 6 by her mother Anju and won her 1st international title at 8. She also became the 8th player to be awarded the Woman Grandmaster title in 2005. Besides playing chess professionally she is also a chess presenter, commentator, trained classical dancer and was a member of the official commentary team for 2013 World Championship Match.
Akanksha Singh is the current captain of the India Women(s) National Basketball team who was born on 7th September 1989 and belongs to Varanasi. She was awarded the Most Valuable Player in India(s) 1st Professional Basketball League, MBPL 2010. She is one of the 1st ever Top Four Players to achieve the A Grade from the Basketball Federation of India sponsored by IMG Reliance. She was presentedwith Joint Best Player Award along with her sister Pratima Singh when she won a gold medal in All India University Basketball Championship held at Nallor.
Sharmila Nicollet is an Indo-French professional golfer from Bangalore who was born on 12th March 1991. She started pursuing golf at the age of 11 and won her 1st tournament at 15. She is also a former national sub-junior swimming champion with over 72 gold and silver medals won in state and national aquatic meets. At the age of 18, she turned professional and is the youngest and only Indian golfer to qualify for Ladies European Tour card for 2 consecutive years.
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha is an Indian track and field athlete from Kerala who was born on 27th June 1964. Queen of Indian track and field was chosen to represent her district as in 1976 the Kerala State Government started a Sports School for women. She has won 33 international medals including 13 gold in the Asian Games and Asian Championships. Fondly called as the Payyoli express was honored with the Arjuna Award and Padma Shri in 1984. After retiring from Athletics in 1991, she made a sudden comeback in 1998 and won bronze medals in 200m and 400m races at the Asian Track Federation Meet in Japan. She also improved her own timing in 200m race to set a new National record at the age of 34.
Sunita Rani is an Indian athlete who was born on 4th December 1979. Ace Indian athlete won a gold medal in the 1500m and a bronze in the 5000m during the 14th Asian Games. Her current track record in the 1500m of 4:06.03 is the national record. She was honored with the Arjuna award and Padma Shri for her achievements. Currently, she is working as SP in Punjab Police.
Shikha Tandon is a champion swimmer from Bangalore who was born on 20th January 1985. At the age 13, she participated in the Asian Games and her 1st World championship was at 16. She has won 146 national medals, and 36 in international level including 5 gold. In 2004 Athens Olympics she was the only swimmer to represent India. She was the 1st sportsperson to receive the Government of India Scholarship for Assistance to Promising Sportsperson. The pool of talent was honored by the Eklavya Award in 2001 and Arjuna Award in 2005. At the 57th Senior National Aquatic Championship in 2003, Tanden broke the Indian women's 50 freestyle record, with a time of 26.61 s. Currently, she is a member of USADA (United States Anti-Doping Agency) science team, who assists in the daily operation, development, and maintenance of the resources, reporting, and projects critical to USADA(s) scientific initiatives.
Krishna Poonia is an Indian discus thrower who was born on 5th May 1976 Agroha village of Haryana. At the Delhi Commonwealth Games, she won a gold medal with a throw of 61.51 m. She set a new national record with a throw of 64.76 m on 8th May 2012 in Hawaii, US. Earlier she also became the only 6th Indian to make it to the final round of track and field events in an Olympics event. In 2011, the Government of India also awarded her the civilian honor of Padma Shri. Ace Indian Discus thrower was born in one of the conservative Jat community with limited resources but later after getting married to Virender Singh Poonia who is a former athlete, as well as her coach, supported her fully in her journey. She also resigned from her North-Western Railway job to join and represent a political party called Congress. Her journey and passion for excelling as an international athlete are inspiring for many of us.
Yumnam Renu Bala Chanu is an Indian Woman Weightlifting champion who was born on 2nd October 1986. 24-year-old Guwahati-based Northeast Frontier Railway employee won the gold medal in the Women(s) 58 KG category at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In 2014 she was also honored with the Arjuna Award for her contribution to Indian sports.
Karnam Malleswari is a retired Indian weightlifter who was born on 1st June 1975 in Srikulam, Andhra Pradesh. 1994 World Championship of Turkey is considered the 1st major success where she won 2 gold and 1 bronze medal. She also set a new record by lifting 113 kg in 54 kg of the Asian championship in Korea. In 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney the Iron Lady became the 1st ever Indian woman to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting. For her achievements in sports, she was honored with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 1995-96, Arjuna Award in 1994 and Padma Shri in 1999.
Deepika Kumari is an Indian archer who was born on 13th June 194 in Ranchi, Jharkhand. The World no. 5 archer is the winner of a gold medal at the 2010 Commonwealth games in the women(s) individual recurve event. She started her professional training of archery training by joining Tata Archery Academy of Jamshedpur in 2006 where she also received INR 500 as a stipend. She also became the 2nd Indian to win the title after Palton Hansda won the junior compound competition at the 2006 Archery World Cup in Mexico. After winning 2 gold medals at the Delhi Commonwealth Games in 2010 she was honored with the Outstanding Performance (Female) Award at the Sahara Sports Awards ceremony. She was also honored with the Arjuna Award in 2012, FICCI Sportsperson of the Year Award in 2014 and Padma Shri in 2016.
Anju Bobby George is an Indian athlete who was born on 19th April 1977 in Cheeranchira village of Changanassery taluk, Kottayam, Kerala. In 2003 World Championships in Athletics of Paris she created history by winning bronze in Long Jump and became the 1st Indian athlete ever to win a medal. At the IAAF World Athletics Final of 2005 is considered the best performance where she won a gold medal for India. She was honored with Arjuna Award in 2002 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2004. Her talent was noticed in the national school games where she won the 3rd place in 100m hurdles and 4x100m relay. The ace athlete was appointed as the president of the Kerala State Sports Council (KSSC) and resigned from the post in June 2016.
Seema Punia Antil is an Indian discus thrower who was born on 27th July 1983 in Khewda village of Haryana. Her personal best record is 62.62 m achieved at the Pat Young(s) Throwers Classic 2016 in Salinas, California, US. She began her sporting career at the age of 11 as a hurdler and a long-jumper and later took discus throw. She earned a nickname of Millennium Child after winning a gold medal at the World Junior Championships of Santiago in 2000. After winning a silver medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games she was honored with the Bhim Award by the Haryana state government. She also has received a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and a gold at the Asian Games in 2014. She is married to Ankush Punia who is a former discus thrower and also her coach.
Dutee Chand is an Indian professional sprinter who was born on 3rd February 1996. She became a national champion in the under-18 category by finishing 100 meters in 11.8 seconds in 2012 event. In 2013 World Youth Championships she became the 1st Indian to reach the final of global athletics 100 meters final.Since 2014, she is currently working as a ticket collector in Central Railway Station.
Born on 5th July 1980, Harwant Kaur is an Indian discus thrower and shot putter. In 2002 Asian Championships she won the silver medal at the Asian Championships in 2002 and Commonwealth Games in 2010. 63.5 m is her personal best throw achieved in Kiev 2004 and is coached under the guidance of Parveer Singh.