11 Indian Sportspersons who made a mark in 2016
2016 was a fabulous year for Indian sportspersons and Indian sports. Few determined individuals stepped up and performed exceptionally well for India in toughest international competitions.
What’s noteworthy is that many achieved this despite lacking world-class support, training or facilities.
Know about such Indian sportspersons and their achievements in 2016 here.
1. Sakshi Malik
Sakshi Malik was the first among Indian sportspersons of 2016 to grab headlines. India has a poor history with regards to Olympics. But Sakshi brought smiles across India by becoming the first ever Indian woman to win a medal in wrestling at the Rio De Janeiro Olympics. More importantly, she won the bronze at a young age of 23 and in her first ever Olympics.
2. PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu became the youngest Indian to win individual medal by clinching silver medal in Rio De Janeiro. Although she lost the final to Carolina Marin of Spain, Sindhu won millions of Indian heart with her gutsy run to the final. She is also the first Indian woman to win silver medal at the Olympics.
Most notably, Indian sportspersons gave their best ever performance in Paralympics too!
3. Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajharia won the gold medal and set a new World Record in javelin throw (F-46 category). He is first among all Indian sportspersons to win two gold medals in the same event in two different Paralympics!
Two Indian sportspersons won top honors in men’s high jump (T-42 category).
4. Mariyappan Thangavelu
This village boy from Tamil Nadu’s Salem district won gold medal. He had met with an accident which left him crippled at the tender age of 5. This champion donated 30 lakh from his prize money to the government school where he had studied.
5. Varun Singh Bhati
Varun clinched the bronze in the same category overcoming severely handicapped left leg. He was severely disabled but managed a superlative performance.
6. Deepa Malik
Deepa Malik displayed great class by becoming the first Indian female Paralympian to win a medal at the Paralympics in 2016. She clinched silver medal in shot put in women’s F53 category. She was also the oldest Indian in the Paralympics at 45 years.
7. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has more than filled the gap after exit of India’s top sportspersons from cricket. With a phenomenal personal performance in 2016, he stood out among many world cricketers. His performance consistency across all three formats of cricket made him the new golden boy of Indian cricket.
8. Ravichandra Ashwin
R. Ashwin became only the third Indian cricketer to become ICC Cricketer of the Year. He follows in the footsteps of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar who got this rare honour in 2004 and 2010 respectively. His record this year speaks volumes. He also won ICC Test Player of the Year award.
9. Indian Test Cricket Team
Indian cricket team too ended 2016 bagging the 1st position in ICC Test Rankings under Virat Kohli. It was a rare and inspired performance from a relatively new set of players.
10. Indian Kabaddi Team
The Indian sportspersons of Kabaddi team made India extremely proud by winning the 2016 Kabaddi World Cup. They beat Iran in a thrilling final in front of home crowd in Ahmedabad city. This is the third consecutive World Cup win in Kabaddi for India.
11. Indian Junior Hockey Team
Indian Junior Hockey Team was the most deserving Indian sportspersons of 2016 by virtue of winning the Junior World Cup. Led by an inspiring captain in form of Harjeet Singh, team also had won the Asia Cup Tournament earlier.
Truly, Indian sportspersons cemented India’s position as a sporting powerhouse. Although we have a long way to go, the future certainly looks promising!