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Moments of the Decade

Top 10 greatest moments of 2019 in Indian sports

Top 10 greatest moments of 2019 in Indian sports
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By

Srijanee D. Majumdar

Published: 20 Dec 2019 10:03 AM GMT

From seemingly impossible victories to displays of unmatched excellence, there have been thousands of unforgettable sporting moments throughout this year. The sheer brilliance of watching or playing a sport boils down to precious moments that script history. To narrow down the ten greatest moments in Indian sports throughout the year is no easy feat, however, there is a reason for sports to lift us that can make one feel invincible, albeit at times only for a moment -- the moments listed below have been picked out for a few different reasons. In a similar vein, The Bridge here unveils to its readers what it believes the ten greatest moments throughout 2019. 

#10 Bicycles Can Win You Gold! 

India got its first international gold in cycling at the World Junior Track Championship this year.

The team of Esow Alben, L. Ronaldo Singh, Jemsh Singh, and Y. Rojit Singh won a historic men’s team sprint gold at the World Junior Track Championship. This was India’s first gold at a world cycling event, senior or junior. India won a gold, silver, and bronze each to finish sixth in the medals tally. Esow also lived up to his billing winning a silver and a bronze in the individual sprint and men’s keirin events respectively.  

#9 ‘Chaar Kadam Pe Chaar Sona
’ 

Both Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary asserted their supremacy by winning all the four World Cup mixed gold medals.

With the Tokyo Olympics only a few months away, the Indian shooters completed their brilliant show in the World Cup final last month where they accounted for three individual gold medals, along with a bunch of other medals, including a gold medal in both the rifle and pistol mixed team events. Moreover, youngster Manu Bhaker asserted her supremacy by winning all the four World Cup mixed gold medals with Saurabh Chaudhary. 

#8 The Speedster ‘Aishwarya

The 23-year-old Aishwarya Pissay topped the FIM World Cup in the women’s category post the final round of the championship in Varpalota, Hungary.

Speedster Aishwarya Pissay scripted history in August as she became the first Indian ever to win a world title in motorsport. The 23-year-old topped the FIM World Cup in the women’s category post the final round of the championship in Varpalota, Hungary. She also finished second in the FIM Junior category on the conclusion of the four-round championship. Aishwarya, who won the first round in Dubai and was placed third in Portugal, fifth in Spain and fourth in Hungary in subsequent outings, finished with a tally of 65 points, four points ahead of Portugal’s Rita Vieira in the final overall standings for women.

#7 In The Fast Lane- Gold Medals And Beyond

Dutee won gold in the 100m race at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Napoli this year, becoming the first Indian woman sprinter to win gold at the Universiade.

From belonging to a poverty-stricken background to aiming for something big in life — star Indian sprinter Dutee Chand’s road to glory had many pit stops. She overcame a series of scandals but stayed strong to script her own narrative. Dutee also won gold in the 100m race at the 2019 Summer Universiade in Napoli this year, becoming the first Indian woman sprinter to win gold at the Universiade. Her breakthrough achievement came in the year 2012 when she timed 11.8 seconds in the 100 metres category to set a national record. Dutee accomplished this feat at the National Youth U-18 Junior Athletics Championships in Bengaluru.

#6 Lone Wolf At World Cup

Although Sathiyan did not get us any medals, his qualification alone will forever hold its place among the most inspiring moments in Indian sports.

Paddler G. Sathiyan became the lone Indian to compete at the ITTF World Cup. Having begun his campaign in style, Sathiyan could not advance to the quarter-finals. Although he did not get us any medals, his qualification alone will forever hold its place among the most inspiring moments in Indian sports. The highlight of his career came last August when he signed up with German Bundesliga’s top division club ASV Grunwettersbach Tischtennis, also hailed as the most prestigious league in the world. He became only the second Indian to sign up with a club in Germany, after India’s Sharath Kamal. 

