Independence Day: Tracking 75 glorious moments in Indian sports, Part 3

Tracking 75 glorious moments in Indian sports on the 75th Independence Day, here is part 3 comprising the top moments from various sports.

September 12, 1974: T.C. Yohanan, one of India's most technical long jumpers, was a bright spot in an otherwise lacklustre Indian campaign at the Asian Games. He won gold with an 8.07m jump - a new erstwhile Asian record. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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August 30, 2003: Anju Bobby George made history when she won bronze in long jump at the IAAF World Championships - India's first-ever Worlds. Her meteoric career with highs that came despite competing with a single kidney and in this case, she endured the exhaustion of a testing training regimen under Mike Powell and exhaustion. A podium finish was what it was all worth and on her fifth attempt. Anju then went on to the 2004 Athens Olympics and put on a promising show but finished fifth. She did register her personal best of personal best of 6.83 there though. Photo: Getty Images
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September 25, 1986: The world looks at lockdowns with disdain especially after trying times during the coronavirus pandemic, but it was one that helped Khazan Singh Tokas make a splash (literally) for India at the 1986 Asian Games in Seoul. A 'sporting lockdown' as he called it meant Tokas focussed on nothing but training and the Games. A strategy error saw the gold slip from him, but he finished with a silver medal, India's first in the discipline at the Asiad after Sachin Nag's gold medal in the men's 100m butterfly at the 1951 Delhi Asian Games. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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November 16, 2010: Virdhawal Khade ended a 24-year-long wait for a swimming medal at the Asian Games when he won bronze in the 50m Butterfly event in Guangzhou. Then a 19-year-old, Khade overcame a disappointing show in the 50m freestyle event and swam impressively especially in the last length to keep his Korean competitor Doohee Jeong at bay, ensuring a podium finish for himself and India. Photo: Reuters
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September 26, 2014: Sandeep Sejwal was a lone bright spot in India's swimming campaign at the Asian Games in Incheon as he won bronze in the 50m breaststroke event. He then 25-year-old fought for a place on the podium with a timing of 28.26s. In the next edition of the Games, Sandeep finished out of medal contention, eventually switching to coaching full-time. Photo: PTI
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August 29, 2018: The Asian Games in Jakarta was historic for Indian table tennis history, given that the contingent returned with two medals - a bronze in the men's team event - Indian TT's maiden Asiad medal - and another in the mixed event ft Achanta Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra. The pair outdid themselves and most of their competitors to surge through the rounds of play falling eventually to China's Wang Chuqin and Sun Yingsha in the semifinal. Photo: PTI
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December 17, 1978: Suresh Babu was a versatile athlete, dabbling in and dominating in all three jump events and the decathlon at the national level during his prime. One of the highest points of his career was the gold medal in long jump at the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1978. While his 7.78m jump was nowhere near 8.07m which T.C. Yohanan managed, but it was enough to inspire a whole generation of athletes especially from Kerala to take to athletics. Babu passed away in 2011. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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This was a mercurial year for Jaspal Rana who won medals at the Junior World Shooting Championships, the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games. At the Asian Games in Hiroshima, Rana, participating in the centrefire pistol event, finished with a total score of 588 (which also involved hitting the bull's eye in the duelling round 28/30 times), two points short then of the world record. It was an easy gold medal for Rana, even if in a discipline that was not an Olympic sport. His triumph in Hiroshima was India's first in shooting at the Asian Games level and also marked the beginnings of a shooting revolution that would take shape in the 21st century. Photo: V. Sudershan
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November 24, 1982: Golfer 'Bunny' Lakshman Singh as he is called, was a trailblazer in that he took India to gold, two medals no less, at the 1982 Asian Games in New Delhi. He won the individual event and the team event alongside Rajeev Mohta, Rishi Narain and Amit Luthra. Singh and Mohta infact occupied first and second place respectively on the individual podium. In the team event, the unit managed a 16-stroke victory, pipping Korea and Japan along the way. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
