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International Women's Day 2020: Athletes who made India proud at the big stage

India's success in women's sports is not a topic that many talk about but with time, there have been women who have made people stand up and take notice.

Written by: Aratrick Mondal New Delhi Published on: March 08, 2020 9:52 IST
International Women's Day 2020
Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

International Women's Day 2020: Women athletes who made India proud at the big stage

It has been years now that women athletes have broken down the barrage to mark their dominance in the world which was once regarded as a male domain. And as the world celebrates International Women's Day today, we take a look at the top Indian women athletes who made India proud at the big stage.

PT Usha:

Often hailed as the 'queen of Indian track and field' or the Golden Girl of Indian athletics, PT Usha won many accolades for the country and later became an inspiration for many other female athletes to take up the sport. She won a silver each in 100m and 200m at the 1982 New Delhi Asian Games, before missing on the third spot by 1/100th of a second in the 400m hurdles at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. She bounced back strong for the 1985 Jakarta Asian Championships and produced one of her best results with six medals — five gold and one bronze including an Asian record. She won five more - four gold and one silver - at the 1986 Seoul Asian Games. 

PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal:

India Tv - Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu

Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu have made India proud in badminton

What PT Usha was to athletics, Sindhu and Saina are for badminton. While Saina has been the pioneer of this revolution in badminton, Sindhu played a crucial role in breaking the ceiling and inspiring more and more female athletes into the field. Saina, a former world no.1, has won as many as 24 international titles which include seven superseries titles. She also represented India thrice at the Olympics and won a bronze in her second appearance. Besides these, she also has three Commonwealth Games gold (2018 and 2010 in singles and 2018 in mixed) and two bronze in Asian Games.

Sindhu, on the other hand, a former world no.2, won many medals including a silver at the Rio Olympics and record-breaking gold at the Worlds. Besides, she also has a silver medal each at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 Asian Games.

Karnam Malleswari:

She was the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics when she settled for a bronze in the weightlifting category at the Sydney Olympics in 2000. She also won two golds at the World Championships - 1994 Istanbul and 1995 Guangzhou - besides her two bronze in the tournament history. 

Sania Mirza:

India Tv - Sania Mirza

Image Source : GETTY IMAGES

Sania Mirza is a six-time Grand Slam winner in doubles tennis

A former world no.1 in doubles and a winner of six Grand Slam titles, Sania Mirza is the most Indian successful women tennis player. She has also won a total of 14 medals, which includes six golds, at the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Afro-Asian Games. She recently made her comeback post her maternity leave and is hoping to participate in the Tokyo Olympics 2020. 

MC Mary Kom:

She is the only boxer, male or female, to win eight medals at the World Boxing Championships - 6 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze. Her tally of six golds in the tournament history also makes her the only woman to achieve the feat. She is also the first Indian woman boxer to win a gold at the 2014 Asiad and the first again at the 2018 CWG.

Dipa Karmakar: The 26-year-old was the one who put India on the World Gymnastics map following her attempt at Produnova at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete at the grandest stage. She had finished fourth in the competition with a score of 15.066. She has a bronze each at the CWG in 2014 and the Asian Championships in 2015.

Hima Das and Dutee Chand:

India Tv - Dutee Chand

Image Source : IANS

Dutee Chand is the first Indian woman track and field athlete to clinch a gold medal at the 30th Summer University Games

Both have been instrumental in carrying the momentum set by PT Usha in track and field events. Dutee Chand recently gained fame after she became the first Indian woman track and field athlete to clinch a gold medal at the 30th Summer University Games in Italy. She had clocked 11.23 in the 100m event to clinch the gold medal. Meanwhile, Hima Das became India's new Golden Girl after she won five successive golds in five different meets in a space of 20 days in July last year. 

Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami:

The two stalwarts have been the pioneer of Indian women's cricket. Mithali, the captain of Indian ODI team, is the highest run-getter in women's cricket across formats and the first to surpass the 6000-run mark in ODIs. And in 2018, during the World T20 in West Indies, she became the first Indian, male or female, to amass 2000 runs in the format. Jhulan, on the other hand, is widely regarded as one of the fastest bowlers in women's cricket. She is also the first player to take 200 ODI wickets. Both have retired from T20I cricket.

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