The experience that he garnered contributed to a stellar 2019. After coming sixth in the Asian Cup, he broke into the top 25 to be ranked 24th – the first-ever Indian to break into the top 25 in the world rankings. He was awarded yet another top honour in September when ITTF hailed Sathiyan as the biggest star of the Asian Table Tennis Championships that were held in Indonesia.

#5 See You In Tokyo, Folks!

Both the men’s and women’s teams claimed a second chance by the scruff of the neck to confirm the country’s participation at next year’s Summer Olympic Games. 

The Indian women’s hockey team captain, Rani Rampal's 48th-minute strike ensured that India book a Tokyo Olympics berth as they pipped USA 6-5 on aggregate despite losing 1-4 in the second leg of the FIH Qualifier last month. Both the men’s and women’s teams missed their opportunities at the Asian Games last year and settled for bronze and silver respectively. This time, both the teams claimed a second chance by the scruff of the neck to confirm the country’s participation at next year’s Summer Olympic Games. 

#4 Panghal’s Silver-Lining

Panghal put on a valiant effort but lost the intense 52kg final against Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov to settle with a historic silver at the World Boxing Championships this year.

Amit Panghal has been one of India’s most consistent boxers in the recent past. Ever since Panghal went on to win the bronze at Asian Championships in 2017, the 23-year-old has been on an upward trajectory. He put on a valiant effort but lost the intense 52kg final against Uzbekistan’s Shakhobidin Zoirov to settle with a historic silver at the World Boxing Championships this year. Panghal lost 0-5 to reigning Olympic champion Zoirov to win India’s first silver medal by a male at the World Boxing Championships. Before this year, India had never won more than one bronze medal at a single edition of the world championships.

#3 Why Fear Federer When Nagal Is Here?

Sumit Nagal scripted history by qualifying for the main draw of the US Open, becoming the youngest Indian in 25 years to achieve the feat.

Young tennis star Sumit Nagal scripted history by qualifying for the main draw of the US Open, becoming the youngest Indian in 25 years to achieve the feat. And he commemorated it in style clinching the first set against 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer. It was a dream debut for Nagal as he produced a spirited performance and went down fighting 6-4, 1-6, 2-6, 4-6 to Federer at the Arthur Ashe stadium in New York on August 27. In the process, he also became only the fourth Indian to win a set in the main draw of a Grand Slam in the last 20 years.

#2 The Miracle On Mat

Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by virtue of her top-six finish.

One of India’s top wrestlers, Vinesh Phogat has brought laurels for the country from international competitions in and around the world. She bagged a maiden World Championship medal in 2019 in the women’s 53kg category after pinning Maria Prevolaraki in the bronze medal match. She became the first Indian wrestler to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 by virtue of her top-six finish. The first Indian woman wrestler to win gold in both Commonwealth and Asian Games, Vinesh next aims to gun for a greater glory at the Tokyo Olympics next year.

#1 The 38-Minute Gold Medal Clash

P V Sindhu etched a new record for herself and the country when she laid her hands on the elusive gold medal at the BWF World Championships.

For Hyderabadi ace shuttler P V Sindhu it has been a marvelous first half of 2019 as she etched a new record for herself and the country when she laid her hands on the elusive gold medal at the BWF World Championships. Having eyed the crown of becoming the World Champion, Sindhu exhibited a powerful form and looked formidable against old foe Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to claim the title for herself. Sindhu put up an impressive performance that had Okuhara grappling for points in vain.

Bagging the World Championship crown, Sindhu’s form had dipped with early-exits in the next six tournaments. Save for a quarter-final finish at the Fuzhou French Open 2019, Sindhu’s pinnacle moment of the year came on August 25 in Basel. Sindhu has laid down a record of winning medals at every World Championships, the exception being of 2015. A recipient of both Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Padma Shri, Sindhu became the second woman in the world to win five or more medals at the World Championships.

That was a quick recap of the year’s greatest highs in Indian sports. Which one is your favourite?

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