India has not always dazzled at Olympic games but over the years we have seen a significant improvement in the way Indian athletes perform at Olympics.
Olympics is the biggest sporting in the world and to reach the finals of an event is a big deal for an Olympian.
Let us rewind our memories and recall some of the finest performances by Indian athletes at the sport’s grandest stage.
- Gurnam Singh in 1948 Olympics: The Indian high jumper is one of the firsts to reach the Olympic finals of an event. His finished at 18th place for the men’s high jump in the Olympic Games 1948.
- Henry Rebello in 1948 Olympics: This Bengaluru born Indian triple jumper got an opportunity to compete in the Olympics for Independent India in the year 1948. He did not disappoint in this memorable moment for India and went on to reach the finals of the tournament.
- Milkha Singh in 1960 Olympics: It won’t be wrong to say that Milkha Singh’s sprint at the 1960 Rome Olympics is one of the most important moments in Indian sports history. The Flying Sikh, as Milkha is popularly known was first introduced to the sport while serving in the army. Till date he is remembered for his fourth place finish in the 400m run in the 1960 games.
- Gurbachan Singh Randhawa in 1964 Olympics: Asian Games gold medalist Gurbachan Sigh Randhawa finished fifth in the 110 m hurdle at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. He was also the first Indian athlete to get Arjuna Award in 1961.
- Sriram Singh in 1976 Olympics: The Indian middle distance runner was an Asian gold medalist in 1976. After getting eliminated in the heats of Munich Olympics, he came back stronger and finished seventh in the finals of 800m in the 1976 Montreal Olympics after giving his best. He held the national record for the fastest timing in 800m until recently when Jinson Jonson broke it in 2018.
PT Usha in 1984 Olympics: It will be hard to find a person who has not heard of PT Usha, the golden girl of Indian athletics. She is referred as the golden girl for a reason. She lost on an Olympic medal just by 1/100th of a second. She feels deeply for the sport and tries to support anything that benefits Indian sports, take for example her sports academy. At the academy she trains the young athletes and now is in talks with the Sports Ministry to discuss the future of the Indian sports.
- Anju Bobby George in 2004 Olympics: Anju Bobby George created history by winning a bronze medal in 2003 World Championship in Paris in long jump. With this, she became the first Indian athlete to win a medal at World Championships. She was fifth with her personal best of 6.83 m at the Athens Olympics but unfortunately could not secure a medal.
- Vikas Gowda in 2012 Olympics: The Indian Discuss thrower is a three time Olympian, in one of which he was a finalist as well. In the 2012 London Olympics he came eighth in the finals. His personal best 66.28 m is also the national record.
- Krishna Punia in 2012 Olympics: Commonwealth Gold medalist, Krishna Punia is a three time Olympian having participated in the year 2004, 2008 and 2012. She has the current National Record for the longest discus throw of 64.76 m. She finished sixth in the finals of the event having shown one of her best performances with 62.42 m in the first attempt and 61.61 in the third and 61.31 m in the sixth and the final throw.
- Lalita Babar in 2016 Olympics: The 3,000 m steeplechase athlete finished tenth in the 2016 Rio Olympics. She has made waves by being the first Indian women to break into steeplechase final in a World Championship.