Wrestler Sakshi Malik trends at the top after clinching the bronze in the 58 kg category at the Rio Olympics. Qualifying for the repechage round, Malik managed to overturn a 0-5 loss to win 8-5. The 23-year-old is now the only woman to win a medal at the Games, and also the first to bag one at Rio.
Dipa Karmakar; the artistic gymnast needs no introduction anymore in the country. The first woman to represent the country at the Olympics, forget advancing to the finals of the vault, Karmakar scripted history by finishing fourth. An Arjuna Awardee, the 23-year-old is full of poise, grace and determination every time she steps on to the mat.
Ranked World No 10, PV Sindhu has crushed all her opponents to reach the finals of the Rio Olympics. After becoming the first-ever Indian woman to win a medal at the World Championships in 2013, she is now also the first Indian to qualify for the finals at an Olympics. Taking it one point at a time, Sindhu has displayed unbelievable grit through the Games.
Her fourth Olympics, Sania Mirza couldn’t bag a medal but came in fourth in the mixed doubles event. The World No 1 in the women’s doubles has beaten all controversies to emerge as one of the most influential athletes for women across the country. Mirza was honoured with the Padma Bhushan this year; she has already received the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna awards.
Shuttler Saina Nehwal bowed out of the Rio Olympics early in the competition, but remains one of India’s best athletes. The World No 3, who couldn’t defend her 2012 London Olympics bronze, is considered to be one of the most successful female athletes in the country. She received the Padma Bhushan this year, adding to her Arjuna Award and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna.
Long-distance runner Lalita Babar created a national record of 9:19.76 during the Summer Olympics in Rio, which helped her qualify for the 3,000 metre steeplechase finals. She became the first women in 32 years to enter the finals in any track event. She finished 10th with a times of 9:22.74.
Golfer Aditi Ashok qualified for the Rio Olympics, by becoming the youngest athlete to win the Lalla Aicha Tour School, thereby securing the Ladies European Tour card for the 2016 season. The 18-year-old is inking history in her own way by participating in the golf tournament which is being including in Rio for the first time since 1990.
Vinesh Phogat’s campaign at the Rio Olympics ended tragically after the wrestler suffered a tendon tear during her quarter-final bout of the women’s freestyle 48kg category. Leading 1-0 against her Chinese opponent, things were looking positive for the 21-year-old, before she retired from the tournament. Phogat’s good prospects give us a glimpse of what we can expect in the coming years.