India's top sports moments of 2022
From Commonwealth Games to the Thomas Cup, here's a look at the top sporting achievements by India this year, both on and off the field.
From the first Thomas Cup title to the first FIH Nations Cup victory, 2022 is a year for the books as far as Indian sports are concerned. With the new year closing in, let us look back at certain milestones that were achieved - both on and off the field.
Historical Firsts at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games
India finished with 61 medals (22 gold, 16 silver, and 23 bronze) despite shooting being scrapped from the games and stars like Neeraj Chopra missing out.
India's women's team secured a gold and the men's team a silver in lawn bowls, a sport in which India had never won a medal before.
Murali Sreeshankar won India's first silver in men's long jump, and Eldhose Paul bagged India's maiden triple jump gold, followed by silver by Abdulla Aboobacker.
Race walkers Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep Kumar finished on the podium, and Avinash Sable finished with a silver in the men's 3000m steeplechase, clocking a national record. The hockey teams and women's cricket teams bagged medals too.
Maiden Thomas Cup Win
The Indian men's badminton team, comprised of Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, brought back India's first Thomas Cup from the 32nd edition from Bangkok, Thailand. They clinched their maiden title after defeating Indonesia, the most successful team in the competition's history and the defending champions.
World Championships - Javelin, Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting, Shooting and Judo
Having made heads turn last year with his gold medal at the Tokyo Olympics, Neeraj Chopra continued his dream run in 2022, clinching a silver with a national record at the Paavo Nurmi Games, another silver at the World Championships in Oregon, and a stellar Diamond League campaign, finishing as the first Indian to win a Diamond League Trophy.
After a successful gold medal at the CWG, boxer Nikhat Zareen became the fifth Indian woman world champion after the legendary Mary Kom, Laishram Sarita Devi, Jenny R. Lee, and Lekha K.C. in May 2022.
Two of the best wrestlers in the country, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat, finished with bronze at the World Championships, adding to the huge list of achievements we have this year. Antim Panghal became the first and only Indian woman to win the U-20 World Championship in Bulgaria this year. Aman Sehrawat joined the clan by winning gold at the U-23 World Wrestling Championships.
Mirabai Chanu is another on the list to continue achieving after a podium finish at the 2022 CWG. After winning the gold medal at CWG, she went on to win a historic silver at the World Weightlifting Championships.
One of the most surprising achievements of the year was the "gold" on debut at the ISSF Shooting World Championships for Rudrankksh Patil in the men's 10 m air rifle event in Egypt.
Indian judoka Linthoi Chanambam made history with her gold medal at the World Cadet Judo Championships, becoming the first Indian to win a gold at the championships across all categories. She won the national championships and the Asian cadet and junior championships, and finished with a silver and bronze in the 2021 editions of the Asia-Oceania Junior and Cadet Championships, too.
Indian Women's Hockey win maiden FIH Nations Cup
The women's hockey team, led by Savita Punia, recently won the inaugural Women's FIH Nations Cup, putting them in contention for the FIH Pro League 2023-24 season. Following their bronze medal at CWG 2022, this victory was another feather in their cap.
The men's hockey team had earlier secured a silver medal at the CWG 2022 and will soon be fighting it out for the World Cup scheduled in a couple of weeks.
Gender Equality in the industry - BCCI's equal pay policy and First Woman IOA President
Off the field, the BCCI announced equal match fees for both men and women cricketers, bringing pay equality to the Indian sports landscape.
Further, the former Indian athlete P.T. Usha, fondly remembered as the "Payyoli Express", became the first Olympian and first woman to become President of the IOA (Indian Olympic Association).
The Indian men's football team qualifying for the 2023 AFC Asian Cup, the Indian mixed 4 x 400 relay team setting a junior Asian record on the way to a silver at the U-20 World Championships, breaking the world's leading side Australia's winning streaks in men's hockey and women's cricket, and the emergence of prodigies like boxer Nitu Ghanghas are certain other key moments from 2022 that deserve honourable mentions.