Here are the notable achievements of Indians at Olympics
The Tokyo 2020 Olympics will kick-start on July 23. As many as 119 athletes from India will be part of the action-packed event in Japan. Over the years, India have pocketed a total of 28 medals in Olympic sports. In the previous edition (2016 Rio), the nation clinched only two medals. We take a look at the notable achievements of Indians at Olympics.
In 1952, Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav became the first Indian to win an Olympic medal (bronze) in an individual sport at the Helsinki Olympics. The wrestling veteran defeated opponents from Canada, Mexico, and Germany, thereby bringing home India's first Olympic medal. Interestingly, Jadhav was initially snubbed from the Indian contingent for the 1952 Olympics. He bagged the spot by shining in the pre-Olympic bout.
Karnam Malleswari was the first Indian woman to win a medal at the Olympics (weightlifting). Malleswari scripted history at the Sydney 2000 Olympics by lifting 110 kg and 130 kg in the 'snatch' and 'clean and jerk' categories respectively. Lifting a total of 240 kg, she won the bronze medal. Malleswari remains the only Indian woman weightlifter to win an Olympic medal.
Former shooter Abhinav Bindra remains the only Indian to win an individual gold medal at Olympics. He attained the feat at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Bindra triumphed in the men's 10-meter air rifle event, registering a total of 700.5. Before him, India had won eight gold medals in field hockey. However, Bindra ended India's wait for a gold in an individual sport.
In 2008, Sushil Kumar won India's second Olympic medal (bronze) in wrestling, also the first in 56 years (since Jadhav at the 1952 Summer Olympics). At the same event, Vijender Singh clinched India's first-ever Olympic medal (bronze) in boxing. Notably, Sushil also won a sliver medal at the following Olympic Games (2012). Indian boxer Mary Kom won a bronze medal in 2012 (women's singles).
In 2016, Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Olympic medal. She bagged a bronze in the women's freestyle 58 kg category. In the bronze-medal clash, she was initially trailing 5-0. Malik then staged an emphatic comeback to win 8-5.
In 2012, Saina Nehwal became the first Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal (bronze). Four years later, PV Sindhu became the first Indian shuttler to reach an Olympic final. Although Sindhu lost the summit clash to Carolina Marin, she became the first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympics. She was also the youngest Indian to achieve this feat.