10 women who claimed the world of Indian sports in 2016
Meet the women who won a million hearts in a cricket-crazy nation.
When we talk about women in Indian sports, very few names apart from Sania Mirza and Saina Nehwal come to mind. But 2016 has been a year of exceptional performances by female athletes. Here, 10 sportswomen who have done India proud in the year gone by:
1. Pusarla Venkata Sindhu (Badminton)
The talented badminton player from Hyderabad, also known as PV Sindhu, played beautifully at the Rio Olympics 2016. She did the nation proud by winning a silver medal after giving a tough fight to world champion, Carolina Marin in the finals. She is also the first woman from the country to bag the silver medal in Olympics. *
2. Sakshi Malik (Wrestling)
The 23-year-old created history when she won the bronze medal in the 58kg category at the Rio Olympics this year. She became the first-ever Indian female wrestler to win an Olympic medal and the fourth female Indian athlete to make it to the biggest sporting event in the world.
3. Deborah Herold (Cycling)
Deborah participated in the National Track Cycling Championship held at the Lakshmibai National College for Physical Education's track cycling arena. The brave heart from the Andaman and Nicobar Islands competed with a borrowed cycle and yet she left her rivals behind at the 500m individual time trial event of the 69th senior, 46th junior and 32nd sub-junior.
4. Dipa Karmakar (Artistic gymnastics)
This 23-year old artistic gymnast from Tripura attained the fourth position in women's vault gymnastics event of the Rio Olympics. She is the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics.
5. Mithali Raj (Cricket)
This self-confessed lazy girl started out as a dancer, but things changed when she made her debut in ODI cricket in 1999. She became the second female cricketer to cross 5,000 ODI runs and is also known as Lady Sachin for obvious reasons.
6. Deepa Malik (Paralympics, Shot-put)
Deepa is the perfect example of triumph over difficult circumstances. She won a silver medal at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in shot-put, making her the first Indian woman to clinch a medal at the Paralympics.
7. Lalita Babar (Athletics, Steeplechase)
Lalita made it to the women's 3000m steeplechase final. She is the first Indian female athlete in 32 years to reach the finals of a track-and-field event in the Olympics. She had earlier created a new national record by clocking a time of 9:19.76 in the qualification round, where she finished seventh.
8. Heena Sidhu (Shooting)
Heena stood 14th in the 10m Pistol event at the Rio Olympics. She also made news for her bold step of pulling out of the Asian Airgun Shooting Championship in Iran due to the compulsory hijab rule for all women athletes. However, the 27 year-old won the gold medal in the 10m air pistol event at the 60th National Shooting Championship this year and made us all proud.
9. Aditi Chauhan (Football)
Meet the very talented goalkeeper of Indian women's football team--the 24-year-old Aditi, who made a stellar comeback with West Ham Ladies championship this year. In fact, she made three saves in a penalty shootout to guide her team to victory in the FA Women's Premier League.
10. Aditi Ashok (Golf)
This year when golf made a comeback at the Olympics, the 18-year old, Aditi participated in it and made her mark. She might not have won, but she finished 41st with an overall score of seven-over 291 in the Rio games. After the Olympics, she rocked the Indian Open, creating history by becoming the first Indian female to win a European tour title.