The Real Shernis of Indian Sports: Women Athletes

It has always been challenging for female athletes in India to break through cultural prejudices and pursue their dreams. Women athletes from our country did not acquire any international recognition until 1952.

Despite the difficulties, several female athletes have excelled and made the country proud.

Here is a list of India’s most accomplished sportswomen who have elevated the country’s name to new heights.

SANIA MIRZA 

Sania Mirza ranked top one for 91 weeks in a row in the women’s doubles division. That’s a long time, so it’s no wonder she’s one of the country’s most well-known athletes.

Sanya Mirza
Image source Instagram @mirzasaniar

Sania had gone pro at the tender age of 16, and she had never looked back. 

First and only Indian woman to win six major tennis titles (three in women’s and mixed doubles). 

MARY KOM

In a society where working women are still treated with contempt, the words “female boxer” are not warmly received.

MaryKom
Image source Instagram @mcmary.kom

Mary punched conventions in the face, and the effects are on display for all to see!

It’s difficult enough to be a boxer in India, let alone a female boxer. As a prospective boxing professional, Mary had to overcome several obstacles, but she triumphed.

‘Magnificent Mary’ is the first female boxer to win a medal in each of the seven world championships.

The Padma Bhushan recipient is the first Indian woman boxer to win a gold medal at the Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, in 2014.

MITHALI RAJ

Mithali Raj, captain of the women’s cricket team, is the leading scorer in women’s international cricket and the first female cricketer to reach 6,000 runs in one-day internationals.

Mithali Raj
Image source Instagram @mithaliraj

She also holds the most half-centuries in WODIs and is the first player to knock seven consecutive 50s in ODIs. 

Mithali Raj is also the first Indian cricket captain, male or female, to have led the country to the World Cup final twice.

SAINA NEHWAL

Many people look up to Saina Nehwal. First Indian to win a medal in every significant individual event of the Badminton World Federation.

Saina Nehwal
Image source Instagram @nehwalsaina

She is the first Indian to win the BWF World Junior Championships and earn an Olympic medal.

In 2006, Nehwal won the Super Series championship, becoming the first Indian woman and the youngest Asian.

In 2016, the government awarded her the Padma Bhushan for her contributions and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and the Arjuna Award.

GEETA BHAGAT

Geeta Phogat, a freestyle wrestler, gained a household celebrity after winning a gold medal in wrestling at the Commonwealth Games (2010), something no other wrestler, male or female, had done before.

She is also the first Indian woman to qualify for the Summer Olympics (2012), where she came up short of a bronze medal.

DIPA KARMAKAR

At the age of 22, Dipa Karmakar was the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics and the first Indian gymnast to qualify for the Olympics.

Deepa Karmakar
Image source Instagram @dipakarmakarofficial

After 52 years, she rewrote history.

Dipa was the first Indian to reach the finals of the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships. Her first achievement was a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. 

CLOSING THOUGHTS

Is there now a feeling of inspiration within you?

These women have performed and represented India in various games and received numerous medals and prizes to prove that they are better than males and exhibit their potential.

Our girls are making history on the fields and sports organising committees, which is a proud accomplishment.

Nita Ambani is the first woman elected to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Olympic Education Commission, which assists in selecting athletes for the Olympic and Asian Games.

IOC also has Saina Nehwal as a member.

It is a significant step in the right direction to include female candidates on the organising committees since it promotes equality and encourages other women to participate.

You might be told, as a woman, that you are weak and cannot accomplish particular things several times. Let’s break through all those prejudices and show the world with confidence that we’re nothing short of anybody.

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