Sports, for the most part, is regarded as the domain of the young, but the conventional definition has taken a different course with time. Take the case of Indian sports. It is a time when grit, determination, and fiery intimidation more often than not rules the field. The Bridge retraces a rich and sumptuous history in Indian sporting fraternity clouded by transcendent athletes who have found a way to thrive and get better with every passing year.
#10 Tarundeep Rai
Tarundeep Rai became the first Indian to win an individual men’s silver medal in archery at the Asian Games 2010 in Guangzhou, China. One of the most experienced archers in the Indian archery team, Tarundeep made his international debut at a tender age of 19 when he played at the 2003 Asian Archery Championship. Following a good show in his debut, he became a member of the Indian archery team that went on to claim the bronze medal at the 15th Asian Games in Doha in 2006. He was also a part of the Indian archery team that finished fourth at the 2003 World Championship in New York. His team won the silver medal at the 2005 World Championship in Madrid, Spain. Tarundeep made it to the Indian men’s recurve team for the 2012 London Olympics.
#9 Sania Mirza
Six-time Grand Slam winner and former Wimbledon doubles champion Sania Mirza is undoubtedly one of the most respected and admired sportspersons in the country. From 2003 until her retirement from singles in 2013, she was ranked India’s No. 1 player in both the categories by the WTA. Throughout her career, Mirza has established herself as by far the most successful Indian tennis player ever and one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in the country.
She is the highest-ranked female player ever from India, peaking at world No. 27 in mid-2007. However, a major wrist injury forced her to give up on her singles career and focus on the doubles circuit. Besides, she is the third Indian woman in the Open Era to feature and win a round at a Grand Slam tournament. She has also won a total of 14 medals (including 6 gold) at three major multi-sport events, namely the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games, and the Afro-Asian Games.
#8 Vishwanathan Anand
Former World Champion Viswanathan Anand became the first grandmaster from India in the year 1988. He held the FIDE World Chess Championship from 2000 to 2002, becoming the first Asian to do so. The undisputed World Champion in 2007, Anand defended his title against Vladimir Kramnik in 2008. He then followed it up by defending his title in the World Chess Championship 2010 and in the World Chess Championship 2012. In April 2006 Anand became the fourth player in history to pass the 2800 Elo mark on the FIDE rating list. He was placed at the top for 21 months, perhaps the sixth-longest on record.