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Valentine’s Day: Love stories that found their way in Indian sports

Valentine’s Day: Love stories that found their way in Indian sports
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By

P. Divya Rao

Published: 13 Feb 2021 8:09 AM GMT

Amidst all the drama, aggression, pressure and stress you go on the field to give your best as a sports person and sometimes, you luckily find a soulmate who shares the same level of passion and temperament as you do for sports. Over the years we have seen many memorable fights and competition in the sports world but today being Valentine's day The Bridge brings you the most memorable love stories from the world of Indian sports.

Neha Pardeshi and Gautam Dagar

The captains of Indian men's and women's rugby team Gautam Dagar and Neha Pardeshi married in 2019. (Image: ESPN) The captains of Indian men's and women's rugby team Gautam Dagar and Neha Pardeshi married in 2019. (Source: ESPN)

Gautam Dagar is the captain of the Indian men's rugby team and his wife Neha Pardeshi leads Indian women's rugby team. Both share the same enthusiasm for the sport. Both play at the same position. What more could we ask for? It all started in 2015 when they met during a tournament and couldn't feel content with their goodbyes. They were so made for each other that not even distance between Pune and Delhi came between them. They confessed to sharing ideas with each other and tips about the performance. The two got engaged in August 2018 and got married a year later.

Dinesh Karthik and Dipika Pallikal

Deepika Pallikal realised that Dinesh Karthik is a different cricketer. (Image: India Fantasy) Deepika Pallikal realised that Dinesh Karthik is a different cricketer. (Source: India Fantasy)

Indian squash queen Deepika Pallikal and cricketer Dinesh Karthik have an adorable love story. While Pallikal seemed to have a dislike for cricketers thinking that they snatch away all the due credits of other Indian sportspersons but realised that Karthik was different. It all started when Karthik surprised the former world no 13th by stopping by to watch her play. And the rest is history.

Anju Bobby George and Robert Bobby George

Anju married Robert who is a former national champion in triple jump and her coach too. (Image: kudakkachirafamilytree.com/) Anju married Robert who is a former national champion in triple jump and her coach too. (Image: kudakkachirafamilytree.com/)

This love story goes beyond track and field. Former World champion and National champion Anju George found a friend in her coach and now-husband Robert George.

Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Pradnya Gadre

Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Pradnya Gadre tied knots in December 2016. (Image: Midday) Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Pradnya Gadre tied knots in December 2016. (Image: Midday)

Imagine being proposed on a badminton court. Weird... Right? Actually not when it is about one the best mixed doubles pair of the country. Pranaav Jerry Chopra and Pradnya Gadre, once played as as a mixed doubles pair, are now happily married. One fine day Pranav decided to propose to Pradnya on the court with a shuttlecock and she readily accepted.

Ishant Sharma and Pratima Singh

Ace pacer Ishant Sharma is married to basketball player Pratima Singh. (Image: Ishant Sharma Instagram profile) Ace pacer Ishant Sharma is married to basketball player Pratima Singh. (Image: Ishant Sharma Instagram profile)

The lanky Indian bowler Ishant Sharma and basketball player Pratima Singh met at an event. At first Ishant failed to recognise Pratima as a basketball player because she was handling the scoreboard and passed a flirty comment. Ishant was then corrected by his friend. Ishant sent a friend request to Pratima on Facebook but she did not accept his request for two years . When she finally did one thing led to the other and now they are happily married.

Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap

Saina Nehwal and Parupali Kashyap have known each other from their junior days (Image: NOC India Twitter) Saina Nehwal and Parupali Kashyap have known each other from their junior days (Image: NOC India Twitter)

It was all speculations till it became official on December 14, 2019. That is the day when the two most recognisable faces of Indian badminton became husband and wife. But what could have been the reason that Saina Nehwal and Parupalli Kashyap had to hide their relationship? Well, Saina spilled the beans on social media where she admitted that though they were in a relationship for the longest time, they had hidden it because of the societal pressure.

"I first met Kashyap at our badminton coaching class and eventually, our friendship blossomed into something more. :blush: What more could you ask for than to fall in love with your closest friend?! After spending enough time with him, I knew he was the one I wanted to spend the rest of my life with!"

"But there was one issue that I'm from Haryana and he is from Hyderabad, and inter-community marriages are still quite rare in our country, which is why we had to hide our relationship for the longest time. It's sad that societal barriers like community, religion, gender, and age still become a reason for people to give up on their relationships," Saina wrote in an Instagram post.

Vinesh Phogat and Somvir Rathee

Vinesh Phogat and Somavir Rathee is one 'powerful' sports couple. (Image: NOC India Twitter ) Vinesh Phogat and Somavir Rathee is one 'powerful' sports couple. (Image: NOC India Twitter )

The golden girl of Indian wrestling Vinesh Phogat and Greco-roman wrestler Somvir Rathee had a typical Bollywood style proposal when Rathee proposed to Vinesh on her arrival at Delhi's Indira Gandhi International airport from Jakarta after winning gold at the Asian Games. It was a special day for Vinesh. Not because of the win or the proposal but also because it was her birthday too. What a day to remember for the couple!

Heena Sidhu and Ronak Pandit

Heena Sidhu and Ronak Pandit always had their eye on each other. (Image: PTI) Heena Sidhu and Ronak Pandit always had their eye on each other. (Image: PTI)

Two-time Olympian and celebrated Asian Games silver medalist Heena Sidhu and Ronak Pandit are an amazingly talented couple. Heena married Ronak in the year 2013 who is also her coach. Being from the same sport, Heena often says that it helped Ronak in understanding how important is it for her to be calm during the competitions and he supports me doing that.

Sakshi Malik and Satyawarat Kadian

Like any other couple Sakshi Malik and Satyawarat Kadian have a fight sometimes. (Image: Indian Express) Like any other couple Sakshi Malik and Satyawarat Kadian have a fight sometimes. (Image: Indian Express)

There is always a sense of insecurity when one of the partners is more successful than the other. Well at least that is what people think. But Olympic bronze medalist, Sakshi Malik and silver medallist in the Commonwealth games, Satyawarat Kadian have never let their profession disturb their relationship. In fact, as a child, Satyawarat always looked up to Sakshi and had a lot of respect for her. He was so shy that it was difficult for him to even talk to her in school. Slowly the hesitation melted away and both opened up to each other. They are now the power couple of Indian wrestling, quite literally.

Bajrang Punia and Sangeeta Phogat

Sangeeta Phogat and Bajrang Punia Sangeeta Phogat and Bajrang Punia

Sangeeta Phogat's her love story with Bajrang Punia started only after moving to Sonepat. The 22-year-old grappler initially started her wrestling career just like her other sisters- training under her father Mahavir Phogat. But later she moved to Sonepat along with her sister Geeta and Babita to train. It is there the Bajrang and Sangeeta story started. The couple was scheduled to get married after the Olympics in August 2020. Howevr, the pandemic delayed their wedding and they finally tied knots in November last year.

Also read: World Radio Day: Indian sportspersons described by popular songs

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