LOOK BACK 2015: INDIA IN SPORTS
The year 2015 has been fruitful for India when it comes to sports. From setting newer records to bringing India glory at the international level, Indian sportsmen have come a long way. Considering all their progress and the pride they brought to the Nation, we bring to you a quick flashback of their achievements in their respective sports. And we are sure when you see the versatility of Indian players, you will be overwhelmed with pride.
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In October, Indian archers— Abhishek Verma and Deepika Kumari, bagged a silver medal each at the Archery World Cup 2015 which was held in Mexico City. For Deepika, it was her fourth world cup silver medal. This feat would inspire the aspiring archers from India!
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Beginning the year with a blast, in January, Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal grabbed a gold medal in the Indian Open Grand Prix. After this accomplishment, Saina reached the monumental World No. 1 spot in women’s rankings in badminton. It is also the first ever feat for any Indian women at the international level!
Giving reasons to keep the celebrations upfront in Badminton, India’s astounding pair of Ashwini Ponappa and Jwala Gutta grabbed the women’s double title at the 2015 Canada Open badminton tournament in style! They defeated top-seeded Dutch pair of Eefje Muskens and Selena Piek in the Final clash, held in June 2015.
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In June 2015, a youngster, not only tall by his height but also by his dedication, did the unachievable. Hailing from Ludhiana in Punjab, Satnam Singh Bhamara became the first basketball player from the India to be drafted in the National Basketball Association (NBA) by Dallas Mavericks based in Texas. Satnam’s NBA draft will definitely act as a moral boost to all basketball fans in India who wholeheartedly play and support the game, even when other sports tend to take the centre stage.
In July, India defeated Sri Lanka with a score of 93-44, hence retaining the South Asian Basketball Championship title. The Indian team remained undefeated in all the five fixtures!
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In September, Pankaj Advani won the Six-red World Championship with his outstanding play, leaving the spectators spellbound. In November, he won the IBSF World Snooker Championship to take his world title count to 15. He is the most successful Billiards player for India, and needless to say— sky is the limit for him!
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In November, Shiva Thapa became the highest-ranked Indian boxer, grabbing the second spot in the international rankings. He also won a bronze medal at the World championships in Doha this year. He has become a household name, and a hero the youngsters look up to! All the best, Shiva—reach greater heights.
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Abhijeet Gupta won the Commonwealth Chess Championship held in Delhi. He kept the crown with impressive eight points out of a possible nine. He had won the first seven games in the championship and the last two games had no result but a draw in each of them.
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In July 2015, Indian Women Cricket Team’s Captain, Mithali Raj completed 5,000 runs in ODI cricket, being only the second woman in the women’s cricketing history to cross this mark.
In October, the Indian Women’s Cricket team was ranked fourth in the world, in the newly introduced rankings by the International Cricket Council. In a nation where male cricketers are worshiped and women’s cricket has hardly any takers, this is indeed a big feat.
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Once again proving that we excel in whatever we take up, our players grabbed the third spot on the medal tally of the Track Asia Cup in November held in Delhi, with 11 medals – three gold, three silver and five bronze. This victory has defined how India has exceptional talent in cycling.
Finishing the year in style, Deborah Harold, who also scored three medals in Track Asia Cup, jumped up six places from her earlier 10th position to reach an all-time high ranking of number 4 in the UCI individual world ranking in December, making it a historical moment for India.
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In June, the captain of the Indian National Football team, Sunil Chhetri, became the first Indian footballer to score 50 international goals. This feat came during India’s 2018 World Cup qualifying match against Guam.
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Dipa Karmakar won the bronze medal at the 6th Senior ART Asian Gymnastics Championships held in Hiroshima in August. She won with 14.725 points, to stand at the third spot in the medal’s tally. Deepika is undoubtedly a rising star in gymnastics for India!
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In April, Indian Men’s Hockey Team bagged the bronze medal in the 24th Sultan Azlan Shah Cup hockey tournament, by winning a penalty shootout against Korea by a score of 4-1.
The success stories in our national sport went on as both the men’s and the women’s team qualified for 2016 Rio Olympics in August, with the women’s team achieving this feat after a 36-year historic gap.
