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5 Impactful women of Indian sports in 2020

5 Impactful women of Indian sports in 2020

Abhijit Nair

Published: 19 Dec 2020 2:49 PM GMT

2020 was a year of uncertainties. With a pandemic engulfing the whole world, everything was at a standstill for months at end. Even during such times, some sportspersons stood out and created an impact – not only inside the sports field but also off it.

Here, we look at 5 Indian women sportspersons who left an impact in their own way during this disastrous year:

Manasi Joshi Manasi Joshi

Manasi Joshi

2020 was a year to remember for the 31 year old Manasi Joshi. A Para-shuttler from the city of Ahmedabad, Manasi’s first big moment in the year came when she was nominated for the BBC Indian Sportswoman of the Year 2019 alongside the likes of PV Sindhu, Mary Kom, Dutee Chand and Vinesh Phogat. There has been no looking back since, as she became the first para-athlete to have one-of-a-kind Barbie doll modeled after her in October. She even featured in the cover page of TIMES Magazine as the next generation leader. To round off an incredible year, the 2019 World Para-Badminton Champion was also named in the list of BBC’s 100 Women of 2020.

Koneru Humpy Koneru Humpy

Koneru Humpy

The Indian team being declared as the joint-winners of the Online Chess Olympiad 2020 was undoubtedly India’s sporting moment of the year, and the 33 year old Koneru Humpy surely left a mark during the tournament. The youngest women in the history of the game to be awarded the title of Grand Master, Humpy defeated Monika Socko of Poland in the tie-breaker armageddon match to lead India to the final of the Olympiad. Besides the armageddon, Humpy managed to win some closely fought games against some of the best players in the world to emerge as a star for India during the tournament.

Sania Mirza Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza

Much before the pandemic struck India, the Indian tennis legend made a comeback of dreams. After being out of the court for almost 27 months – first due to an injury and then pregnancy, the 34 year old returned to the court in a grand fashion by winning the doubles title in the Hobart Title during January 2020. With her son, Izhaan, cheering from the sidelines Mirza partnered with the Ukrainian NadiiaKichenok to lift the Hobart International title after beating the Chinese duo of Shuai Zang and Shuai Peng 6-4, 6-4 in straight sets.

Bala Devi Bala Devi

Bala Devi

Bala Devi was undoubtedly one of the most successful Indian sportsperson in the year. The 30 year old footballer became the first Indian woman to sign for a European club when she signed a contract with the Scottish team, Rangers Women’s FC in January 2020. She also became the first Indian woman to score a goal in a European league. Besides, Bala Devi was also promoted to inspector rank in Manipur Police and was also named as the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) International Player of the Week ahead of the likes of Son Heung-Min and Sam Kerr.

Deepa Malik Deepa Malik

Deepa Malik

The 2016 Rio Paralympic silver medallist, Deepa Malik, was elected as the President of Paralympic Committee of India. Besides, she was seen actively endorsing the edu-tech platform White Hat Jr. during the Indian Premier League. During the lockdown, Deepa along with her daughter started an initiative called, ‘Happy Janta Kitchen’ and served food to daily wagers in the country.

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