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October 6, 2002: Aditi Ashok introduced the nation to the gripping ebbs and flows of golf, especially at a level like the Olympics. However, golf glory is not new to India. 19 years ago, Shiv Kapur went down in the history books as he won India it's first golf gold in the Asian Games in two decades. Kapur enjoyed the luxury of being joint leader for three rounds and safely saw off the fourth to finish the Games at the summit. Photo: AFP
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December, 1970: Long before Hima Das announced her arrival in Indian Athletics with a silver medal in the Jakarta Asian Games, 44 years before that to be precise, Kamaljeet Singh Sandhu broke the glass ceiling by becoming the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Asian Games, acing the 400m race in 57.3 seconds, a national record which held good for over a decade. Sandhu also represented India at the Munich Olympics and eventually explored coaching and administrative roles in the Indian athletic ecosystem. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
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April 8, 2018: The 2018 Commonwealth Games was a resounding success for the Indian table tennis contingent and it also propped Manika Batra to star status. The country's tally stood at three gold, two silver and three bronze medals from the Gold Coast. Batra won gold in the women's singles and took silver in the women's doubles alongside Mouma Das. Batra and G Sathiyan beat Sharath Kamal and Das in the mixed doubles to win bronze. The men's and women's team won gold in their events. With four medals to her name, Batra was the most successful player at the Games. Photo: Getty Images
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August 26,2002: In an unprecedented yet historic moment for Indian shooting, Anjali Vedpathak Bhagwat won the ‘Champion of Champions’ title - a mixed competition for leading male and female rifle shooters in the 2002 Munich World Cup final. Anjali's feat was no flash in the pan given that she was ranked world number one for three months that year by the world body, a unique feat for any Indian in any sport. Photo: PTI
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July, 1960: Ramanathan Krishnan's tryst with Wimbledon started early when he won the boy's title at the legendary venue at the age of 17 in 1954. Six years later, he returned to the All England Lawn Tennis Club seeded seventh and had a remarkable tournament until he fell to Neale Fraser, who would go on to win the tournament that year, in the semifinal. He recollects going into the tournament with barely any match practice having just recovered from chicken pox then, however, his performances in London inspired a generation of Indians to follow the events in Wimbledon and the sport thereafter. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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India's Davis Cup history dates back to 1921 when the nation made its debut in the prestigious men's tournament. It's been a case of 'so close yet so far' thrice for the Indian contingent, finishing as runners-up in three editions - in 1966, 1974 and 1987. Australia beat India 4-1 in the '66 edition while Sweden got the better of the side 5-0 in the '87 edition. In '74, India - touted as the favourite with the Amritraj brothers in hot form - forfeited the final against South Africa as a protest against the draconian apartheid policies prevalent in the country at the time. Davis Cup ties have seen some remarkable performances by many players and promises more as India hunts for its maiden title. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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June 06, 1999: Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi had a great year in 1999, reaching the doubles final in all four men's doubles grand slams. The duo did one better at Roland Garros, winning the French Open and becoming the first Indian pair to win a tennis major. Lee-Hesh beat Goran Ivanisevic and Jeff Tarango 6-2, 7-5 to take top honours in Paris. The pair went on to win the Wimbledon title in 1999 and regain the French Open title in 2001 together among their other joint triumphs. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
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23 March, 1980: Prakash Padukone put Indian badminton on the world map when he became the first Indian to win the All England Championships and he did so in style. Taking on Indonesia's Liem Swie King, one of the world's best at the time and the reigning champion, in the final, Padukone cruised to a dominant 15-3, 15-10 win at the Wembley Stadium to deny King a hattrick of All England titles and cement his own place in the history of the sport. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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Sporting history is laced with injury comeback. Pullela Gopichand did just that, marking his earliest contribution to changing the trajectory of Indian badminton. An Anterior Cruciate Ligament injury, often career-threatening, hampered Gopichand's career during the turn of the millennium, enough to affect his maiden Olympic campaign in Sydney. That makes his All England triumph, the first after Padukone's in 1980, that much more special. Despite pain in his knee, a low seeding and a tough draw, Gopichand powered through the tournament beating players like Peter Gade and Chen Hong to win the title. Photo: JOHN GICHIGI/ ALLSPORT
