Indian Female athletes are astounding the world with their exemplary performances at Tokyo Olympics 2020. Battling financial problems, dearth of world-class infrastructure, gender stereotypes and taunts by society, these female sportspersons are leaving no stone unturned to put the country on the world map. Amidst the frenzy of winning medals at the ongoing Olympics, let's take a look at the six Indian female Olympic medalists and what they have achieved so far.
Karnam Malleswari, 2000
She won a bronze medal in the weightlifting 69kg women’s category of Sydney Olympics in 2000 and became the first ever Indian women to bag an Olympic medal. That was also India’s only medal in Sydney Olympics. Hailing from Andhra Pradesh, she was the first Indian woman weightlifter to win gold at the World Championships. In the 1990s, she had bagged medals in four consecutive world championships. She has now been appointed as the vice chancellor of the upcoming Delhi Sports University, as per sources.
Mary Kom , 2012
Boxer Mary Kom won a bronze medal in boxing in London 2012. With this, she became the first Indian woman boxer to bag a medal at the Games. She has been the face of Indian boxing for nearly two decades and believes in bettering her performance every year. She is the winner of the Arjuna award, Padmashri and Padma Bhushan. “An Olympic gold is what I am still dreaming. That remains an unfulfilled dream.”, she said in an interview. Unfortunately, she couldn't materialise her dream this year as she lost to Colombian Ingrit Valencia in the women's flyweight pre-quarterfinals.
Saina Nehwal, 2012
Badminton Player Saina Nehwal clinched a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Edition in London. This was Indian badminton's first ever success at Olympics. Born in Hisar district of Haryana, she is a former world no. 1 and has won over 24 international titles. This includes Superseries titles also. Unfortunately, she couldn't represent India at Tokyo Olympics this year. Her achievements and struggles were displayed in her biopic Saina released in March this year. Actor Parineeti Chopra was roped in to essay her character. Read why she is the Badminton icon for an entire nation
PV Sindhu, 2016
During Rio Olympics in 2016, Badminton player PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal in the Olympics. She was also the youngest Indian at that time to achieve the feat. She won a silver medal in women's singles after a nail-biting match against Spain's Carolina Marin. The country is looking forward to her semi-final clash against Chinese Taipei’s Tai Tzu-Ying today in Tokyo. Here's the diet she follows.
Sakshi Malik, 2016
In Rio Olympics 2016, Sakshi Malik scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She secured a bronze medal in the Women’s freestyle 58 kg category. Following her Olympic victory, She was declared the new ambassador for the Beti Bachao Beti Padhao campaign by CM Manohar Lal Khattar in 2016.
She is also the recipient of Padma Shri in 2017 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 2016. She has won medals in Asian Games and Commonwealth Games. She married Indian freestyle wrestler Satyawart Kadian in 2017.
Mirabai Chanu, 2020
India rejoiced when Indian Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu won a silver medal in the women’s 49kg category in the ongoing Tokyo Olympics 2020. She lost gold to China’s Zhihu Hou lifted 94kg. Her prowess of listing weights can be traced back to her childhood days when she would lift heavy bundle of firewood with utmost ease. Not only this, she would carry for two kilometres to take it home. This Manipuri athlete was also presented with the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 2018. Read more about her feat here.