India has won a lot of laurels and a big thanks goes to the consistent efforts of many magnificent ladies in the world of Sports.Time and again, these ladies have got India into the world map because of their fine contribution in their respective games. We salute some of them as they have indeed made us proud.
Koneru Hampi: The Grand Mistress
Game : Chess
Yes, she has indeed been a Grand mistress of the game of chess. This young woman from Gudivada, Andhra Pradesh has held the record of the youngest woman ever to become a grandmaster. She achieved this incredible feat at the tender age of fifteen, when most of the girls are still playing with dolls. The young woman is number two in the world of women’s chess only after Judith Polgar. She is the second female chess player in the world who has surpassed the 2600 Elo score.
In the year 2001, she kick started her winning spree by emerging triumphant in the “World Junior Girls Chess Championship”. After many interesting matches, victories, defeats and controversies, Humpy took part in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2009-2011 and achieved the second position by and large. She has received many prestigious awards like the Arjuna Award and The Padmashri.
Tania Sachdev: Beauty with Brains
Game : Chess
She has the beauty and she has the brains. Tania Sachdev holds the coveted title of International master and Woman grandmaster. This Delhi girl was initiated to the game of chess by none other than her mother Anju. This was merely done to control her fidgety nature and make her do something more productive.
Tania won her first international title at the tender age of eight. Now she has already conquered the world and Asian junior titles. She outdid others in the Asian Chess Championship in 2008 with six and a half points out of nine rounds. She was the second runner up in the 38th National Women’s Premier Chess Championship held in Chennai. She has also received the Arjuna Award. This young Viswanathan Anand fan has sure come a long way.
Tejaswini Sawant: Right on the Bull’s Eye
Game : Shooting
Tejaswini Sawant is an ace shooter, belonging to the city of Kolhapure in Maharashtra. Born in a Maratha family, she has represented India in the 9th South Asian Sports Federation games, held in Islamabad in 2004. She has assisted India to win gold in this tournament.
Tejaswini was also chosen to represent India at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, surpassing many other first rate shooters. In the 2010 Commonwealth games held at Delhi, she won the silver in the Women’s 50 rifle prone singles and also won the bronze in the Women’s 50 m rifle prone pairs, along with partner Meena Kumari. The daughter of an officer in the Indian navy (late Ravindra Sawant) has indeed done the country proud.
Mangte Chungneijang Mreykom: The Jaw Crusher
Game : Boxing
MC Marykom is a well known female boxer from the state of Manipur, India. A mother of two kids, she has ventured into an arena where women never even dream of venturing. She has been a world boxing champion for five times consecutively. The lady zoomed back after a time off in 2008 to secure her fourth world amateur boxing gold in a row. AIBA has very rightfully given her the title of Magnificent Mary.
Lately, she won the fifth world boxing championship title in Bridgetown, Barbados in 2010. In the Previous matches, she always won in the 46 kg category, but in 2010, Mary clinched the 48 kg class. She is the sole boxer to have won a medal in all the 6 world championships. Marykom had the honor of bearing the Queen’s Baton in the Common wealth 2010 run in the stadium. For a woman who took to boxing to earn bread for her family, Mary has indeed come a long way.
Karnam Malleswari: Power Lady of Indian Weightlifting
Game : Weightlifting
This lady, belonging to Srikakulam, Andhra Pradesh is a world famed Indian weightlifter. In the year 1992, she took part in the Asian Championship in Thailand and won 3 silver medals. She also got 3 bronze medals in the same championship. Malleswari won the 1995 Asian Championship and broke her own records in the senior national weightlifting championship in 1997. In the 1998 Asian Games, she won India’s first silver in weightlifting. In the 2000 Summer Olympics held at Sydney, she got a bronze for India lifting 110 kg in the Snatch and 130 kg in the Clean and Jerk.
Sania Mirza: Glam Queen of Tennis court
Game : Lawn Tennis
Sania has made Indian tennis come into the glamor charts. She has also led India into the foray of this power game. She was brought into this game in 2003 and is renowned for her strong forehand ground strokes. This attractive young woman is the first Indian to burst into the top 30 WTA rankings in the singles category and top 10 in doubles.
