In some way, the 12 months 2022 was once the very best follow-up to 2021, when India excelled on the Tokyo Olympics. From the first-ever Thomas Cup triumph in badminton to Neeraj Chopra‘s silver lining on the World Athletics Championships, the rustic witnessed a few of its supreme carrying moments. The Indians made relatively an have an effect on on the 2022 Commonwealth Games, successful medals in occasions nobody will have considered a decade again. As the 12 months attracts to an in depth, TOI takes a have a look at some magical moments…
NEERAJ CHOPRA, MAN WITH THE GOLDEN ARM
Neeraj Chopra had some other exceptional 12 months, atmosphere new information at the international degree. He was most effective the second one Indian and primary male athlete to win a medal on the World Athletics Championships. To upload to his ancient Worlds silver in Oregon in July, Neeraj additionally was the 1st Indian to win the Diamond League identify in September. Maintaining that ultimate run in 2022 after successful the Olympic gold in Tokyo the former 12 months would were a hard ask for Neeraj, however the champion rose to the instance.
(Image credit score: Twitter)
Having neglected the 1st part of the 2022 season to regain his health after a 10-month sabbatical publish his Tokyo marketing campaign, Neeraj roared again to win a silver and set the nationwide report on the Paavo Nurmi Games. The Olympic champions then gave India their best-ever appearing on the Worlds with a silver. It was once most effective the second one medal for India at the athletics global degree since Anju Bobby George’s lengthy soar bronze in 2003 in Paris. Neeraj then certified for the Diamond League Final in Zurich after hanging 2d within the Stockholm meet and primary within the Lausanne leg. He was once terrific within the ultimate, stamping his authority.
MAIDEN THOMAS CUP GOLD
This triumph was once considered one of Indian sports activities’ greatest ever achievements. The males’s badminton staff surprised 14-time Thomas Cup champions Indonesia to win the identify in Bangkok in May. It was once India’s first-ever look within the ultimate of the development’s 73-year historical past, and the boys ensured India was most effective the 6th nation after powerhouses China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan and Denmark to boost the coveted trophy.
The Indian staff, led by way of Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikath, HS Prannoy (in singles), Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy (in doubles) defeated Malaysia and Denmark on how you can the general, through which they defied all odds to stun Indonesia. Prannoy was once the hero within the quarters and semis with back-toback wins as India beat Malaysia and Denmark by way of an identical 3-2 margins. Against Indonesia, the shuttlers produced a scientific show to win 3–0.
A COMMONWEALTH GAMES LIKE NONE OTHER FOR INDIA
With taking pictures got rid of from Birmingham 2022’s time table and megastar athlete Neeraj Chopra lacking out because of an harm, the CWG was once expected to be a moist squib. But the Indian athletes returned with 61 medals (22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze). A complete of 61 medals may appear smartly wanting the 101 gained in Delhi 2010 and 5 lower than even the 2018 Games (India’s tally there was once 66 medals), however accounting for disciplines that have been lacking, this was once India’s best-ever CWG efficiency.
Lawn Bowls, a recreation which slightly existed within the collective awareness of Indian enthusiasts prior to the CWG, got here into the highlight when the quartet of Lovely Choubey, Pinki, Nayanmoni Saikia and Rupa Rani Tirkey etched their names in historical past books with a gold within the ladies’s staff match.
Sharath Kamal, Indian desk tennis’ ageless surprise, registered his supreme CWG efficiency on the age of 40 with 3 gold and one silver. The actual deal got here from the monitor and box occasions.
Eldhose Paul bagged the rustic’s first-ever triple soar CWG gold, pipping countryman Abdulla Aboobacker to present India its first-ever 1-2 end on the Games. Murali Sreeshankar gained India’s first silver medal in males’s lengthy soar whilst Tejaswin Shankar was the 1st Indian to win a prime soar medal, a bronze. But the standout performer was once steeplechaser Avinash Mukund Sable.
Sable’s 3000m steeplechase silver was once considered one of India’s greatest achievements in its carrying historical past. Sable was once simply 0.05 seconds wanting a gold, which was once gained by way of Abraham Kibiwot of Kenya. Since the 1998 CWG, Kenyan athletes had gained all 3 medals within the match, a consecutive successful run of gold, silver and bronze throughout six Games and 24 years. Sable’s medal broke that run.
CHAK DE MOMENT FOR WOMEN’S HOCKEY TEAM
Following up on their good run on the Tokyo Olympics, the place they completed fourth, the Indian ladies’s hockey staff confirmed they’re not off course by way of successful the distinguished FIH Women’s Nations Cup in Spain in December. Savita Punia & Co. defeated Spain within the ultimate by way of a solitary function scored by way of Gurjit Kaur.
In the eight-team match, India gained all 3 in their team fits to advance to the semifinals the place they overcame a decided Ireland on consequences after each groups have been locked at 1-1 on the finish of law time. The staff additionally clinched a bronze on the Birmingham CWG, defeating New Zealand within the penalty shootout.
Nikhat Zareen: A STAR IN THE RING
There was once a time when Nikhat Zareen’s request for a good Olympic trial in opposition to boxing legend MC Mary Kom had ended in the latter commenting, “Who is Nikhat Zareen?” Three years later, Nikhat is the arena champion and the Commonwealth Games champion. The 26-year-old Nizamabad woman ruled the 12 months and went undefeated in each and every primary match.
For a substantial time, Nikhat had plied her industry underneath Mary Kom’s shadow. But 2022 modified all that. At the Women’s World Boxing Championships held in Istanbul, Turkey in May, Nikhat outboxed Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong 5–0 within the 52kg ultimate to turn out to be most effective the 5th Indian girl global champion after Mary Kom, Sarita Devi, Jenny RL and Lekha KC. Not most effective the general, Nikhat blazed throughout the box along with her all-new attacking manner.
MANIKA MAKES HISTORY
After a disappointing Commonwealth Games in July-August, Manika Batra bounced again to make historical past in November by way of changing into the 1st Indian girl to win a medal on the prestigious Asian Cup Table Tennis event when she bagged the ladies’s singles bronze.
It was once by no means going to be simple for Manika, whose rating had fallen to global No. 44 when she entered the development in Bangkok, with TT powerhouses from China, Japan and South Korea amongst others competing. In the bronze medal fit in opposition to global no. 6 Hina Hayata, the Indian needed to dig deep to defeat the Japanese 11-6, 6-11, 11-7, 12-10, 4-11, 11-2. It was once India’s first medal on the Asian Cup since Chetan Baboor’s bronze in 2000. Along the way in which, she disenchanted World No. 7 Chen Xingtong from China.
SUPERSTAR MIRABAI’S SILVER LINING
The legend of Mirabai Chanu persisted to develop as she added a 2d World Championships medal to her much-decorated trophy cupboard. Despite a wrist harm, Mirabai gained silver within the 49kg class on the 2022 World Weightlifting Championships in Bogota, Colombia. Mirabai driven Olympic champion Hou Zhihui from China to the 3rd spot, however some other Chinese Jiang Huihua controlled to head previous the Indian to clinch the gold.
Mirabai lifted a mixed weight of 200kg (87kg in clutch and 113kg in blank and jerk). She may’ve long past upper however a closely wrapped left wrist avoided her from doing so. This was once Mirabai’s 2d medal on the Worlds after having previous gained gold within the 2017 World Championships. At the CWG, it was once a work of cake for Mirabai as she bossed the sphere to present India the 1st gold of the Birmingham version. For the diminutive lifter, it was once her 3rd CWG medal and 2d consecutive gold.