In line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call of “Beti Bachao”, Indian sports have come out of it and witnessed a sea change with more and more sportswomen making the country proud with their achievements.
Here is a list of female sportsperson who had brought immense glory to the country.
- MITHALI RAJ (CRICKET)
Indian skipper Mithali Raj created history when she became the first woman to cross the 5000 runs milestone in One-Day Internationals. Mithali also became the second highest run getter of all time in women’s cricket.
She was awarded the prestigious Padma Shri award in January 2015 for her contribution in the cricket.
- HEENA SINDHU (AIR PISTOL)
The former world number one lived up to the billing when she bagged the gold medal in women’s 10m air pistol event in 2015 Asian Air Gun Championships in New Delhi.
- DEEPIKA KUMARI (ARCHERY)
In 2015, Deepika’s first medal came at the second stage of the Archery World Cup, where she won a bronze in the individual event. The latter half of the year saw her winning the Silver Medal in 2015 Archery World Cup final.
She was bestowed with the Arjuna Award, India’s second highest sporting award in the year 2012 by President of India Pranab Mukherjee.
- SAINA NEHWAL (BADMINTON)
The Ace champion won the 2015 India Open Grand Prix Gold by defeating Spain’s Carolina Marin in the final. She became the first Indian woman shuttler to reach the finals of All England Open Badminton Championship but lost to Carolina in the final. She became World number 1 after she won her maiden women’s singles title at the India OpenBWF Super Series and was finally declared the first Indian women’s player to be World No.1 in badminton.
- JOSHNA CHINAPPA (SQUASH)
Veteran Joshna Chinappa made a record after she became the highest ranked Indian in the world professional squash circuit in 2015.
She won the 2015 Women’s Victorian Open Melbourne after upstaging the second seed Line Hansen to win the title.
- SANIA MIRZA (TENNIS)
Currently ranked number 1 in women’s doubles, India’s tennis sensation Sania Mirza won a plethora of trophies in 2015. Sania Mirza partnered with Martina Hingis and became the first Indian player to win women’s doubles Grand Slam title in Wimbledon 2015. She also became the second tennis player to receive the country’s highest sporting honour – Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. She also won Sydney International (Sydney) with American Bethanie Mattek-Sands. With Swiss Martina Hingis she also won Indian Wells Masters (Indian Wells), Miami open, Family Circle Cup (Charleston), US Open (New York), Guangzhou International Women’s Open (Guangzhou), Wuhan Open (Wuhan), China Open (Beijing) and WTA Finals (Singapore) in 2015.
Throughout her career, Mirza has established herself as the most successful female Indian tennis player ever and one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in the country.
- DIPA KARMAKAR: THE GOLDEN GIRL (GYMNASTICS)
This golden girl of Tripura became the first Indian to participate in the finals of World Gymnastics Championship and scored 14.900 points in the women’s vault qualification in the World Gymnastics Championships 2015 in Glasgow followed by a women’s vault bronze medal which she clinched at the Asian Championships 2015 held in Hiroshima, Japan. She received the prestigious Arjuna award for her achievements.
- LALITA BABAR (ATHLETICS)
Lalita Babar, the Maharashtra athlete, bagged a gold medal in the women’s 3000m
steeplechase in the National Open Championship and created a new record by clocking in 9 hours, 39 minutes breaking the previous record of 10 hours, 8 minutes set by Sudha Singh. Lalita is the first Indian who smashed her own national record and qualified for the women’s 3000m steeplechase final in the World Athletics Championships.
- DEBORAH HEROLD (CYCLING)
Deborah made history in 2015 when she became the first cyclist from India to attain world ranking as high as four, achieving it in the 500m Time Trial event. This fast rising name in the world cycling charts further added to her growing accolades by winning three medals (one gold and two silver) at the Track Asia Cup in the Capital last month.
10. ARUNIMA SINHA (MOUNTAINEER)
Arunima Sinha is the first female amputee to climb Mount Everest. Losing her leg in a train accident did not deter this mountaineer who is also the first Indian amputee to climb Mount Everest.
This former national volleyball player has written a book “Born again on the mountain”, launched by Prime minister of India Narendra Modi in December 2014.
She was awarded Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award of India, in 2015.
(Image courtesy: scoopwhoop.com)