2018 has been a memorable year for Indian sports. Not only because we have seen our athletes win several medals at the highest level, but also because we have seen a positive approach by them in each and every discipline. Hopefully, we are going to witness many more achievements in the year 2019.
Before that, let us have a look at the top 30 moments in Indian sports for the year 2018:
#30 LAKSHYA SEN (ASIAN JUNIOR CHAMPIONSHIP GOLD)
The young shuttler became only the third Indian to win the Asian Junior Championship in Jakarta earlier this year. Gautam Thakkar was the first player from the nation to complete the feat in 1965, following which P.V. Sindhu won the Gold medal in 2012. So, this is the first Men’s Gold medal at the championships after 53 long years!
#29 MANU BHAKER (WORLD CUP GOLD)
The shooter Jhajjar district in Haryana made the nation proud by becoming the youngest ever Indian to win a Gold medal in the World Cup. She won the 10 m air pistol event in the ISSF World Cup in Guadalajara earlier in 2018. She followed it up with another win during the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.
#28 SWAPNA BARMAN (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
She became the first Indian to win a Gold medal in the women’s heptathlon event at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. The remarkable fact about the triumph was that she competed at the mega event even though she was ailing a jaw injury.
#27 JEREMY LALRINNUNGA (YOUTH OLYMPICS GOLD)
His lift of 274kg (124kg+150kg) helped him to become the first Indian to win a Gold medal at the Youth Olympics in Buenos Aires. Jeremy was clear of the second-placed weightlifter by an 11 kg margin, which gave him a convincing win in the Boys’ 62 kg category.
#26 AMEE KAMANI (ASIAN SNOOKER TITLE)
Amme Kamani scripted her name in the record books by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Asian Snooker title. The cueist won the Asian Women’s Snooker title by convincingly getting the better of her Thai opponent Siripaporn Nuanthakhamjan 3-0.
#25 MEN’S CRICKET TEAM (U19 WORLD CUP)
The Indian colts won a record fourth ICC Men’s U19 World Cup after a thumping victory over Australia in the final in February 2018. More importantly, many young talents emerged from the tournament which will help Indian cricket in the future.
#24 MEN’S TABLE TENNIS TEAM (ASIAN GAMES BRONZE MEDAL)
India was never a force to reckon with in Table Tennis in the Asian circuit, but things have changed in the recent past. The display at the 2018 Asian Games was a major boost for the future of the sport in our country. The Indian men’s team won its first Bronze medal at the mega event, which was a feat to remember!
#23 MIXED BADMINTON TEAM (COMMONWEALTH GAMES GOLD)
The mixed team won the Gold medal at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, the victory was first of its kind in any team event. India outclassed the much fancied Malaysian unit to win claim the top position at the Games.
#22 MEN’S HOCKEY TEAM (CHAMPIONS TROPHY SILVER)
Narrowly missing the Gold medal, the Indian hockey team settled for the Silver medal in the Champions League in the Netherlands. After a 1-1 at the end of the regulation time, the ‘men in blue’ fell short in the shoot-out against Australia in the title clash. This was India’s third medal in the history of the competition and the second Silver medal win.
#21 RAMESHPRABHU PRAGGNANANDHAA (GRANDMASTER)
The 13-year old prodigy from Chennai became the Grandmaster early in 2018 and was then the second youngest player to achieve the feat behind Sergey Karjakin at an age of 12 years and 10 months and 13 days. Uzbek Javokhir Sindarov completed the feat in 8 lesser days in October 2018 and pushed the Indian to the third spot.
#20 RAMKUMAR RAMANATHAN (FINAL OF ATP 250 EVENT)
Ramkumar became the first Indian singles player to reach the final of an ATP 250 event in 7 years. The last Indian player to reach the final of such an occasion was Somdev Devvarman. He is currently at the 133rd spot as per the latest ATP World Rankings.
#19 SAURABH CHAUDHARY (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
The young shooter leapfrogged several Olympic and World medallists to win the Gold medal at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. He also became the fifth ever Indian to win an Asian Games Gold medal.
#18 ULLAS NARAYAN (BRONZE MEDAL IN ULTRA-RUNNING)
Ullas Narayan created history by becoming the first ever Indian Individual medal winner in an International event in ultra-running after he secured the Bronze medal in the 2018 International Association of Ultra Running (IAU) 24 Hour Asia and Oceania Championships.
#17 ARUNA BUDDA REDDY (GYMNASTICS WORLD CUP BRONZE)
She became the first Indian women to grab a medal in a World Cup individual event when she won the Bronze medal in the Women’s Vault event during the 2018 Gymnastic World Cup.
