2019 was a year of more highs than lows for Indian sport. Let’s look back at some memorable moments.
P V Sindhu put up a strong fight in Basel. She scripted history after clinching Gold at the World Singles Championship. Sai Praneeth earned bronze in the same event.
Satwik Reddy and Chirag Shetty breached the top 10. They beat the Indonesian world champions in the Thailand Open. Lakshya Sen started from 109th rank and finished at 32nd spot.
Others failed to make an impact.
Only Sai Praneeth could finish in the top 10, at 10th spot. Kidambi, H S Pranoy, and Sameer Verma couldn’t touch their peak.
Saina was never a threat. She won only one out of her 16 participations.
The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams qualified for the Rio Olympics. The men had some easy moments against the relatively weaker Russian team. The women faced a tussle from the USA team.
They qualified dramatically as Rani Rampal sealed their spot. Other highs for the men were the victory in the Hockey series finals and runners up position at Azlan Shah Cup. Women eked out Japan to annex FIH Women’s Series finals in Hiroshima.
The I-League went down to the wire. Both debutant Chennai City and East Bengal carried thrill to the final day. Eventually, it was the southern side that produced another ‘Leicester Moment for India.’
The Wrestling scene buzzed with Indian performance. At Nur Sultan, in the World Wrestling Championships, the nation returned with the wealthiest haul of 5 medals. Young Deepak Punia had to settle for silver. Bajrang, Rahul Aware, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, and Vinesh Phogat received bronze medals. India once again returned empty-handed from World Athletics Championship, held in Doha. Duttee Chand, Annu Rani, Tajinder Singh Toor, Jinsen Johnson, Avinash Sable, and Hima Das dominated the scene. Neeraj Chopra remained out of action due to an injury in the early months.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Pankaj Advani, and Esow Alben did well to merit attention. Sumit Nagal took a set from Roger Federer in the US Open. In Chess, K Humpy won Women’s world rapid title. Abhimanyu Mishra became the world’s youngest International Masters. Praggnanandhaa’s Gold was one of 7 medals that nation won in World Youth Championship.
This year we are looking at sizzling performances from all athletes. With such encouraging growth and deep talent pool, we can pin realistic hopes on 8-10 Olympic medals. So, 19 gone – 20 on.
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