India 75: A look at top sporting glories for India since Independence

India celebrates its 75th Independence Day on Monday 15th August. Over the past seven decades, the country has witnessed many groundbreaking moments in various fields, including sports. The country has made rapid strides in the world of sport and today, as we celebrate India’s 75th birthday, we look back at the greatest sporting moments of all these years.

India 75: The country’s best sporting moments

1948 London Olympics: India wins the gold medal

Before independence, India had won ice hockey medals under the British flag. However, the 1948 London Olympics marked the first time that India participated as an independent nation. In the final, India defeated England 2-1 to win the gold medal.

1951 Asian Games: India wins gold in soccer

In the 1950s and 60s the state of Indian football was not great. However, the journey to improve the court began as early as the 1951 Asian Games when India won gold under Syed Abdul Rahim. The feat was repeated again during the 1960 Asian Games.

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1952 Helsinki Olympics: Khashaba Jadhav wins the bronze medal

India’s first Olympic and wrestling medal was won by Khashaba Jadhav at bantamweight.

Milkha Singh Gold at the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games

Milkha Singh will always be remembered for putting India on the athletics map. He was the first Indian to win a gold medal in the 440 yards category at the 1958 Commonwealth Games.

1980 All England Badminton Championships

India’s badminton legend Prakash Padukone made history by winning the All England Open aged just 24. The title was historic as it was India’s first triumph and Padukone was the first Indian ever to achieve the feat.

1983 World Cup triumph at Lords

The face of cricket in India changed after the country’s historic 1983 World Cup triumph against West Indies in the final at Lords. In 2011 the Men in Blue managed the feat again under MS Dhoni.

Vishwanathan Anand wins the World Chess Championship

India’s legendary chess player Vishwanathan Anand made history in 2000 when he became the country’s first player to win a World Chess Championship.

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore makes history at the Athens Olympics

Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s silver medal at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games was India’s only medal at the event. Before participating in the Athens Olympics, Rathore served as a colonel in the Indian Army and fought in the 1999 Kargil War.

Vijender Singh and Abhinav Bindra make history at the Beijing 2008 Olympics

The Beijing Olympics were historic for India as the country made history in shooting and boxing. Abhinav Bindra became India’s first gold medalist at the Beijing Olympics, while Vijender Singh won the middleweight bronze medal to give India its first ever Olympic medal in boxing.

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India’s best performance at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi

The 2010 Commonwealth Games were held in India and the host nation’s athletes took full advantage of the opportunity to put in their best performance yet at the multi-sport event. India won a total of 101 medals including 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze medals. The country had its best result, finishing 2nd in the medal table that year. This is the only instance where India has won more than 100 medals in a Commonwealth Games event.

India wins the 2011 World Cup at home

On April 2, 2011, MS Dhoni ended India’s 27-year wait for its second world title. In the final, played at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, India beat Sri Lanka by six wickets to become the first country to win the cricket World Cup final on home soil.

Performance of Indian athletes at Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Tokyo 2020 Olympics will be remembered by Indian fans for many reasons. The first was Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold medal, which made him the second Indian after Abhinav Bindra to achieve the feat. Alongside Chopra, Mirabai Chanu won silver in the women’s weightlifting 49 kg category. PV Sindhu became the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals following her bronze medal performance. In wrestling, Ravi Kumar Dahiya won the silver medal on his debut while Bajrang Punia won bronze after overcoming his injury worries. Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams also made history in Tokyo. While the men’s team won the bronze medal, the women’s team finished fourth. Lovlina Borgohain was the third female boxer after Vijender Singh and Mary Kom to win an Olympic boxing medal.

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Weightlifters and wrestlers make history at the 2022 Commonwealth Games

India finished 4th in the medals tally at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham with 22 gold, 15 silver and 23 bronze medals and a total of 61 medals. The wrestling event was India’s most successful discipline at CWG 2022 with wrestlers winning 12 medals. The weightlifting contingent was a close second with 10 Indians winning medals, including three gold medals. The boxers and table tennis team ended up winning seven medals.

In athletics, Murali Sreeshankar and Tejaswi Shankar made history by winning silver and bronze medals in the long jump and high jump, respectively. Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker took gold and silver in the men’s triple jump. The Indian women’s lawn bowl team won a gold medal, which was also the country’s first medal at the course. PV Sindhu eventually managed to capture the gold medal in badminton singles, while the men’s and women’s ice hockey teams won silver and bronze, respectively. The Indian women’s cricket team eventually won the silver medal, with women’s cricket making its debut at the CWG 2022.

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