#16 SAINA NEHWAL (COMMONWEALTH GAMES GOLD MEDAL)
The Olympic medallist played exceptionally well to secure a Gold medal in the Women’s individual event at the Commonwealth Games. This was her second Gold medal at the mega event, the first Indian player to achieve the rare feat.
#15 MANIKA BATRA (COMMONWEALTH GAMES GOLD)
The Gold medal was remarkable in the fact that India was never expected to do so well in Table Tennis at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Manika Batra defeated the much fancied Indonesian Yu Mengyu to grab the pole position in the Women’s Individual event, the first Indian woman to do so.
#14 TAJINDER PAL SINGH TOOR (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
The solidly built athlete from Punjab stunned everyone by staging an outstanding performance during the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games to win the Gold medal in the Men’s shot put event. With the throw of 20.75m, he set a new national record, as well as a new Asian Games record.
#13 AMIT PHANGAL (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
The pugilist stunned the 2016 Rio Olympic Gold medallist and the best boxer awardee of the Olympics Hasanboy Dusmatov to win the Asian Games medal in the Men’s 49kg category.
#12 DEEPIKA KUMARI (WORLD CUP GOLD)
The former World No.1 proved herself once again by winning the World Cup Gold medal in the Women’s recurve event for the third time in 2018, after a gap of 6 years. En-route the triumph, the ‘Arjuna Awardee’ qualified for World Cup final for the 7th time. This was India’s only Gold medal in Archery at the World level in this year 2018.
#11 SUBHANKAR SHARMA (MAYBANK CHAMPIONSHIP GOLD)
A less popular sport in our country, Subhankar Sharma’s Gold medal in the Maybank Championships paved the way for the future of Golf in India. The result in the co-sanctioned event of Asian tour and European tour helped him enter the world top 100 rankings.
#10 RAHI SARNOBAT (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
During the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, Rahi Sarnobat became the first Indian woman to win an Individual Gold medal in shooting. She won the 25m pistol event with a game’s record score of 34.
#9 BAJRANG PUNIA (WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SILVER)
India had last won a medal in 2015 and last Silver in 2013 in World Championship. With this Silver, he also became the World no.1 in men’s 65kg category.
#8 BHAVANI DEVI (COMMONWEALTH CHAMPIONSHIPS GOLD)
The Indian sabre fencer has been a consistent performer for India in the concerned disciplined having earned many accolades during her illustrious career. She created history by becoming the first Indian to win a Gold medal at the Commonwealth Championships.
#7 ESOW ALBEN (JUNIOR TRACK CYCLING WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS SILVER)
The teenage sensation scripted history by winning India’s first medal in track cycling at world level. Esow won the Silver medal in the men’s kerin event of the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championships held in Aigle, Switzerland.
#6 P.V. SINDHU (WORLD TOUR FINAL GOLD)
The shuttler has been the poster girl of Indian Badminton for the past few years now. She continued her dream run at the International level by becoming the first Indian to win a World Tour final.
#5 NEERAJ CHOPRA (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
The Haryana based Javelin thrower has had an excellent 2018. He was on a high after winning the Gold medal at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. Neeraj followed it up with a similar result during the Jakarta Asian Games.
#4 MIRABAI CHANU (COMMONWEALTH GAMES GOLD)
Mentored by legendary weightlifter Kunjarani Devi, the Manipuri set the tone for the 2018 Commonwealth Games down under by claiming the Gold medal in the women’s 48kg category. En-route to his triumph, she set a new Commonwealth Games and a personal best record.
#3 VINESH PHOGAT (ASIAN GAMES GOLD)
Keeping aside the disappointing exit during the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman wrestler to win an Asian Games Gold medal. She pipped Japan’s Yuki Irie in the women’s 50kg category freestyle wrestling category to secure a top podium finish at the games.
#2 MARY KOM (WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP GOLD)
With the 6th world championship Gold medal win, Mary Kom jointly became the most successful boxer (Men or Women) in the history of World Championships with 6 gold medals and 1 silver medal.
#1 HIMA DAS (WORLD U20 CHAMPIONSHIP GOLD)
Arguably the most memorable achievement by an Indian in the year 2018. The ‘Dhing Express’ became an overnight sensation after her Gold medal win in the Women’s 400m event during the World U20 Athletics in Finland. Since then, Hima Das has been a household name, her display during the Asian Games promises much more in the future!
Hima is the first Indian track athlete to have won a Medal in the history of the Athletics World U20 Championship. She is also the first Indian Women to Win Gold in World U20 Championship.