The year 2019 has been a breakthrough year when it comes to women’s participation in sports in India. It has been raining gold for Indian women athletes when it comes to winning championships for the country. The historic triumphs by Indian Sports Women have left behind a lasting legacy for future generations. Here’s a look at some of the top Indian women athletes who have made the nation proud of their invaluable contribution in the world of sports inspiring millions of youth girls in the process.
Hima Das – Five Successive Gold Medals in 3 Weeks
Hima Das is one of the top Indian female track athletes out there. Within a span of just three weeks in the month of July in 2019 Hima Das was unstoppable as she went on to win five successive gold medals for India in different racing events held across Poland and Czech Republic. The five racing events were Poznan Athletics Grand Prix, Poland (200m), Kutno Atletics Meet, Poland (200m), Kladno Athletics Meet, Czech Republic (200m), Tabor Athletic Meet, Czech Republic (200m) and Nove Maesto Metuji Grand Prix, Prague (400m).
Sprinter Hima Das is also the first Indian women to win gold at the IAAF World under 20 Athletics Championships held in Tampere. The 18 year old athlete hails from a small village called Dhing in the Nagaon District of Assam. Daughter of a small rice farmer – Hima Das had to undergo a lot of financial struggle during her youth. Today, she earns around 30-35 lakh for every brand endorsement she does. Last year, Hima Das made it to the Forbes India’s 30 Under 30 list. She has recently been appointed as the country’s first youth ambassador to the United Nation’s UNICEF, India programme.
Mary Kom – Most Successful Boxer in the History of World Championship
Mary Kom came into the attention of the Indian public sphere back in 2012, when she won the Bronze medal in the 2012 London Olympics and overnight became the most famous Indian athlete in Olympics. Since, then Mary Kom has not looked back and became the most successful boxer in the World Championship history. Mary Kom became the first ever boxer in the history of World Championship when she won eight straight World Meet gold medals.
Mother of three children, the Manipuri athlete bagged the bronze medal last November in the 51Kg category adding to her tally of six straight gold medals and a silver medal. This feat made her the most successful boxer in the history of the sports for both man and woman combined. The six time boxing champion also made it through to the Olympics by beating Nikhat Zareen in the qualifiers.
PV Sindhu – First Indian Women to Win World Badminton Championship
PV Sindhu is considered as the golden girl of Indian Badminton. She had already made the nation proud when she became the first Indian woman Badminton player to win a medal in the Olympics and stand in the podium as she won the silver medal in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She had been knocking at the door ever since the Rio Olympics of 2016, and received silver medals in the World Badminton Championships which were held in the year 2017 and 2018, eluding her from the gold medal on both the occasion. However, last year she finally broke the deadlock by winning the gold medal at the World Badminton Championship becoming the first Indian women to win the tournament.
PV Sindhu is ranked 13th among the highest paid female athletes in the world. She is also India’s highest paid woman athlete. The Hyderabad based athlete is earning Rs 35 Crores every year. PV Sindhu is one of the favourites going into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the nation is counting her to win another medal in this year’s Olympics.
Shafali Verma – 15 Year old Cricketing Sensation
Inspired by Sachin Tendulkar’s brilliant performances, Shafali Verma stepped into the world of International Women’s Cricket at the tender age of 15 when she was being asked to fill in the boots of Mithali Raj after she announced her retirement from T20 Internationals.
So far Shafali Verma has proved to be more than a worthy successor when she recently surpassed her idol Sachin Tendulkar’s record of being the youngest cricketer to score a half-century in International cricket. The Rohtak , Haryana born teenager was selected into the Indian squad off the back of a very successful domestic season where she managed to score more than 1900 runs. At the age of 15, Shafali has already cemented her place in the Indian batting line-up. Known for her uncompromising hard hitting style of play both Mithali Raj and England batswoman Danillie Wyat have praised her , with the latter calling her as “ a superstar in the making”. Shafali Verma is on the right track to become one of the most famous Indian sports players.
Dutee Chand – First Indian Women to Win 100m Race at a Global Event
Dutee Chand is a national record holder and she is considered the fastest Indian woman. Last year in the month of July, she became the first Indian woman to clinch a gold medal in a global sprint event the 100m track race at the 30th Summer University Games in Napoli, Italy. Later, in the month of August she won another gold medal in the 100m event of the 5th Indian Gran Prix. Dutee Chand surpassed her own sprint record in the 23rd Asian Athletics Championships held in Doha in 2019.
Dutee Chand has re-written history by being the first Indian woman in 36 years to have qualified to take part in a sprint event at the Olympics. Dutee Chand’s story is an extraordinary one in the history of India. The Orissa born athlete was born in a family that struggled to go above the poverty line and now the entire nation will be praying for her to clinch a medal in the upcoming Tokyo 2020 Olympics.