2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, surprisingly saw almost an almost equal number of women and men medal winners. Since the last decade, Indian sportswomen have advanced substantially. Where in the 2010 Asian Games women won 20 of 65 medals (30.77%) and fared an almost equal percentage in 2006 Asian Games; this year the percentage was 47.37% (27 out of 57 medals.)


Live mint points out that: “contribution is made even more remarkable by the fact that women have historically had access to poorer infrastructure, training and other facilities, when compared with men.” Indian women won two gold medals, in track and field events, where men won none. In boxing too, women out performed men by winning three medals, including India’s first gold in boxing, where men won two.


The 4×400 women’s relay team set a new Games Record at Incheon this year. The win was even more special to the team because at the last Asian Games, the team had been banned for testing positive for performance enhancing drugs. Mandeep Kaur one of members of the relay team told Live mint, “Look at the odds we had to fight to win this medal. We had no coaches, nowhere to train. Where will the next relay team come from if things stay the same?”


[Picture Courtesy: Indian Express]

Mary Kom who won India’s first gold in boxing at the games, feels similarly. She says, “We have been poor in sports for a very long time, and we say our focus is on improvement… Then we should improve many times over every four years. Have we done that? No.”


Still Indian women shined at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon. Female stars like Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Saina Nehwal, Geeta Phogat have all made the country extremely proud of their women sportspersons.