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2018: The year female athletes found their way on major magazine covers

2018: The year female athletes found their way on major magazine covers

Sounak Mullick

Published: 8 Dec 2018 12:05 PM GMT
2018 was the year of tournaments which brought with them their own shares of highs and lows. With the Tokyo Olympics less than 600 days away, it is but inevitable that all sporting action involving Indian athletes on an international level are being heavily scrutinised. In a positive development, sporting excellence found their way into the mass psyche in 2018 with non sporting magazines choosing the athletes to grace their covers and gaining quite a lot of appreciation in the process.

The Heroes of the Commonwealth Games.

Mary Kom, Heena Sidhu, Manika Batra, Saina Nehwal and Shreyashi Singh forms the Golden quartet from India’s 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games campaign. These women have excelled in their respective disciplines and made our nation proud. They have set an example for girls who are aspiring sports persons of the future!
The magazine wrote: It celebrates India’s golden girls, who made the country proud at the 2018 Commonwealth Games by bringing home the coveted gold medals. Boxer Mary Kom won India's first gold medal in boxing, making it extra special for her. Badminton player Saina Nehwal made history again with her second CWG gold, while shooter Heena Sidhu aimed for gold despite an injury. Shooter Shreyasi Singh struck gold and fulfilled her late father’s dream, making it a ‘milestone medal’ for her. Table tennis player Manika Batra won hers at the women's singles.

Manika Batra

Manika Batra has been the poster girl of Indian Table Tennis in this year, she has taken her game to unimaginable heights. She created history in the 2018 Commonwealth Games by becoming the first Indian to win the Gold medal in the singles event. Her next big stop is the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The magazine wrote: Manika Batra created history at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The table tennis star is soft-spoken and unassuming, but her focus and determination are remarkable. She now aims to win gold at the 2020 Olympics.

Vinesh Phogat

Hailing from a family of renowned wrestlers, Vinesh Phogat has hogged most of the limelight from the Haryana region in the past 12 months. After claiming the Gold medal in the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, she repeated a similar feat in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games. It was the first time that a female wrestler won a Gold medal at the Asiad.
The magazine wrote: In a sport dominated by men, the 24-year-old wrestler is scripting her own success story.
It isn’t hard to see why Vinesh Phogat is currently one of India’s best female wrestlers. Combining her considerable heft with flashes of speed, her practice bouts usually end with opponents either getting thrown to the ground or shoved unceremoniously out of the ring.
In August this year, Phogat drew on her reserves of strength to defeat Japan’s Yuki Irie in the 50kg weight category at the Asian Games, making her the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Games. The victory was especially sweet for the Haryana native, known mostly for her attacking game, after a freak accident at the 2016 Rio Olympics that ruled her out of the tournament.
Phogat was carried out on a stretcher writhing in pain and fighting back tears. “I didn’t think I would return to the mat again. I’ve sustained injuries before, but nothing like this. I’m not a patient person, but I’ve developed patience over time. Looking back, I feel like it was God’s will to let this all happen so that I could come out stronger.”

PV Sindhu

She is the youngest celebrity in the Forbes list at only 22 years of age. She is currently the 3rd ranked Women’s shuttler in the world. She came into prominence after the heroics in the 2016 Rio Olympics where she won the Silver medal in the singles event. A recipient of the prestigious Padma Shri Award, Sindhu will be eyeing the Gold medal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The magazine wrote: For 2017 India top 100 celebrity list PV  Sindhu is at Rank 13 with 57.25 crores earning, She Is the Youngest celebrity in the list at 22 years of age.

Hima Das

Hima Das was honoured as the Sportswoman of the year by the magazine, she is by far the biggest sports icon in India recently. She achieved a remarkable feat by becoming the first ever Indian to win the Gold medal in an IAAF World Championships event. She added another feather to the cap by winning another Gold medal in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games in the 400*4 relay event. The ‘Dhing Express’ has much more to offer in the near future.
The magazine wrote: The young athlete Hima Das has pocketed the Sportswoman of the Year, which was awarded to her by the magazine. The magazine had held the Women of the Year Awards, in November. Das shared the award with Vinesh Phogat and Swapna Burman.
Das has been honoured for her rapid rise on-field. Notably, 2018 has been a remarkable year for the young athlete. Hima's excellent show, this year, saw her receiving the Arjuna award. She was among 20 athletes who were nominated for the prestigious award.
"I didn't expect to win the Arjuna this year. I was thinking maybe next year, I will be considered," said Hima after being nominated. She became the fifth sportsperson from Assam ever to be conferred with the Arjuna award.

Golden Quartet

The magazine wrote: India's gold medal-winning quartet, Hima das, V.K. Vismaya, Sarita Gaikwad and M. R. Poovama know no boundaries, no barriers of time. they just know how to break them, and run all over conventions and entrenched notions. This year, they brought home the gold medal for the country at the Asian Games, turning the spotlight on Indian
athletes on a global platform.

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza’s daring and bold cover picture on the JFW July edition of her pregnancy period took the entire sporting fraternity by storm. Wife of famous cricketer Shoaib Malik, she has recently shared views and many secrets and her feelings on motherhood and her comeback. "Pregnancy is not a deterrent. It empowers and inspires!” said the Tennis star.
The magazine wrote: Tennis Beauty Sania Mirza turned bold and posed daringly for the magazine's cover with her baby bump. Sania who is currently pregnant speaking to scribes many secrets and her feelings on motherhood and her comeback.
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