She has won one WTA singles title in Hyderabad in 2005. She even has a Grand Slam to her list of accomplishments, at the mixed doubles event at the Australian Open in 2008 and Women’s doubles event at Roland Garros in 2011. Sania has beaten many leading players like Martina Hingis, Svetlana Kuznetsova and Vera Zvonareva etc. and has been awarded with the Arjuna Award in 2004 for her contribution to Indian sports. She has been included in the list of thirty three women who have made India proud.
In the year 2005, Time magazine named Sania as one of the fifty heroes of Asia. Married to the ace Pakistani Cricketer Shoaib Akhtar, Sania is very beautifully handling her home as well as the tennis court.
Anjali Bhagwat: Shooter with the Eagle’s Eye
Game : Shooting
Anjali is a specialized Indian shooter and is said to have developed an enthusiastic interest in shooting at some point in her stint in the NCC. She has previously been the world number one and is said to be one of the top most Indian woman sportsperson of all times.
She got the title of world number one in 10m Air Rifle in 2002. In 2003 she won her first world cup final in Milan. Anjali is the only Indian to have ever triumphed in the most desirable ISSF Champion of Champions award. She has represented India in three successive Olympics and emerged as a finalist in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Till date Anjali has won 31 gold, 23 silver and 7 bronze medals. She has been nicknamed as ‘The Arjuna of India’.
Jhulan Goswami: The Indian ‘Bowling Express’
Game : Cricket
She is like the tempest, when it comes to bowling in the game of cricket. Jhulan is considered to be the fastest female bowler in the game of cricket. Born in a small village called Nadia in West Bengal, she overcame all obstacles to rise to the captainship of the Indian women’s cricket team. In fact she is an all round cricket player who plays for India, Bengal women team, East zone women team and Asia women XI cricket team.
Jhulan’s right arm medium potential is awesome and she boasts of a test bowling average of less than 2.0. She has directed the Indian team to its first test series win in England in 2006-07. Her max speed is 120kmph. Jhulan has been given the ICC Women’s Player of the year 2007 award and M.A.Chidambaram trophy for best woman cricketer in 2011.
Saina Nehwal: Shuttle cock player with a flashing smile
Game : Badminton
Saina has got badminton back into focus in India. She is presently ranked as world no.4 by the Badminton World Federation. Saina was born in Dhindar in Haryana on March 17 1990. Both her parents had been ex- badminton champs in Haryana and thus, they were the ones to influence her entry into this field.
Saina is the first Indian to ever win the World Junior Badminton Championships. She is presently coached by badminton marvel from Indonesia, Atik Jauhari and her guru has been none other than Pullela Gopichand. In June 2009, Saina became the first Indian to triumph in the Super Series Tournament by winning the Indonesian Open. She, then clinched the Singapore Open in June 2010.
Recently, she also reached the zenith of the year ending Super Series finals, defeating world no. 5 and two time regning queen of the All England Championship, Tina Braun.
PT Usha: The tearaway Payyoli Express
Game : Athletics
Pilavullakandi Thekkeparambil Usha is a name almost everyone in India is aware of. She has been one of the phenomenon athletes of all times in India. This Golden girl from Kerela has been linked with athletics ever since 1979. She has been given the coveted title of ‘Queen of Indian track and field’.
Her foray into this field began in her school when she was selected to represent her district. In the year 1982, P.T. Usha won first silver medal in 100 m and200 m in the Delhi Asiad Games. A year later in Kuwait, she won her gold in the 400 m with a brand new Asian record. Usha earned thirteen golds at ATF meets held from 1983-89. She also managed to finish first in the semi finals of the 400 m hurdles in the 1984 L A Olympics, unfortunately she missed out in the finals. Nowadays, the lady is running the Usha School of Athletics at Koyilandy in Kerela.
Jwala Gutta: Volcanic beauty of the court
Game : Badminton
She is indeed a volcano of talent in the Indian sports Arena. Born of mixed Indian and Chinese descent, she has emerged victorious in 13 national Badminton Championships. Her performance in women’s doubles has been outstanding. In 2006, she has won the Sri Lanka International Satellite Tournament and in 2007 she clinched the Cyprus Badminton International tournament.
Jwala also won the prestigious gold medal in women’s doubles in the Commonwealth Games in 2010. She won a bronze medal in the world championships in 2011. In the mixed doubles category, Jwala has seized the Jakarta Satellite tournament and Welsh International tournament in 2005. In December 2009, she even managed to attain the world super series masters title fight in Malaysia.