Gone are the days when men used to dominate the sports field. Today, women are matching their men counterparts in the field of sport from feet to feet. Over the years, several female sports personalities have represented India on a global stage and made the country proud. On the occasion of International Women's Day, here are some of the Indian women that have excelled in sports.
The award winner of many national and international awards, Mithali Raj, has dominated women's cricket for over two decades. The 39-year old has captained India for a long time and has led the team to two World Cup finals in her reign. She is the all-time leading run-scorer in women's international cricket and the only female cricketer to reach 7,000 runs in one-day internationals. Raj also became the first player in ODI history to knock seven half-centuries in a row.
The government of India awarded her the Arjuna Award in 2003, the Padma Shri in 2015, and the Major Dhyanchand Khel Ratna in 2021. She also became the Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in 2017. She became the first player from India to register 2000 runs in T20Is and the first woman cricketer to achieve 2000 Women's T20I runs at the 2018 Women's 20-20 Asia Cup in June 2018. Raj retired from T20I cricket in September 2019 to focus on the 50-over format.
|2017||Youth Sports Icon of Excellence Award|
|2017||Vogue Sportsperson of the Year|
|2017||BBC 100 Women|
|2017||Wisden Leading Woman Cricketer in the World|
|2021||Khel Ratna Award|
Hyderabad born Indian star, PV Sindhu has done extremely well to reach the position of one of the world's best. Sindhu has represented the country in several international competitions, including the Olympics. She is the second Indian to win two straight Olympic medals in individual sports.
Sindhu has already received the Arjuna Honour, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, as well as the Padma Shri, India's fourth-highest civilian award. And now, she has also received the Padma Bhushan award.
|2016||Khel Ratna Award|
|2020||Padma Bhushan Award|
The most successful athlete in the history of Boxing, Mary Kom has been an inspiration for many aspiring players. Overcoming so many difficulties and problems in her life, she rose to glory and established herself as one of the very best. She made her mark on the world stage by capturing a silver medal at the World Boxing Championship in 2001. Mary Kom followed up with a gold medal in 2002, the first of six global titles she won over the years.
She also won a bronze medal, bringing her total medals to eight, more than any other boxer in history, men's or women's. This came in 2012 when she competed in the Olympics held in London. 2012 Olympics was one of the biggest wins for the 39-year old.
|2009||Khel Ratna Award|
|2013||Padma Bhushan Award|
|2020||Padma Vibhushan Award|
Avani Lehkara has not just made her name assertive in sports but also has never let paralysis come in her way. She has been a star for India in the Paralympics recently as she won multiple medals in Air Rifle shooting. At the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics, she won a gold medal in 10m air rifle standing and a bronze medal in 50m rifle 3 positions. She became the first Indian woman to win a Paralympic Gold medal.
She also competed in and won a gold medal in the 2020 Summer Paralympics. The young shooter equalled the world record and established a Paralympic record with a score of 249.6 points in the final event. For her achievements at a young age, she received a Khel Ratna Award in 2021 and Padma Shri Award in 2022 by the government of India.
|2021||Khel Ratna Award|
|2022||Padma Shri Award|
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu
India had a very successful run at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. And it all started with Mirabai Chanu winning the silver medal on the first day of the mega event. Her journey from the Rio Olympics in 2016 to the latest edition of the Olympics inspired many. She faced many issues with her injuries but overcame all of them to achieve this feat. In the 49 kg weight category, the Manipuri weightlifter won silver with a lift of 202 kg (87+115). (including both snatch and clean & jerk).
The 2016 Rio Olympics was a one to forget for Mirabai Chanu as she failed to lift a clean and jerk in three attempts. She bounced back the following year as she won medals at the World Championship and Commonwealth Games. She is the first weightlifter from India to win a silver medal in the Olympics.
|2018||Khel Ratna Award|