India may be no China or USA or Russia whose women athletes get a lot of medals in the Olympics, but this year we have made a start. A positive one at that. Our expectations of 8-10 Olympic medals this year may seem unrealistic, but they were not based on thin-air. What’s different this year is, almost half of the projected medals are expected from Indian women. Irrespective of whether they achieve the Olympic medals or not, they will surely end up being an inspiration to millions of women back home as they have already earned the status of ‘world-beaters’.
M C Mary Kom
MC Mary Kom is a successful woman boxer from Manipur, India. She has won the gold medal in women’s world boxing championships 5 times and is currently ranked no. 4 in the 51 Kg women’s boxing category by the AIBA. She was called ‘Magnificent Mary’, as she came back from a two-year sabbatical to win her fourth world boxing championship. She was one of the three AIBA boxing brand ambassadors in 2009. She was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Padma Shree and Arjuna awards by the Government. What makes her a legend, is the fact that she is able to practice, qualify and participate in the 2012 London Olympics in spite of being a mother of twin boys.
Know more/Source: Wikipedia page on Mary Kom.
Born in Ranchi, Jharkhand, India’s Deepika Kumari is the current world no. 1 in the women’s recurve archery event. She recently won the women’s world cup individual recurve gold medal (May 2012) and won the gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth games, both in the individual events & team events. She also won the bronze medal in the team event at the Asian games held in the same year. This Olympics, along with Laishram Bombayla Devi and Chekrovolu Swuro, one medal was expected from women’s archery in the team/individual events but we lost in both. No problem, there are more Olympics to come 🙂
Read more/Source: Wikipedia page on Deepika Kumari.
I am sure the whole of India knows Saina Nehwal and is proud of her achievements in Badminton. With a career best ranking of World No. 2, she has won the Swiss Open Grand Prix, Thailand Open Grand Prix and Indonesian Open Super Series Premier events in 2012 alone (so far). She has already sailed through to the Semi Finals of the 2012 London Olympics (as I write this). Except the World No.1 player (whom she will be playing next), she has defeated the other top-ranked Chinese players recently. Four players & three medals: Go for it, Saina! 🙂 Update: Bronze medal, Yaayyyyyy 😀
Read more/Source: Wikipedia page on Saina Nehwal.
Ashwini Ponnappa/Jwala Gutta won the gold medal in women’s doubles (badminton) at the 2010 Commonwealth games & bronze medal at the 2011 World Championships. Even though they lost in the Olympics, a surprise medal from them was never ruled out.
By winning the gold medal in the Discuss throw event of the 2010 Commonwealth Games, she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in the field & track (athletic) events at the Commonwealth games. She won a bronze medal in the 2006 Asian games and finished 10th in the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (Update: 7th place. Still good!) What makes these achievements more significant is, she is married and has an 8-year-old son. Even though it might be difficult to expect an Olympic medal, I am sure she is an inspiration to all those aspiring women-athletes out there. Come on women, we need more Krishna’s in every athletic event!
Read more/Source: Wikipedia page on Krishna Poonia.
Did you know that Sania Mirza has won Tennis singles matches against former world no. 1 players like Martina Hingis and Dinara Safina? She has also won silver medals in the 2010 Commonwealth games & 2010/2006 Asian games. Her career best rank of 27 in singles has been overshadowed by her achievements in Tennis doubles/mixed-doubles. She has won two Mixed-Doubles Grand slam titles (most recently in French Open 2012, partnering Mahesh Bhupathi) and was the runner-up in two more. Can we expect one Olympic medal in Mixed-Doubles event with Leander Paes? Let’s hope for the best 🙂
Read more/source: Wikipedia page on Sania Mirza.