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National Sports Day 2019

National Sports Day 2019: Women representing India at Olympics 2020

August 29, 2019

National Sports Day 2019 is observed on August 29 to highlight the need for sports education and development of children in aspects beyond academics. August 29, 2019 also marks the 114th birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand, a legendary hockey player, who brought India not one but three Olympic gold medals – at Amsterdam in 1928, Los Angles in 1932 and Berlin in 1936. In fact, Dhyan Chand was so good in the sport that during one of his visits to the Netherlands, the authorities broke his hockey stick to check if there was a magnet inside. He joined the Indian army in 1922 at the age of 16 and retired in 1956 with the rank of a Major. 

On this occasion, let’s acquaint ourselves with India’s rising women sports stars who have made the country proud and are all set to represent the country at the upcoming Tokyo Olympics 2020 starting on July 24 next year.

From former Youth Olympics gold winner Manu Bhaker to experienced shooter like Rahi Sarnobat and excellent sprinters like Hima Das and Dutee Chand, many Indian sportswomen have qualified for the big games next year.

Manu Bhaker: The 17-year old Indian professional sport shooter represented India at the 2018 International Shooting Sports Federation (ISSF) World Cup and won two gold medals. One of the youngest Indians in history to accomplish such a feat, she is also the winner of women’s 10 m air pistol event at the Commonwealth Games 2018.


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Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat: The 28-year year old athlete from Kolhapur in Maharastra won her first gold medal at the 2008 Commonwealth Youth Games in Pune, India. She is also the first woman to win a gold medal in shooting in an Asian Games for India. She won two gold medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi and one at the ISSF world cup, Munich Germany 2019.

Hima Das: Nicknamed the Dhing Express, she is an Indian sprint runner from the state of Assam. She holds the current Indian national record in 400 metres with a timing of 50.79 s that she achieved at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia. She is also the first Indian athlete to win a gold medal in a track event at the IAAF World U20 Championships.


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Dutee Chand: An Indian professional sprinter and the current national champion in the women’s 100 metres event, she is the third Indian woman to ever qualify for the Women’s 100 metres event at the Summer Olympic Games. In 2018, Chand clinched silver in women’s 100m at the Jakarta Asian Games, which was India’s first medal in this event since 1998. In 2019, she became the first Indian sprinter to win gold at the Universiade, clocking 11.32 seconds in the 100m race.


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Vinesh Phogat: An Indian wrestler who comes from a successful family of wrestlers – her cousins being Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, both gold medal winners at Commonwealth Games. This 25-year old became the first Indian woman wrestler to win Gold in both Commonwealth and Asian games. She also became the first Indian athlete to be nominated for Laureus World Sports Awards 2019.


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Anjum Moudgil: She is an Indian sport shooter from Chandigarh who has won the silver medals at 2018 Commonwealth Games – women’s 50 metre rifle three positions and the ISSF World Cup, the same year. She is also a gold medal winner in South Asian Games, 2016. 

Apurvi Singh Chandela: Another Indian sport shooter, Chandela competes in the 10 metre air rifle event. She won the gold medal in the 2019 ISSF World Cup in New Delhi and at the Asian Games 2018, she paired with Ravi Kumar for the 10 meter air rifle mixed team event, and won a bronze medal.

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