Celebrating National Sports Day by listing the 10 Greatest Sporting Moments

National Sports Day

On 29th August every year, India celebrates National Sports Day. On this day the greatest hockey player India ever had was born, that is, Major Dhyan Chand. As to give him a tribute, Indian government has announced to mark the 29th August as national sports day.

In the past many years, India has spotted many spectacular sporting moments. Today, we will display a list of the top 10 greatest moments in Indian sports.

1. Abhinav Bindra Winning Gold in 2008 Olympics.

Abhinav Bindra won first individual gold medal for India in the 2008 Olympic Games which was held in Beijing. The game was men’s 10m air rifle.

This thrilling come-from-behind victory of Abhinav Bindra may have happened years ago, but the glorious moment still remains incomparable.

2. Cricket World Cup, 1983

Reaching up to the finals was a great deal for team India and fighting the finals of the World Cup against West Indies was even greater. Defeating the strong West Indies team at Lord’s ground, England, not only brought victory to Indian team but also changed the view of Indian sports for decades that are ahead. This was the first time Indian cricket team has won the World cup. The video of Kapil Dev holding up the trophy at the Lord’s balcony remains a proud moment till date.

3. Prakash Padukone winning All England Championships in 1980

Before social media and news channels appraised names like Pullela Gopichand, Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Sai Praneeth and Kidambi Srikanth, India had Prakash Padukone.

He was the first Indian to win the men’s singles title at the All England Open Badminton Championship. He defeated an Indonesian opponent Liem Swie King, and that set our country’s name on the international badminton championship.

4. Vishwanathan Anand – Unified World Champion

Vishwanathan Anand is a genius chess player from Chennai. In 1987, he had won the world junior champion title. Thereafter he won a maiden world championship title in 2000. Also in Mexico city he won 2007 unified world championship and built streams by his spectacular performance.

However, to establish the Professional Chess Association (PCA) Championship in 1993 the Russian chess grandmaster Gary Kasparov out turned from FIDE, the governing body of international chess competition.

The titles were unified at the World Chess Championship 2006, so the first reunification championship match was also held in 2006 between Veselin Topalov and Vladimir Kramnik. In this championship eight of the best players in the world battled to get the title.

5. PV Sindhu BWF World Championships 2019

PV Sindhu crushed Japan’s higher-ranked Nozomi Okuhara in straight games in the women’s singles final to win a gold medal at the BWF World Championships 2019. She has become the first Indian to win the elusive gold at BWF Championships and that too under just 37 minutes.

She is also the joint-most successful women’s singles shuttler at the world meet, having won 5 medals in just 6 appearances.

The way in which she won the game made the commentators say, “I can’t remember such a one-sided final”, which is quite an inspiration to millions.

6. India winning the very first Hockey Olympic gold medal

At the time of post-independence, it was quite a surprising moment that India even managed to weave together a team for hockey for the 1948 London Olympics. Partition had brought a lot of chaos upon the country.

However, the Indian Hockey Federation, led by Naval Tata, the president, moved heaven and earth to put a team together that could play hockey in the upcoming tournaments. He believed that the team would represent a new generation of hockey talent. He was sure that these players would play with such a vibrant spirit and will make the country proud.

Led by Kishan Lal, the captain of the hockey team, the team included legends like Leslie Claudius, who would go onto compete in four Olympics and Balbir Singh. Indian hockey team defeated their former rulers England in the finals, which brought a few smiles back onto the faces of families that were still struggling to rebuild their lives due to Partition.

7. Wilson Jones, Billiards world champion

Before Pankaj Advani, there was Wilson Jones, an Anglo-Indian from Wilson is the nephew of Indian hockey player OB Massey. In 1950, he won his first national title and the next consecutive sixteen years, he won the amateur National Billiards Championship of India twelve times. He made three unsuccessful attempts at winning the world championships, but in 1958 he finally made it.

With the world championships held at great eastern hotel in Calcutta (Kolkata), Jones nailed arguably one of the greatest thrashings in billiards history. He defeated defending champion Leslie Driffield of England after acknowledging an enormous 661 points lead.

Michael Ferreira, former world billiards champion, said to ESPN, “How he marked India on the map in a game which was the white man’s exclusive preserve, the manner in which he implanted pride in Indian sportspersons and the inspiration he provided to a whole generation of players who went on to become world-beaters at a time when money did not drive the mare, his contribution cannot be viewed only from the narrow prism of the three-ball game. His deeds furthered the cause of Indian sports as a whole to an extent that was remarkable”.

8. Khashaba Jadhav wins bronze at Helsinki Olympics

India has a remarkable history of wrestlers worldwide, at the highest levels, but none won any medals until Khasbhaba Jhadav. He was of Goleshwar village, nearly 75km away in north of Kolhapur, Maharashtra. He made history by winning the first individual medal for independent India at the Olympics. In 1952, at the Helsinki Olympics he won a bronze medal in the bantamweight freestyle category.

Khasbhaba Jadhav proudly held India on the global wrestling map, and that too under difficult circumstances. He solicited the public’s contributions to make the payment for his ticket to Finland and his kit. In fact, his college principal, mortgaged his house for Rs 7000 to send him to the games.

9. Mary Kom, Bronze Medal 2012 London Olympics

MC Mary Kom, the pugilist from Manipur, Northeast India, has marked the Northeast region brightly on the map of India. Our country has some legends from that region but none has shown more light to it than Mary Kom. Her moment of glory came in the 2012 London Olympics in which she won bronze. Before the bronze medal, she had won the World Amateur Boxing Championships five times. But the 2012 London Olympics brought her into the spotlight. A movie has been made inspired by her journey.

10. Leander Paes, 1996 Olympic Bronze

Leander Adrian Paes is an Indian professional tennis legend. He competed in consecutive Olympics from 1992 to 2016, making him the first Indian and only tennis player to compete at seven Olympic Games. In 1996, he had entered the 1996 Atlanta Games as a wildcard but went onto capturing India’s first individual Olympic medal in 44 years.

Though he lost the match against Andre Agassi in the semifinals but he had once again put India on the global tennis map after a decade. He continues to play well at the highest level in his 40’s.

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