Ending the year with a bang, our team defeated Pakistan 6-2 to win Junior Men’s Asia Cup in November, thanks to four terrific goals scored by Harmanpreet Singh.
Having defeated the top 5 ranked countries in the span of one year, our team finished the year to jump two places up to world rank no. 6, which is its highest ranking in the recent years.
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In October, Devendra Jhajharia, 35, one of India’s top para athlete clinched silver in men’s javelin throw F46 event in the IPC Athletics World Championships. With this feat, he has also booked a place for himself for the 2016 Rio Paralympics Games. He will indeed pose a tough competition at Rio too.
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In November, Heena Sidhu won a Gold Medal in the 10m air pistol event at Asian Shooting Championship held in Kuwait. She shot a marvellous score of 198.2. Heena also won the Asian Airgun Championship in September. This adds another achievement to her basket of tremendous feats for India. She was the first Indian shooter to be ranked World No. 1 in 2014 by ISSF. This Arjuna Awardee, has never failed to bring glory to the Nation!
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In August, Joshna Chinappa upstaged second seed Line Hansen of Denmark in straight games of 11-5, 11-4, 11-9 and a total of 32 minutes to win the USD 15,000 Victorian Open squash competition for her 10th title. This achievement, coming after her victory at the National championships in July 2015, became the icing on the cake.
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Our players performed splendidly in the 8th Asian Age Group Aquatic Championship in Bangkok, Thailand held in October. Indian players gave a stellar performance at the meet with Bedant Singh bagging the gold medal in the 800m freestyle, in the boys 10-14 age group and Maana Patel winning the gold medal in the 50M backstroke for girls in the 15-17 age group.
The players who clinched the individual gold medals in the meet were seasoned senior swimmer Virdhawal Khade and and Sajan Prakash. Along with the duo, Anshul Kothari and Neil Contractor won the 4x100M freestyle quartet.
Indian swimmers won overall 4 silver and 11 bronze medals in the meet where over 25 countries participated.
In January India’s open water swimmer Bhakti Sharma, set a world record of swimming in the Antarctic Ocean at a chilling temperature of one degree. She covered a distance covered of 1.4 miles in 52 minutes. She also became the first Asian and the youngest girl in the world, to earn this achievement.
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India’s star player, Sania Mirza paired up with Martina Hingis to capture the Wimbledon women double’s crown. They also won the Family Circle’s Cup doubles title in April. It was a proud moment for India after Sania was ranked World No. 1 in the WTA’s doubles rankings, on 12th July.
It was a delightful year for Indian Tennis Great, Leander Paes as he won his seventh Grand Slam mixed doubles title at the Australian Open after teaming up with Martina Hingis. The dynamic duo went ahead to win the mixed doubles championship at Wimbledon.
India’s Sumit Nagal won the Junior Wimbledon Boys’ Doubles Title with Partner Nam Hoang Ly, making it a triple treat for India at the Wimbledon
Special Mention: Retirement of cricketer Virender Sehwag
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In October, cricketing great, Virender Sehwag announced his retirement from all forms of cricket. Sehwag has played 104 Tests, 251 ODI’s and 19 T20’s in his glorious career. He made his debut for India in 1999 and was a part of the Indian cricket team when the team won the ICC World T20 in 2007, and finally won the World Cup in 2011. He became the second player in the cricketing history to score a double hundred in ODI’s and has a highest score of 319 runs in Test cricket to his name. He was ICC Test Player of the year in 2010. His contribution to the Indian cricket has been immense. You are worthy of all the praise Sehwag! Kudos. He was also given the title, “Multan Ka Sultan” after he scored 309 runs against Pakistan in 2004, hence becoming the first Indian to score a triple century!
The year 2015 has been phenomenal when it comes to sports in India. India has been improving year after year, and this is due to the efforts, dedication and hard work of all the sportspersons in their respective sports. The Logical Indian community salutes all these stars who brought laurels to India and gave us reasons to feel pride for being an Indian. We hope to see our stars shining brighter in the coming year, adding more achievements to their names, and hoisting India’s flag in their respective games!