They are on the right track

Countdown to Women's Day

Time was when Indian women did not have too much of a presence on the national platform.

But now, that time has changed,  thanks to awareness and opportunity, womenfolk in the country are getting more and more opportunity to prove their mettle in various walks of life, including sports. From PT Usha to Sania Mirza, our women athletes and sportspersons have come a long way to achieving success and  making a mark in the sporting arena in areas as varied as boxing, wrestling, cricket and shooting which were once dominated by men.

And we talk about sports, the first thing that comes to mind is cricket and one cricketer, among many other women cricketers, who has made headlines with her performances is Anjum Chopra. Speaking to Metrolife, Anjum said, “The achievements of sportswomen have been highlighted in a big way in the recent past and people are acknowledging them more now. And because of the consistent performances, people are welcoming sportswomen will enthusiasm and encouragement. Be it families, coaches, the Government, everyone has come out in full support of the sportswomen in India.”

Another sportswoman who has carved a niche for herself with her hardwork, dedication and talent is Saina Nehwal. The first woman who won Olympic women's singles badminton bronze in  the 2012 London Olympics, is also the first Indian to win Super Series Tournament in 2009. A Khel Ratna award winner, Saina has to her credit a gold medal in Women’s Single Shuttle Badminton in Commonwealth Games, 2010. Giving her company, and some competition too, is another rising star from Hyderabad who has burst on the scene with her scintillating performance on the badminton court. Pusarla Venkata Sindhu is the first Indian women's singles player to win a medal at
World Championships and overall fourth.

Another athlete, Bachendri Pal, an Indian mountaineer, who in 1984 became the first Indian woman to reach the summit of Mount Everest, shared with Metrolife  the struggle she faced during her initial years. “I have somehow managed to break the ice and the typical mindset of people that mountaineering is a man’s sport and women can’t do it. Mujhe bhi bahut struggle karna pada tha. Log bolte the ladkiya kamzor hoti hain or risk nahi le sakti hain or yeh pahad chad ke kya hoga? But with my dedication and will, I have proved them wrong. And for me it is not important to be number one, what is important is the work you do after achieving something. And that is why I have and will always encourage girls to take up this sport.”

Going back a few years, one athlete who grabbed  attention was P T Usha. Regarded as one of the greatest athletes India has ever produced,
she has rightfully earned the title  ‘queen of Indian track and field’.

Tania Sachdev is another perfect example of beauty with brains  who holds the titles of International Master and Woman Grandmaster. A Viswanathan Anand fan, Tania became the eighth Indian Woman Grandmaster.

Shooter Anjali Bhagwat a champion in a male-dominated sport is considered to be one of the greatest Indian women athletes of all time. Anjali became the World number one in 10m Air Rifle in 2002 and also won her first World Cup Final in Milan, in 2003, with a score of 399/400.

Young archer Deepika Kumari too has made India proud. She won a gold medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the women’s individual recurve event and won silver in 2013 FITA Archery World Cup.

And no list of achievements can be complete without the mention of Sania Mirza. She is probably the true face of Indian women in sports and is one of the most successful Indian women’s tennis player.

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