Outstanding Indian teenage players of 2012 who can be future champions
Its a dream for every player to play for his/her country at the highest level. In India, thousands and thousands of young players are working day in and day out to fulfill this dream but only few get the chance to make it come true. But there are some players who achieve this feat at a very young age. Here is a list of some of the teenage sports sensations of the country who performed brilliantly in the year 2012 and promised to be the future stars.
1. Apurvi Chandela (Shooting)
This 19 year old shooter from Jaipur who won the women’s 10m air rifle gold in the Sahara 56th National shooting championship in New Delhi few days ago, also won the gold medal in her senior international debut in Netherlands in February, defeating some of the top players of the World. In the Sahara 56th National shooting championships, Apurvi scored 498.7 points (395+103.7) and defeated the nation’s top rifle shooters, including Avneet Sidhu,Lajja Gauswami,Anjali Bhagwat, Tejaswini Sawant and Suma Shirur.
Apurvi is ranked fifth among India’s female air rifle shooters and currently trains at Gagan Narang’s Gun for Glory Academy in Pune. This 19 year old talented Shooter has a bright future waiting for her and she can be one of India’s best medal prospect in the next Olympics.
2. Mampi Das (Shooting)
Mampi Das, who is just 15 years of age, is also the youngest shooting star from West Bengal and is considered to be India’s biggest hope in 10m air rifle women in the near future. Mampi Das, who announced her coming of age by matching the world record score of 400/400 in women’s 10m air rifle in the National selections trials at the Shivaji Chatrapati Sports Complex at Pune on 2nd September 2012, was also the part of the team that won the silver medal in January 2012 at the Asian Shooting Championship in Doha. However, Mampi’s effort would not be considered as a world record since the nationals and selection trials are not taken into account by the International Shooting Sports Federation. But nonetheless, this girl surely has the potential to win the medal at the Olympics and World Championships.
3. P.V. Sindhu (Badminton)
P.V Sindhu, or Pusrala Venkata Sindhu, is now a well known name in the World of Badminton. Just at the age of 17 years, she is now the World no. 24 in Women’s Singles category. PV Sindhu, who is the current Asian Youth Under 19 Champion, was recently the runner up in the Syed Modi International Grand Prix Gold Tournament in Lucknow. But her remarkable achievement of the year came on 14th September 2012, when she defeated the London Olympics Gold Medalist and current World no. 1 Li Xuerui of China in the Quarterfinals of China Open.
At the age of 15, she won the Under-19 National Juniors where, incredibly, she did not drop even a single game. PV Sindhu surely has the potential and caliber to defeat the top Chinese shuttlers in the World and become the future World No.1 player.
4.Shiva Thapa (Boxing)
Teenage boxing sensation Shiva Thapa, who became the youngest Indian pugilist to qualify for the London Olympics earlier this year, is also the Junior World Boxing Champion in 56 kg wt. category. Thapa, however, lost in the first round in the 56 kg wt. category at the London Olympics to Mexico’s Oscar Valdez Fierro. 19 years old Thapa qualified for the London Olympics by winning the Gold Medal in the Asian Olympic Qualifiers held in Baku, Ajebeijan in April this year by defeating some of the top boxers in the world, including Syria’s Wessam Salamana. Shiva Thapa will surely be one of India’s top medal contenders in Boxing in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
5. Unmukt Chand (Cricket)
Unmukt Chand, who plays for Delhi Daredevils in the IPL, was the captain of the Indian U-19 team that won the World Cup in August 2012 by upsetting the hosts Australia in the finals. Unmukt Chand played a captain’s knock of 111* in 130 balls, which consisted of 6 sixes and 7 fours. He is currently playing in the Ranji Trophy season and has made 359 runs in 7 matches, with an average of 51.22. He made his Ranji debut while still in school, and hit his maiden century (151) in his fourth game. Chand, who is currently 19 years, will surely be one of the best batsmen in the world in the coming future.
6. Baba Aparajith (Cricket)
This 18 year old talented cricketer played a significant role in India U-19 World Cup triumph. Baba Aparajith, who came into limelight during the Under-19 Quadrangular series played at Visakhapatnam in October 2011, took 11 wickets and made 367 runs in the U-19 World Cup. On his debut U-19 match, he surprised everyone with an outstanding bowling spell of 5/38 against the Aussies, thus starting his career with a bang. Baba Aparajith is a right handed batsman and a right arm offbreak bowler.
He is also playing in the Ranji Trophy season currently, and has made 338 runs in 7 matches and has also taken 2 wickets. Baba Aparajith, along with his brother, joined a cricketing academy at the young age of seven and has been dreaming of playing for his country ever since.
7. Brandon Fernandes (Football)
The Indian U19 international from Goa, dubbed as the “Indian whizkid”, is currently the biggest thing in Indian football. The youngster’s two week trial with Premier League strugglers Reading in October ended with no offer being made for the player by the club. He then went on a three week trial to English Championship side Leicester City, which also ended with no offer. While his stay in England ended without an offer being made for the Indian youth prospect, Steptoe, who is the director of ASD Cape Town, revealed that “several Premier League and Championship sides are continuing to monitor Fernandes’ progress”.
What sets Brandon Fernandes apart from other footballers back in India is his superb technical ability with the ball and his pace. This is only the beginning for the young Brandon and at the age of 18, this footballer is surely the future of the Indian Football.
8. Rutuja Bhosale (Tennis)
16 years old Rutuja Bhosale, who made it to the Australian Open doubles semi-finals in the junior category this year, is a member of the MSLTA’s Vision Programme, which aims to promote players from Maharashtra in the Grand Slams and is also supported by Lakshya Foundation. Rutuja is currently ranked 527th in Women’s singles in the latest WTA rankings. Rutuja also won the South/Cental Junior circuit Tournament played at Zimbabwe this year, in which she defeated much higher ranked Junior players.
Recently, Rutuja has been selected in the Indian Fed Cup women’s tennis team along with Sania Mirza,Kyra Shroff and Rishika Sunkara that will compete in the Asia-Oceania Group 1 event to be staged in Astana, Kazakhstan, from February 6 to 9 2013. Rutuja Bhosale along with Prarthana Thombare,Ankita Raina,Kyra Shroff and Rishika Sunkara will be the future prospects of Tennis in India.
9. Akashdeep Singh (Hockey)
Akashdeep Singh, who lead the Indian Junior Hockey team in the 7th Junior Asia Cup at Malacca, Malaysia from May 3—13, is also a part of the senior team. The Indian team, under the captaincy of 17 year old Akashdeep, finished 3rd in the tournament at Malaysia with him scoring the golden goal to bag a consolation bronze medal. With this win, the Indian team qualified for the Junior World Cup, which will be held in India in 2013. Akashdeep also performed brilliantly in the recently concluded Indian National Hockey Championships. He was also a part of the senior team which finished 4th in one of the biggest tournaments in Hockey – the Champions Trophy. This young lad from Punjab has a very bright future waiting for him.
10. Soumyajit Ghosh (Table Tennis)
Soumyajit Ghosh, who was the only Indian player in men’s category in T.T who qualified for the London Olympics, is currently ranked 186th in the world,73rd in Asia and 3rd in India. This 19 year old paddler became the first Indian to clinch a medal in the World Junior Table Tennis Championships after he teamed up with NG wing Nam of Hong Kong to win the mixed doubles bronze at the event in Bratislava, Slovak Republic. He also won the Gold Medal in Singles in the Junior and Youth National Championships this year. If this Siliguri born player needs to match his skills with the Chinese and Korean players, then he needs to work very hard in the coming future.