Indian women sportspersons are more popular today than ever and breaking the glass ceiling with their incredible records. Despite being dragged into sexist controversies, female athletes continue to break barriers in many sports, and they do know how to kick ass in the so-called men’s sports.
Here is a list of women in sport who broke records in 2018 and we are in sheer awe.
The backbone of the Indian women’s cricket team, the 35-year-old right-handed batswoman Mithali Raj in June became the first Indian cricketer to score 2000 runs in Twenty20 Internationals (T20I), beating Virat Kohli in the race. She achieved the feat at the Women’s T20 Asia Cup match against Sri Lanka.
Later, as the Indian women’s cricket team performed brilliantly in India A, defeating their Australian counterparts by 28 runs to take a winning 2-0 lead in the three-match T20 series, the veteran again set a new record with her unbeaten hundred. She slammed the highest score by an Indian woman in T20s. Mithali even surpassed Smriti Mandhana’s record of 102 achieved in the Kia Super League earlier this year.
Mithali has played 85 T20Is for India and has scored 2288 runs. She averages more than 50 in both the Test and ODI formats
Star Sprinter Hima Das is the first Indian woman to win a gold at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships, in Tampere, Finland this year. During the track events, the sprinter earned India’s first-ever gold, clocking 51.46 seconds in the 400-metre women’s final.
The 18-year-old athlete from Assam was also a debutante in the Asiad, where she created record by winning gold in 4x400m women’s relay and was among the 20 recipients of the prestigious Arjuna award this year.
Hima also showed a brilliant performance at the 21st Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast in April this year when she qualified for the final of the women’s 400m event, registering a personal best of 51.53 seconds timing. Thus, she became the first Indian woman to qualify for an athletic track CWG final. Unfortunately, she finished sixth in the final.
Securing India’s first gold medal at CWG, weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu broke six records in six lifts to finish first in the women’s 48 kg category with a combined effort of 196 kg! World Champion Chanu lifted more than double her body weight, claiming her second CWG medal, following a silver in Glasgow four years ago.
Proud moment for India! pic.twitter.com/eViPI4XFYK
— SheThePeople (@SheThePeople) April 5, 2018
Barman is the first-ever gold medallist in the women’s heptathlon in Asian Games 2018. She recorded a personal best of 50.63m in the javelin throw. The Heptathlon is a mix of seven events — 100m, High Jump, 200m, Shot Put, Javelin Throw, Long Jump, and 800m. This is the first ever gold medal for India in Heptathlon at Asiad and she is only the fifth woman to cross 6000 points!
The 16-year-old shooting prodigy, Manu Bhaker, won the women’s 10m air pistol gold medal at the CWG 2018. Prior to that, she won two gold medals at the International Shooting Sport Federation (ISSF) World Cup. At her maiden senior World Cup, she became the new sensation in pistol shooting. She won the women’s air pistol gold at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Suhl, Germany, becoming the youngest Indian to win a gold medal at the event.
MC Mary Kom has ended her year with brilliant punches. She won gold at prestigious events — the Commonwealth Games, India Open Boxing Tournament and now the World Championships. With the latest feat, Kom has created history by becoming the most successful woman boxer at the World Championships — having clinched six gold medals at the event. The 35-year-old has surpassed Katie Taylor’s tally of five world titles and equalled Cuba’s Felix Savon as the most successful boxer (men and women’s boxing combined) in the history of World Championship. No other woman boxer has done it before.
22-year-old Manika Batra‘s historic feat at the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast and the recent Asian Games performance has given her a new stardom. She has become the first Indian ever to win a ‘Breakthrough Table Tennis Star’ award at the prestigious International Table Tennis Federation (ITTF) Star Awards in Incheon, South Korea, on Dec 12.
Thank you @ittfworld for acknowledging my efforts and giving me the Breakthrough Star Award 2018. Thanks to @sandeepgupta_tt @MorSubodh @ttfitweet @Media_SAI @IndiaSports @IndianOilcl, my family and all well-wishers for all the support. I will continue to keep striving forward🙏 pic.twitter.com/NxCL9fIhuL
— Manika Batra (@manikabatra_TT) December 12, 2018
She scripted history as the first Indian woman to bag the gold medal in table tennis singles final at the CWG. She won four medals in the Commonwealth Games and two of them are gold. In latest, the Delhi girl claimed women’s title in National Ranking tournament on Tuesday (July 10).
This spectacular woman made India proud again when clinched the gold medal in the vault event of FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup at Mersin, Turkey, in July for her first medal after returning to action following a long break of nearly two years. The first Indian woman Gymnast at Olympics 2016 Dipa Karmakar has her first medal in a World Challenge Cup.
Back with a bang and a 🥇#DipaKarmakar is the stuff champions are made of! After battling an injury for the past 2 yrs, she makes a heroic comeback by clinching her first 🥇in the Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Turkey! Many Congratulations to her👏👏for making 🇮🇳 proud! pic.twitter.com/cylNEBlfkA
— Col Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) July 8, 2018
The Captain of the Indian women’s cricket team in T20 notched up her maiden T20I century during a Group B match against New Zealand in the ICC Women’s World T20 in November, becoming the first Indian player to score a T20I hundred in women’s cricket.
History was made when some of the country’s best shuttlers — Ashwini Ponnappa, Satwik Rankireddy, Kidambi Srikanth and Saina Nehwal — gave India its maiden mixed team gold medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games on April 9. What drew our attention the most is that it was Saina Nehwal who shone with a perfectly-timed performance. She led the team to clinch its first gold against Malaysia.
It is the country’s first celebratory mixed team badminton gold at any edition of the CWG
— BAI Media (@BAI_Media) April 8, 2018
Young wrestler Vinesh Phogat clinched a gold medal in the 50 kg freestyle at the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia in August and thus became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal in the Asian Games 2018.
— Doordarshan Sports (@ddsportschannel) August 20, 2018
Before heading off to the Asian Games, she bagged gold at the Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid in July. Vinesh won the gold medal in the women’s freestyle 50kg category and dominated the stage, conceding just one point in five bouts. Vinesh also won gold medals in Gold Coast Commonwealth Games this year.
Sindhu made history on Sunday when she became the first Indian to win the season-ending BWF World Tour Finals tournament. Avenging the disappointments throughout the year Sindhu fought a rather critical game of her life and won in the final for her first title of the year. She has suffered numerous heartbreaks in finals of tournaments in recent years but ended the year with a bang, silencing the critiques!
— BWF (@bwfmedia) December 16, 2018
We’re proud of you girls!