Declaring its presence at the world championships, India is truly flying high in many sporting events too. Starting as a naïve beginner, it has caught attention of the world by stepping in many events like Formula 1, Snooker, and Swimming besides extending its mark in its flagship sport – cricket. Though the sports moments which made the nation proud differs from individual to individual, we provide you a list of top 10 defining moments which changed the history of sports in India altogether. Read on!
10. Winning our first Gold medal at the Olympics – 1952 Helsinki
History was created in 1952 when India for the first time got the chance to bag an Olympic medal. Khashaba Jadhav, known as Pocket Dynamo could not get a Gold but his individual Olympic Bronze will always be remembered with pride. The winning procession carried out at the Karad railway station in Maharashtra made the victory all the more special. A seven hour long walk from his village to the Mahadeva temple was accompanied with Dhols and bullock cart processions. The feeling of pride, every villager of Goleshwar was basking in, could not be undermined by any other sports moment.
9. Clinching the Hockey World Cup against Pakistan- 1975 Malaysia
1975 was the time when the national game and whole country got a big boost. Winning the Hockey world cup was one of the finest sports moments in the history of India. After the semi-finals when Aslam Sher Khan saved India, came the thrilling finals time. And the rival was none other than Pakistan. Followed by millions of people on radio, India was 0-1 deficit at half-time and finally won the game with 2-1. The exciting final gave India the world-cup title and it’s the only time India and Pakistan faced each other in finals. Till date this great match is revered by millions.
8. When our women made us proud- Gold Win at 2000 Sydney Olympics
Another glorious sports moment in Indian history takes us to Sydney Olympics when Karnam Malleswari became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. Grabbing bronze in the 69 kg category of the weight lifting championship, she made the whole country proud. Karnam entered the event with a 105 kg weight slot while many of her competitors started at 100 kg, gradually picking up to 110 kg in her next two attempts. The lifting squad of the country had touted Sanamacha Chanu to be the Indian medal bearer but it was Karnam Malleswari who worked her magic and made India lift its head in pride.
7. World Badminton Titles in 1980 and 2001
Defeating Indonesian rival Liem King, Prakash Padukone became the first Indian to win the esteemed All England Open title in 1980. This was one of the surprising sports moment that took the whole world by awe. Further, history repeated itself when Gopichand, trained and mentored by Padukone won the title in 2001. Trailing 7-11 in the first game against his Chinese counterpart, soon he settled down in the game and gained a 15-12, 15-6 victory to become the second Indian after his coach to win the title.
6. First time World Snooker Championship, 1984 Ireland
Pankaj Advani, the national champion beat Saleh Mohammad of Pakistan 11-6 to win the World Snooker Championship in China and made India proud. The 19-year old after starting in haste soon got control of the game and beat the experienced 30- year old Pakistani in the best-of-21 frames final. Advani is only the second Indian to win this prestigious title after Om Agarwal who defeated Terry Parsons of Wales in the 1984 finals in Ireland.
5. Mastering strategy: Bagging the World Chess Championship
First Indian to win FIDE World chess championship in 2000, Vishwanathan Anand gave India one of the most amazing sports moments. He defeated Alexei Shirov in the final match held at Tehran. Anand has been always a pride for the nation. Winning International master title at the age of 15, in 1984, he proved his mantel and continued thereafter, winning National Chess Championship and World Junior Chess Championship. At the age of 18, he became India’s first Grandmaster. Anand again won the FIDE World Championship in 2007 held in Mexico City.
4. The 1983 Cricket World Cup win : A memory etched into the mind of every Indian
A not so established cricket team, India fought tactfully to reach the finals to the surprise of the entire world and against regular expectations and many hailed the match as being one-sided since the nation was playing against much powerful, tactful and experienced West Indies team that had its eye on the third consecutive world cup title. Then came the blow. Indians were all out for 183 and there was almost no hope. When West Indies started batting, the Indian medium pacers took charge. Bowling tightly and accurately, Madan Lal and Amarnath brought chances in the hands of India. Finally, Amarnath got the holding lbw and Indians got their first Cricket World Cup in an astounding win.
3. Shooting the Silver at Athens Olympics 2004
Bringing India its first silver medal in an individual event at the Olympic, Lt. Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore became the heart throb of the nation. He struck silver in ace shooting on the fourth day of 28th International games when he scored 44 on 50 in the final round totaling to 179 which bagged him silver. Rathore has been awarded many honors since then including Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.
2. First country to win this format too: T20 World Cup 2007
It was the first session of the T20 cricket world cup and India was heading to its final with arch rival Pakistan as the opposite team. This final on Sep 24, 2007 taking place in South Africa had to be rousing and thrilling. Electing to bat first, India was restricted to a modest 157-5. Now with Pakistan needing 54 off 24 balls and Misbah hitting 3 sixes off in one over, the match was falling into Pakistan’s hands but finally caught short fine leg by Sreesanth, Pakistan was all out for 152.
1. 2011 cricket world cup victory
Straight 28 years is what we waited for to bring home the world cup trophy but finally it paid off. India was pitted against Sri Lanka for this world cup finale played at Mumbai. India chased the target of 275 with stylish and aggressive knocks from Gautam Gambhir & Captain Cool Mahendra Dhoni. The entire nation burst in celebrations starting midnight on the day of victory for a week. The excitement of winning was palpable across the streets and one could see people talking about those last overs with great enthusiam. It was a special moment for Sachin Tendulkar too which completed his long cherished dream to lift the world cup in his hands.