4 youngest Indians to represent the nation at the Olympic Games 

4 Youngest Indians to represent at the Olympic Games
4 youngest Indians to represent at the Olympic Games

The trajectory of Indian sports has witnessed remarkable strides over the years, with several athletes shining brightly on the Olympic stage.

While winning medals signifies the pinnacle of success, it's crucial to acknowledge that the journey of representation holds equal significance. In this article, we delve into the journeys of the four youngest athletes who represented India on the Olympic stage, each contributing to the rich tapestry of Indian sporting history.


#1 Arati Saha - 11 years 306 days

At the tender age of 11 years and 10 months, Arati Saha catapulted herself into the limelight as the youngest Indian ever to grace the Olympic stage.

Born on September 24, 1940, in Kolkata, her journey began at the age of four when she first dipped her toes into the world of swimming. Under the guidance of mentor Sachin Nag, himself an Asian Games champion and Olympian, Arati's talent bloomed, propelling her to become one of India's finest young swimmers.

The 1952 Helsinki Olympics witnessed history in the making as Arati, alongside Dolly Nazir, represented India in swimming. On July 26, 1952, Arati, aged just 11, dove into the pool, becoming the youngest Indian Olympian ever. The Indian swimmer finished sixth in the heats, clocking 3:40.8 seconds.


#2 PT Usha - 16 years 66 days

Fondly known as the 'Payyoli Express,' P.T. Usha stormed onto the Olympic scene at the age of 16 years and 66 days. Born on June 27, 1964, PT Usha's sprinting prowess captivated the nation, earning her a spot in the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

She further participated in subsequent Olympics, including the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, where her best performance unfolded. Although she narrowly missed out on a medal in Los Angeles in 1984, placing fourth in the final, her national record in the 400m hurdles remains unmatched.


#3 Abhinav Bindra - 17 years and 356 days

In the precision sport of shooting, Abhinav Bindra's journey to Olympic gold began at the age of 17 years and 356 days. In 2000, Abhinav Bindra made his Olympic debut at the Sydney Games. Despite not winning a medal, it marked the beginning of a remarkable journey.

Four years later, at the 2004 Athens Olympics, Abhinav Bindra narrowly missed out on a medal but set a new Olympic record with a remarkable score of 597 in the qualification round.

The pinnacle of Abhinav Bindra's career came in 2008 at the Beijing Olympics, as he clinched India's first individual Olympic gold medal in the men’s Air Rifle (10 meters) contest. This historic achievement solidified his status as one of India's greatest Olympians.


#4 Saina Nehwal - 18 years 145 days

In 2008, at the age of 18 years and 145 days, Saina Nehwal embarked on her Olympic journey at the Beijing Games. Making her debut appearance, the young shuttler showcased her exceptional skills on the badminton court, advancing to the quarterfinals. Though she didn't secure a medal in that edition, her performance foresaw the greatness to come.

Four years later, at the 2012 London Olympics, Saina Nehwal's determination bore fruit as she clinched the bronze medal, becoming the first Indian badminton player to achieve this feat.

Quick Links

Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
App download animated image Get the free App now