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5 Indian sportswomen who have medaled at Summer Olympics

PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu
ANALYST

Indian sportswomen have dazzled at the Summer Olympics through the years. Most of the individual Olympic medals, won by India, have been earned by female athletes.

Notably, they have raised the bar in their respective sports with their incredible performances. Let's take a look at five Indian female athletes who have made the country proud at the Summer Olympics. 


#1 Karnam Malleswari: Bronze medal in Weightlifting

Karnam Malleswari (R): Bronze Medal in Wrestling
Karnam Malleswari (R): Bronze Medal in Wrestling

Sport: Weightlifting

Medal: Bronze

Edition: 2004 Athens Olympics

Karnam Malleswari, also known as the 'Iron Lady', was the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. The legendary Indian weightlifter earned a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. Her achievement has motivated several other women athletes to strive hard for an Olympic medal. 

She won the bronze in the 54kg category. Malleswari lifted 110kg in the snatch category, and 130kg in the clean and jerk, rounding it up to 240kg. However, she retired after participating in the 2004 Athens Olympics. 

#2 Saina Nehwal: Bronze medal in Badminton

Saina Nehwal (R): Bronze Medal in Badminton
Saina Nehwal (R): Bronze Medal in Badminton

Sport: Badminton

Medal: Bronze

Edition: 2012 Beijing Olympics 

Saina Nehwal created history by winning the first-ever Olympic medal for India in badminton. She bagged the bronze at the 2012 Beijing Olympics after her opponent, Wang Xin was forced to retire hurt during the match. This huge feat led to the increase in participation and viewership of badminton in India. 

#3 Mary Kom: Bronze medal in Boxing

Mary Kom (Second from left): Bronze medal in Boxing
Mary Kom (Second from left): Bronze medal in Boxing

Sport: Boxing

Medal: Bronze

Edition: 2012 Beijing Olympics

Women's boxing was introduced for the first time in the 2012 Beijing Olympics. The-then five-time world champion, Mary Kom represented India as she was the sole women's pugilist from the country to qualify for the event. The Manipuri seemed to be in control of the event before she lost to UK's Nicola Adams in the 51kg semi-finals, thus settling for a bronze. 

#4 Sakshi Malik - Bronze medal in Wrestling

Sakshi Malik: Bronze Medal in Wrestling
Sakshi Malik: Bronze Medal in Wrestling

Sport: Wrestling

Medal: Bronze

Edition: 2016 Rio Olympics 

Sakshi Malik etched her name in the record books by becoming the first-ever Indian female wrestler to clinch an Olympic medal. She defeated Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova 8-5 in 58kg to secure a prized bronze medal at the mega quadrennial games. 

#5 PV Sindhu: Silver medal in Badminton

PV Sindhu: Silver Medal in Badminton
PV Sindhu: Silver Medal in Badminton

Sport: Badminton

Medal: Silver

Edition: 2016 Rio Olympics

PV Sindhu raised the bar of success by becoming the first-ever Indian female athlete to win a silver medal at the Olympics. After Saina Nehwal won a bronze for badminton in 2012, Sindhu soared higher to clinch the Olympic silver in the next edition. 

Sindhu took India one step closer to the gold by reaching the final before she lost to Carolina Marin in a stunning 83-minute encounter. Moreover, Sindhu is also the youngest Indian woman ever to win an Olympic medal. 

These athletes have made the country proud with their determination and fearless attitude. However, one should not forget the grit of other female athletes who missed the chance to stand on the podium.

 PT Usha stood 4th in 400m hurdles at the 1984 Olympics, Dipa Karmakar too settled for the 4th position in the Vault event in Gymnastics at the 2016 Rio Olympics. In addition, Anju Bobby George ranked 5th in the long jump final at the 2004 Athens Olympics. Though they missed out on winning a medal, they remain a source of inspiration for the next generation.

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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