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The Jwala Gutta-Ashwini Ponappa partnership was one of the most successful ones in Indian badminton. The pair made history when they became the first Indian doubles team to win a medal (bronze) at the Badminton World Championships in 2011. The pair went on to win bronzed again at the 2014 Asian Games and Uber Cup and also won silver in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. Gutta and Ponappa also is also the first and so far only Indian women’s doubles team win a Grand Prix title when they won the Canadian Grand Prix. The duo represented India in two Olympic Games too (2012 and 2016). Photo: PTI
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Wilson Jones was India's first cue sports superstar. A look at the awards he has amassed through his playing career tell us why. Padma Shri, Arjuna Award, Dronacharya Award and a whole list of billiards and snookers titles point to him being the starting point of India's penchant for the disciplines. In 1958, Wilson Jones won the World Amateur Billiards Championship to give India its first world champion across any sport. He won the title again in 1964 and also won the National Billiards Championship 12 times. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
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'The Bombay Tiger' Michael Ferreira is a four-time World Billiards Champion and seven-time National champion. In 1978, He became the first player to surpass the 1000 points barrier in the National Billiards Championship, a record that remains unbeaten even today. Aside from this, he has broken 13 other records in the sport. He has won numerous awards, including the Padma Bhushan, the Arjuna Award, the Dronacharya Award. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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Despite a younger brigade taking over the cue sports ecosystems, those who follow cue sports have a special place in their hearts for Geet Sethi. The Ahmedabad-born star has an enviable resume. He has won the World Amateur Championships thrice (1985, 1987 and 2001), the national billiards chamoionship seven times and the national snooker championships four times. Having gone pro for a while, he won titles there too - with five Pro Billiards championship titles to his name (1992, 1993, 1995, 1998 and 2006). He also won gold in the 1998 Asian Games in Bangkok. With Prakash Padukone, Sethi also set up Olympic Gold Quest, a non-profit that seeks to help Indian athletes with Olympic ambitions. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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Om Agarwal made history by becoming the first Indian to win the amateur IBSF World Billiards Championship in Dublin, Ireland - an achievement which earned him the Arjuna Award later that year. Agarwal was Jones' protege. Besides, snooker and billiards ran in the family - his brother Subhash Agarwal also a renowned cueist. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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Narain Karthikeyan, is the first Formula One racer from India. He won several races in Formula Asia, British Formula Ford, World Series by Nissan and Open series in his single-seater career. Taking a break from F1, Karthikeyan raced in Japanese Super Formula series and in 2019, he ended his single-seater career by joining Super GT series in Japan. Photo: THE HINDU ARCHIVES
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Child prodigy: Chess player Koneru Humpy grabbed eyeballs in 2002 by becoming the youngest female player to earn the grandmaster title at the age of 15 years, one month and 27 days. Photo: The Hindu Archives
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Viswanathan Anand has given India multiple moments to rejoice in his long and illustrious career. He is a five-time World chess champion and is India's first World-time champion. In 2012, he won fifth world title after beating Boris Gelfand in a tie break match. Photo: AP
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Pankaj Advani has for the longest time let his titles speak for himself. He has 23 world championship titles (IBSF World Billiards Championship:15 titles; the World Team Billiards Championship: one title; the IBSF World Snooker Championship (15 Reds): three titles, (6 Reds): two titles; the IBSF World Team Cup: one title; the IBSF World Team Championship: one title). He is a 33-time national champion and is the only cueist who has won Asian and World titles in all possible formats of the discipline. He went professional in 2014. His success has also won him several civilian honours including the Padma Shri, the Padma Bhushan, the Arjuna Award and the Khel Ratna award. Photo: Special Arrangement
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