Indian sportswomen did the nation proud by winning medals at various international events in 2018. Mary Kom, Hima Das, Dutee Chand, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Manika Batra and others hogged the limelight
Twenty-eighteen has been an eventful year for Indian sports as the country made an impressive mark at the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games. Behind the nation’s success, Indian sportswomen emerged as the real heroes. From Hima ‘Dhing Express’ Das to ‘Magnificent’ Mary Kom, here’s a look at the achievements of 12 women athletes who waved the tricolour high in 2018.
Indian sprint sensation Hima Das won India's first-ever gold medal in track events at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland when she recorded a time of 51.46 seconds in the 400m race, this July.
She then bagged a gold and two silver at the Asian Games in Jakarta. She currently holds the Indian national record of 51.00 seconds which she clocked at the Asiad to qualify for the 400 metre final and clocked 50.79 secs thereafter to bag silver. She went on to win another silver in the mixed 4x400m relay and bagged a gold in the women's 4x400m relay.
Das was appointed as UNICEF India's first-ever Youth Ambassador. She will work towards creating awareness among youths and help in the development of children in India.
2018 saw Pusarla Venkata Sindhu become the first-ever Indian to win a silver medal in women's singles badminton event at the Asian Games 2018. She won the season-ending BWF world tour finals and became the first-ever Indian to do so. Sindhu is ranked 7th in the Forbes list of Highest Paid Female Athletes of 2018 (between June, 2017 and June, 2018).
Bengal’s Swapna Barman became the first-ever Indian sportsperson to win a gold medal in Heptathlon in the Asian Games.
Barman, the daughter of a rickshaw-puller, scored 6,026 points in heptathlon, a seven-event competition. This is also her personal best. She also crossed a total of 6,000 points in the heptathlon event and became the fifth woman ever to achieve this.
The 36-year-old mother-of-three, who is also a Parliamentarian, picked up four gold medals — including a record sixth world title and the CWG top honours. Boxer MC Mary Kom scripted history by winning her sixth world title, making her the most successful boxer in the tournament's history.
Sprinter Dutee Chand did the nation proud as she won her second medal at the Asian Games in Indonesia. It was a double-silver for Dutee in her maiden Asiad as she finished second in the 200m dash. It has been a remarkable comeback to the sport for the 22-year-old Dutee after she was suspended by the IAAF in 2014 under the global athletics body's hyperandrogenism policy. The Odisha girl went to the Court of Arbitration of Sports (CAS) and won to return to the track.
Aditi Ashok record her best-ever finish in a Major as she ended her campaign at tied-22nd in the Ricoh Women's British Open in England. Aditi's previous best at a Major was tied-29 at the 2017 Women's PGA Championships. The Bengaluru girl has made cuts in ANA Inspiration with a best of T-42, while missing the weekend action at the US Women's Open and Evian Championships. She also delivered her career-best performance in an LPGA Major Championship in the Evian Championship, held in France.
Rani Rampal led the Indian women’s hockey team to the final in the Asian Games. She and her team bagged the silver and paved the way for more women to join the sport and provided a much-needed representation in the industry.
Vinesh Phogat became the first woman to win a gold medal in wrestling for India at the Asian Games. Vinesh had been a bronze medal-winner in the 48kg category at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. She had won back-to-back gold medals in the Commonwealth Games as well, at Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018. She suffered an intense knee injury two years back, which paved her way out of the Rio games, 2016 by cutting her campaign short. What followed later is no less than an inspiring story.
In 2018, Saina Nehwal defeated PV Sindhu to clinch a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games 2018 in women's singles category. She became the first-ever Indian shuttler to have two gold medals in badminton singles category at the Commonwealth Games.
In the Asian Games, Saina bagged a bronze medal in the women’s singles category.
Dipa Karmakar won gold at the vault event in the FIG Artistics Gymnastics World Challenge Cup hosted in Turkey. She was the first gymnast to win the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2016.
In the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, Harmanpreet became the first Indian woman to hit a ton in T20Is.
Team India, led by Harmanpreet, defeated Australia by 48 runs in their last Group B encounter and made it to the semi-finals of the World T20 in the West Indies.
Manika Batra became the first Indian table tennis player to be decorated with the 'Breakthrough Table Tennis Star' award at the prestigious International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Awards in Incheon.
Manika started the year on a high at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, guiding India to its first-ever gold medal in the women's team category. She bagged another gold in the women's singles category, defeating former World No 4 Feng Tianwei. She added two more medals to her kitty by winning silver in the women's doubles and bronze in the mixed doubles categories. Manika also reached her career-best ranking of 52 in 2018 and became India's highest ranked female player.
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Last Updated Jan 1, 2019, 11:47 AM IST