Four Manipuri women have bagged medals at CWG 2014 on the opening day of the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. And this is just the beginning…
Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (seen above) bagged a gold and silver, respectively, in women's weightlifting and have broken records already, on the opening day of the competition in the 20th Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland.
Additionally, two more Manipuri women, judoka Shushila Likmabam also won silver and Kalpana Thoudam won bronze in the judo category.
Football fever has just receded post the World Cup 2014; and cricket fever, as we all know overshadows the tremendous talent and action from all other Indian sports.
There are so many other sports that are conveniently forgotten in India.
Piyush Sachdev, founder of Women Sports Foundation says, "Many Indians have cheered excitedly for so many countries at the Football World Cup this year as if their own country was contesting.
How many of us even know the players from India representing us at Commonwealth Games?"
A valid question. One stops to wonder when he further laments that Indian masses should stop abusing Indian sports players, particularly the women. "Why is the public throwing stones at us? Are we not worthy of atleast some respect or recognition, if not the lavish glory that's usually bestowed upon football or cricket stars?"
It's high time we start shifting our attention from cricket and football. Let's try to promote sports especially among the women of India. Let's give them a chance to go bring accolades for our country, and let's give them a chance to be proud of themselves.
Here's a look at 10 exceptional female sports players to watch out for at Commonwealth Games 2014 :
Rani Rampal, hockey player, 19 years
At the age of 15, she was the youngest player in the national team which participated in the 2010 World Cup. She is now representing India at Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Pinki Jangra, boxing athlete, 24 years
She defeated London Olympic Games Bronze Medalist and 5 Times World Champion Mary C. Kom in National Boxing Championship 2009 and 5 Times Asian Champion and World Champion, L. Sarita Devi in National Games and National Boxing Championship 2011.
Pooja Rani, boxing athlete, 23 years
Swept away by the craze for the sport in her hometown 'Bhiwani' after Vijender Singh, a graduate of the Bhiwani Boxing School, she won India's first Olympic medal in boxing in 2008.
Pooja also won silver in the Asian Boxing Championship in 2012 and added another silver at the Arafura Games held in Australia the same year.
She is also reportedly serving as an Income Tax inspector in the Haryana government.
Ayonika Paul, Air Rifle shooter, 21 years
She announced her arrival at the International stage by winning Gold Medal at the International Junior Shooting Competition in Munich in 2008. Her best result came at the Asian Junior Championships in Kuwait in 2011, where she won a bronze medal. She also missed the Olympic Qualification by a whisker at the Asian Championships in Doha in 2012.
Ashwini Ponnappa, badminton player, 25 years
She's bagged a gold medal at South Asian Games in 2006, and a gold medal at 2010 Commonwealth Games. She's also represented India at the London Olympics 2012.
Jwala Gutta, badminton player, 30 years
She has won the National Badminton Championships thirteen times all the way till the year 2010.
She's also scored a gold medal in the women's doubles at the Commonwealth Games 2010. She’s also represented India at the 2012 London Olympics.
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu, badminton player, 19 years
In August 2013, Sindhu became the first ever Indian woman to win a medal in singles at the World Championships
She broke into the top 20 in the Badminton World Federation rankings in September 2012. which were released on 21 September 2012.
She is also ranked 3 in the Badminton World Federation Junior Rankings.
Dipika Pallikal, squash player, 22 years
A 2012 Arjun awardee 2012 and 2014 Padma Shri awardee. Need we say more?
Joshna Chinappa, squash player, 28 years
Joshna was the first Indian girl to win the British Squash Championship title in 2003 in the under 19 category at U.K and was also the youngest Indian women's national champion.
She is currently ranked in the top 19 in the world (as of March 2014), which is no mean feat!
Tintu Luka, runner, 25 years
This national record holder is trained by none other than P.T. Usha at the Usha School of Athletics, Koyilandy, Kerala.
In the Continental Cup, Croatia, 2010, she timed 1:59.17, to break Shiny Wilson’s 15-year-old national record of 1:59.85 in the 800m event.
This performance gave rise to expectations from her mentor P T Usha and the nation that the 25 year old can bring home a medal from the Common Wealth Games.
*Image Source - Women Sports Foundation
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