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#NationalSportsDay: Female Athletes Who Have Put India On The Global Map This Year

By Ainee Nizami Ahmedi  August 29th, 2021

From the Tokyo Olympics to the Paralympic Games, 2021 has seen Indian female sportspersons making a mark at global sporting events. From the Indian hockey team’s iconic performance to Saikhom Mirabai Chanu’s silver win at the Olympics 2021, we sure had a lot to celebrate this year. On National Sports Day, here’s looking at all the female athletes who have been representing India on an international level and setting the right tone for success.
PV Sindhu
Photograph: Kalyan Yasaswi

1. P. V. Sindhu, Badminton:
Sindhu is no stranger to winning it big out on the field; 2021 saw her bringing home a bronze in Women’s Badminton, simultaneously becoming the first Indian female athlete second Indian to win two consecutive Olympic medals for individual events.
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2. Jyoti Baliyan, Archery: The 27-year-old started with archery in 2009 and fast moved on to become one of the top para-archers in the world. She has won a gold medal at the World championships in Tamil Nadu and participated in the Asian Para Games, Incheon and Para Champions Programme 2018-19.

 

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3. Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, Weightlifting: Saikhom became the first Indian woman to win a silver in the weightlifting category at the Olympics this year. She is also the reigning Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the 48kg category.
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4. Bhavani Devi, Fencing: As the first-ever fencer to represent India at the Olympics, Bhavani’s journey started with a bamboo stick instead of a sword as she made her way to the top. A bronze at the 2015 Flemish Open, silver at the 2014 Asian Championship under 23 category in the Philippines and gold at the 2012cCommonWealth Championship are a few of her achievements.

 

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5. Bhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel, Table Tennis: Bhavina made history by winning silver at her maiden Paralympic Games this year. She has also won a silver in The Individual Category at the PTT Thailand Table Tennis Championship held in 2011. In October 2013, she won the silver medal in the women’s singles Class 4 at the Asian Para Table Tennis Championships in Beijing.
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6. Nethra Kumanan, Sailing: Nethra is the first Indian female sailor to make it to the Olympics. She has won a bronze medal in World Cup sailing in Miami in 2020.
Train for #TokyoParalympics2020: Paralympians ready to defy all odds! | Olympics - Hindustan Times
7. Simran Sharma, Athletics: Simran cannot see beyond 10 metres, but she is the first Indian woman to qualify for the 100-metre track event in the Tokyo Paralympics.
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8. Aditi Ashok, Golf: Aditi is one of the first Indian female golfers to make it to the Olympics. She plays on the Ladies European Tour and LPGA Tour and has represented India at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
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9. Kashish Lakra, Athletics: The 18-year-old from New Delhi, became the youngest to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics in the Women’s Club Throw F51 category. She has even qualified for the prestigious Khelo India Championship.
Maana Patel - Wikipedia
10. Maana Patel, Swimming: Maana became the first swimmer to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics in the women’s 100m backstroke event. At 13, she broke the national record for the 200m backstroke at the 40th Junior National Aquatics Championship. She has won gold at several events, including the National Games and Senior National Aquatic Championships.
Ekta Bhyan (@BhyanEkta) | Twitter
11. Ekta Bhyan, Athletics: Ekta has represented the country in the 2018 Asian Para Games and won the gold medal in the club throw event. She has also won medals in several IPC Grand Prix held at Berlin in 2016, Dubai in 2017, and Tunisia in 2018. She also secured the gold medal in 2016, 2017, and 2018 National Para Athletics Championships.

 

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12. Lovlina Borgohain, Boxing: Lovlina is the first female athlete and the second boxer from Assam to represent India at the Olympics. She recently won bronze, becoming the third Indian boxer to win a medal at the Olympics. She won a gold medal at the 1st India Open International Boxing Tournament held in New Delhi and was conferred with the Arjuna Award.

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13. Pranati Nayak, Gymnastics: Pranati won a bronze medal at the 2019 Asian Artistic Gymnastics Championships. This year she became the second Indian gymnast to qualify at the Olympics.
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14. Parul Parmar, Badminton: Parul has been ranked world number one in para-badminton women’s singles SL3. She has brought home gold in the women’s singles and doubles at the 2017 BWF Para-Badminton World Championships, at the 2014 and 2018 Asian Para Games, and 2018 Thailand Para-Badminton International.
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15. Deepika Kumari, Archery: Deepika, currently ranked as World Number 1 in archery, has won a gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games and Guatemala and Paris World Cup.  She has also been conferred with the Arjuna Award in 2012. 
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16. Palak Kohli, Badminton: In April 2021, Palak brought home silver at the World Para-Badminton Competition in Dubai. Presently, Kohli is the only para-badminton athlete from the country to qualify for both women’s singles and women’s doubles at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics.

 

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17. Priya Malik, Wrestler: Priya won gold for India at Hungary’s World Cadet Wrestling Championship. She won gold medals at Khelo India, National School Games and the National Cadet Championship in 2019 and 2020.
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18. Prachi Yadav, Para Canoeing: Prachi is India’s first para-canoe athlete to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Paralympics. Her coach Mayank Thakur, also chairperson of Para India Kayaking and Canoeing Association, had built a special boat for her practice.

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19. Sakina Khatun, Powerlifting: Sakina has previously won the bronze medal for Weightlifting at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. After being selected for Commonwealth Games in 2014, Khatun finished 3rd in the women’s light-lifting category.

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20. Rubina Francis, Shooting: Rubina ranks at number five by the International Shooting Sport Federation in Women’s 10m Air Pistol SH1 (World Shooting Para Sport Rankings). She has previously represented India at the 2018 Asian Para GamesP2 – Women’s 10M Air Pistol (SH1 Events).
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21. Avani Lekhara, Shooting: Avani is currently World No five in Women’s 10m Air Rifle standing SH1. She has participated in the 2018 Asian Para Games R2 (in the Women’s 10M Air Rifle Standing), R3 (Mixed 10M Air Rifle Prone), R6 (Mixed 50M Rifle Prone), and R8 (Women’s 50M Rifle 3 Position).
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22. Aruna Tanwar, Taekwondo: Currently World Rank 4th in the W-49 kg (K43), and World Rank 30th in the W-49 kg (K44) event category of World Para-Taekwondo Events, Aruna is also the first Indian Taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Tokyo 2020 Paralympics Games.