Independence Day 2023: A look at India’s top 5 achievements in sports

Independence Day 2023: India's top five sporting accomplishments

India’s PV Sindhu

India will commemorate its 77th Independence Day on August 15, 2023, which will be a significant day for the nation. With our outstanding athletes and national teams proudly representing the nation at the biggest sporting events around the world, sports have experienced tremendous growth. India has developed into a sporting superpower since gaining its independence, carving out a place for itself through outstanding achievements. In Indian sports history, there have been many outstanding moments that are deserving of recall and that will endure for a very long time.

India has experienced many highs and lows over the past seven decades. Indians have received accolades from all over the world, including for their World Cup triumphs and Olympic gold medals, but there have also been times when they have fallen short on the losing end. Here are India’s top 5 sporting accomplishments since August 15, 1947.

1) First Olympic medal, London Olympics 1948
A big achievement for Indian sports happened in 1948, just one year after Independence when the men’s hockey team won gold in London. It was a huge step forward for the nation, which was still healing from the wounds of partition in 1947, towards becoming a powerful country in the sphere of sports.

2) Abhinav Bindra Shoots Gold in Beijing Olympics
One of India’s most priceless Olympic moments occurred in 2008, when Abhinav Bindra earned a historic gold medal in the men’s 10m air rifle. The Indian shooter finished with a near-perfect 10.8, guaranteeing India’s first individual Olympic gold medal.

3) Indian cricket team winning the 1983, 2007 and 2011 World Cups
Many consider the 1983 Cricket World Cup in England to be India’s finest triumph. No one expected India to win the coveted title, and the Men in Blue were not even considered a contender for the knockouts. In the final, Kapil Dev and his devils defied all expectations, defeating the unbeatable West Indies squad led by Clive Llyod. This triumph marked the beginning of a new era in Indian sports, forever altering the landscape. Cricket became a household favourite, and this was the beginning of the emergence of our modern cricketing superstars. MS Dhoni led India to the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, followed by the 50-over World Cup in 2011.

4) Neeraj Chopra’s historic gold medal in Javelin Throw, Tokyo Olympics 2020
With his gold medal in the men’s javelin throw at Tokyo 2020, Neeraj Chopra became India’s second individual Olympic winner after Abhinav Bindra. It was India’s first Olympic medal in track and field.

5) Multiple medals in Tokyo Olympics 2020
Mirabai Chanu won the silver medal in the women’s 49kg category at Tokyo Olympics 2020.

PV Sindhu became only the second Indian athlete (after Sushil Kumar) and the first Indian woman to win two individual Olympic medals. PV Sindhu defeated Chinese opponent He Bing Jiao 21-13, 21-15 to claim the bronze medal in the women’s singles competition. When he defeated Nurislam Sanayev of Kazakhstan in the semifinals of the men’s 57kg freestyle wrestling competition, Ravi Kumar Dahiya won a silver medal.