Are women re-scripting India’s sports history? 2017 has marked a wave of superheroes in sports. Most of the memories have women at the centre of them. The year wasn't limited to cricket, but expanded its boundaries. Every sportswoman had her moments.
Here we bring you a list of those fantastic sporting stunts from 2017 that India is proud of.
When Mithali Raj and team set new hopes in the Women’s World Cup
The women in blue were up against England on July 23 at the iconic Lord’s in the semi-final of the Women’s cricket World Cup. Fans were glued to the TV set. Even though the team failed to lift the World Cup they emerged as champions. The Indian women cricketers are being recognized as the country’s new cricket heroes. The game generated a buzz and the match became a life-changing moment and thus creating a profile for the women’s game in India.
Super proud of the girls. Tough luck today but womens cricket in India has truly arrived. Thank you girls .Salute your spirit.#WWC17Final— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) July 23, 2017
When PV Sindhu shone in the World Championship finals in Glasgow
‘Sindhu… Sindhu… Sindhu’. That was the chant all the way. The star shuttler from Hyderabad played outstandingly this year. However, her silver at the Glasgow World Championships stands out. The Olympic Silver Medallist PV Sindhu lost the top spot but won hearts, producing an astounding point of 73 shots. In the final, she faced off Japanese shuttler Nozomi Okuhara, in a balanced game. They both had a stunning 110-minute marathon battle, which finally set the opponent to having won the clash.
This year, overall, was a well-balanced scorecard for the shuttler. Fans witnessed a few of her greatest matches in history.
When Mirabai Chanu wins gold in the Weightlifting World Championships
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu ended India's 22 years long medal drought by winning a gold in the Weightlifting World Championships. She became the first Indian in over two decades to win a medal. She is also the second Indian to win a gold medal at the event, legendary Karnam Malleswari being the first. Mirabai marked a new National record of 194 kg – 85 in the snatch and 109 in clean and jerk in the women’s 48 kg category. Chanu, who works for the Indian Railways, earned India its first medal at the World Championships since 1995. In September, Chanu clinched gold at the Commonwealth Senior weightlifting championships held in Australia, thus earning a direct entry to next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu wins #Gold in 2017 IWF Senior Men & Women #weightlifting championships in Anaheim, USA.— Col Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) November 30, 2017
In the 48 kg weight category, her total lift was 194 kg. That's 4 times her bodyweight.
In sports, and in life, 'Will' is everything. Never, EVER give up.#KheloIndia pic.twitter.com/sbs2crloVv
Mary Kom clinched her 5th Gold medal at the Asian Boxing Championships
“Magnificent Mary” is not ready to hang her gloves yet. The star showed the power of punches and clinched the gold medal in the Asian Boxing Championships. Olympic bronze medallist and five-time world champion MC Mary Kom landed a number of blows, stood strong and overpowered her opponent.
She was disqualified from the 2016 Rio Olympics, but this tournament is a reminder that there’s still fire in the legendary boxer’s belly. This is Kom’s first international gold medal since the 2014 Asian Games.
Following the win, she became the first Indian woman boxer to win gold in the Women’s Flyweight (51 kg) category. It is also her first medal in over a year and sixth medal in the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships.
Congratulations 'Magnificent Mary' ??— Doordarshan News (@DDNewsLive) November 8, 2017
Five-time world champion #MaryKom wins Gold medal ?at the #AsianBoxingChampionships beating North Korea’s Hyang Mi Kim in the 48 kg final #ASBC2017Women pic.twitter.com/LWdxJBuFed
When Indian Women's Hockey Team silenced China in the Asia Cup
The real life ‘Chak De’ girls broke the news with a stunning save and clinched the title, and the country went gushing. Thus, securing qualification for the 2018 World Cup. Captain Rani Rampal‘s team ended a 13-year-old jinx. And the whole nation cheered on for the Indian women’s hockey team, celebrating an astonishing win over China. The Indian women’s team had brought home the Asia Cup title last in 2004 by defeating Japan 1-0 in the decider.
When Swimmer Kanchanmala Pande won Gold At World Para-Swimming Championship
Swimmer Kanchanmala Pande is visually impaired, but that did not stop her from scripting history. In December, the Maharashtra athlete became the first Indian to win gold at the World Para-Swimming Championship in Mexico. An employee at Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Pande came first in the in 200 metre medley event in S-11 category. Pande, who hails from Amravati, is the only Indian swimmer to qualify in the women’s category. Back in July, the 26-year-old para-athlete showed her incredible performance at the IDM Berlin Para-Swimming Championship. Thus, she got selected in the Indian squad.
#VictoryCeremony | Kanchanmala Pande wins #Gold in 200m individual medley (S-11) at the #World para #Swimming c'ship held at #Mexico from 2 - 8 Dec'17. Congratulations to the star para-swimmer. Well done for the magnificent performance! #SAI 🇮🇳🥇🏊♀️ https://t.co/fr4jnXqIjj— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) December 7, 2017
When a Stone-pelter became the Captain of J&K Women’s Football Team
Afshan Ashiq — the girl from Kashmir once infamous as a stone-pelter -- now is the captain of Jammu and Kashmir’s women’s football team. Once known as an irate student leader, today she is the poster girl for every football fan in Jammu and Kashmir. The 21-year-old Afshan has come a long way and now is at the center stage of a dream career. Once her picture went viral in the national media as a stone pelter. Currently, the captain guards the goalpost tenaciously and believes that miracles do happen in life.
Met the young and energetic girls of J&K’s first ever women football team. They are highly motivated & driven when it comes to football. Playing the role of new age ‘Gender Benders’ these girls are setting an example for others to follow. I wish them success and a great future. pic.twitter.com/3ZlMwhzkXm— Rajnath Singh (@rajnathsingh) December 5, 2017
When Indian Women’s Ice Hockey Team tastes First International Victory
One of the surprising entries in the list, the Indian Women’s Ice Hockey team created history in early this year by clinching its first victory ever in an international match. The women’s squad crushed the Philippines at the Challenge Cup of Asia, held in Bangkok.
The team’s determination to raise funds and the countless struggles to reach the international platform finally paid off with this massive triumph.
The team members are chipping in to participate in more such international tournaments. Last year, they lost in the Asia Cup in Taiwan, but were happy to participate in a professional rink for the first time.
When Wrestler Kavita Devi became First Indian Woman to Sign WWE Contract
Wrestler Kavita Devi, a participant in the WWE’s Mae Young classic tournament also scripted history. She became first Indian woman wrestler ever to be signed a WWE developmental contract. This was announced by WWE Champion Jinder Mahal during his recent India visit. Apart from wrestling, she won gold in power-lifting at the 2016 South Asian Games. Kavita was chosen after her incredible performance at the WWE Dubai tryout earlier this year in April.
When Kashmiri Women in Rugby Jerseys Stole Our Heart
Not many of us know this but in the snowy hills of Kashmir, girls are fearless defying all odds and kicking ass at rugby. The J&K Women’s Rugby team won hearts when emerged winners in the National Snow Rugby 7’s Championship 2017 held at Golf Course, Gulmarg. Every Sunday, the girls gather at the Gindun Sports stadium, without a fail, to show the world that there's nothing a woman can't do. The State’s Women’s Rugby team won the 3rd National Snow Rugby Championship held in Gulmarg in July.