We are eagerly waiting for the Commonwealth Games 2018 to start at the Carrara Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia as the country’s best sportswomen have taken the challenge to break the glass-ceiling, making their names worth counting for the Yellow medals!
The Indian contingent feels strong with 225-members for the quadrennial games. A recent statistic showed a rise in participation of Indian women athletes this year. While 40% women played in 2014, this year the number has gone up to 47% women. History witnessed Indian athletes stepping milestones on those podiums. And, this year, expectantly, would be no different!
Here are few Indian women who are challenging the world in one of the biggest stages.
The flag-bearer from the country for the opening ceremony, Olympic Silver Medallist PV Sindhu gives us high hopes of at least one medal in the singles. Among all Indian contingent Sindhu is the frontier player. Tipped as the favourite in women’s singles, she stunned all her opponents to bag the top place in this season. The 22-year-old’s performance was outstanding at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, where she clinched a bronze four years ago. Even though the young Indian shuttler faced a loss in a semi-final at the prestigious All-England Championships, she is still India’s biggest hope this year.
Facing the competition such as Michelle Li and Kristy Glamour who won the gold and silver medal respectively in the previous edition of the Commonwealth Games, would be challenging. But Sindhu rose from being a young athlete to an Olympic silver medalist in the past two years and that’s the degree of up surging India needs right now.
No introduction needed for this glorious wrestler. Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik would be competing in the 62kg weight category.
A silver medallist at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, and the bronze medal winner at the 2015 Asian Wrestling Championships in Doha, Malik had an overall easy season. Two years later at the Rio Olympics, she became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a medal. A big responsibility rests on Sakshi’s shoulder as far as wrestling is concerned. In 2017, she bagged a gold at the Commonwealth World Championships but knocked out in the first round of the World Wrestling Championship. Malik had been away from the podium for a while now. We will be looking forward to her Gold Coast quest.
Another star name. Olympic bronze medallist and five-time world champion MC Mary Kom — also the country’s only woman boxer with an Olympic medal (bronze, London 2012 Games) — took up the mission with full gusto and is going to start her campaign at CWG among youngsters in sports. The 35-year-old and the mother of three recently won the gold medal at the Asian Boxing Championships in Ho Chi Minh City.
A five-time world and Asian champion, “Magnificent Mary” is back to show the world what an experienced player can do. One final time, she would be trying to fill up the gap since her medal tally so far misses a Commonwealth Games medal.
When she returned to competitive boxing last year, she regained her title of Asian champion by beating Hyang Mi Kim in the 48kg final to claim her fifth gold medal at the Asian Boxing Championships. Even though knees have weakened but one of our favourites’ determinations still remains same for the CWG.
The Olympic bronze medallist, shuttler Saina Nehwal might not be the favourite but the Hyderabad shuttler still is one of the best hope India could count on. She may have been injured, misfortuned and defeated but the premier female badminton player says what difference does it make. She is enthused more than ever and without a doubt is a medal hope for the country.
In the past months, Saina has been training rigorously and remains in a best form possible to conquest the gold. In 2017, she won a bronze medal at the World Championships, a Grand Prix Gold and her third national title (where she beat Sindhu 21-17, 27-25 in the final).
Indian Women’s Hockey Team
And last but not the least, the Indian Women’s Hockey Team, who after winning the trophy at the recently concluded Asia Cup, is being recognized as India’s best sport stars squad to clinch a medal for the country.
Winning the Asia Cup 2017, has put the must-needed spotlight on women’s team. Rani Rampal and the girls knows that the expectations are high.