Indian sports fans will remember 2022. Several firsts and historic achievements by Indian athletes on the world stage made it a great year to follow up an almost equally impressive 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics. Check out the peaks Indian athletes reached in 2022.
World Championships and Diamond League: Neeraj Chopra stamps his mark
After winning gold at the Olympics in Tokyo the previous year, Neeraj Chopra had a tough time maintaining his ideal run in 2022. The Indian javelin throw champion rose to the occasion, and what a rise!
At the Paavo Nurmi Games, Neeraj Chopra won a silver medal and set a national record. After a 10-month sabbatical following his Tokyo 2020 campaign, Neeraj Chopra missed the first half of the 2022 season.
Things only got better for Chopra. In 2022, the Olympic champion won another silver at the World Athletics Championships in Oregon, giving India its most successful performance ever. Anju Bobby George won the bronze medal in the long jump at the 2003 World Athletics Championships in Paris. This is only India’s second medal on the world stage.
He qualified for the Diamond League Final in Zurich after placing second in Stockholm and first in Lausanne, the first Indian win in the Diamond League. His victory in the Swiss city made him the first Indian to win a Diamond League title.
In the Stockholm Diamond League, Neeraj Chopra threw 89.94 metres for his personal best.
Birmingham’s Commonwealth Games were full of firsts
Since shooting isn’t on Birmingham 2022’s schedule, it’s unlikely that India will bring home an impressive haul of medals.
Indian athletes, however, rose to the occasion and won 61 medals, including 22 golds, 16 silvers, and 23 bronzes. There were some surprise triumphs among the expected performers, like weightlifters, wrestlers, boxers, badminton players, and table tennis players.
After the women’s team won a gold medal and the men’s team took home a silver, lawn bowls, which had previously received little attention from Indian sports fans, got some attention. Previously, India hadn’t won a medal in the sport at the Commonwealth Games.
There were also notable firsts for Indian track and field athletes. Eldhose Paul beat fellow countryman Abdulla Aboobacker for India’s first-ever 1-2 finish at CWG 2022 In the triple jump. Murali Sreeshankar won India’s first silver medal In the long jump.
In Birmingham, Indian hockey teams and women’s cricket teams won medals.
The highlight of the competition was steeplechaser Avinash Sable, who won silver in the men’s 3000m steeplechase sandwiched between two Kenyans. This was in a time that set a new national record, but race walkers Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep Kumar also got a place on the podium.
Badminton’s first Thomas Cup win
Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth, and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy captained the Indian men’s badminton team at the Thomas Cup 2022 in Bangkok, Thailand.
The Indians were the fifth seeds despite never winning the men’s badminton team world championships in the previous 31 editions. Despite that, India played flawless badminton.
The Indians finished second in their group to advance to the knockout rounds. Under duress, HS Prannoy pulled off back-to-back clutch victories to help India defeat Malaysia and Denmark by identical 3-2 scores.
To win their first Thomas Cup championship, Indian shuttlers defeated Indonesia, the competition’s reigning champions and most successful team with 14 championships, 3-0.
Boxing world champion Nikhat Zareen
If Nikhat Zareen had won a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, she would have considered 2022 a success.
However, the Indian fighter did one better by winning the world title too.
In the final of the Women’s World Boxing Championships 2022, Nikhat Zareen beat Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong 5-0, becoming the fifth Indian woman to win the title after legendary MC Mary Kom, Laishram Sarita Devi, Jenny RL, and Lekha K. C.
In addition, she’s the only world champion outside of Mary Kom. The Indian women’s hockey team won the inaugural FIH Nations Cup
With New Zealand and Australia withdrawing due to COVID-19, the Indian women’s team was given the unexpected opportunity to compete in the FIH Pro League 2021-22 season.
In their first campaign, India challenged powerhouses like Argentina and finished third.
Savita Punia and the company entered the eight-team event in December with a goal. They won all three of their group matches to advance to the semifinals, where they beat Ireland in a shootout. In a high-stakes game, the Indians beat Spain 1-0.
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