In honour of India's 75th Independence Day celebrations we take a look at some of the country's greatest sporting successes that has instilled pride and jubiliation amongst the citizens of the nation over the years
A collage of India's best sporting achievements. Pic/ Mid-day archives and PTI
India has a rich sporting history in a bevy of sporting disciplines ranging from cricket to athletics. As the auspicious day of our 75th year of independence approaches, we take a walk through memory lane to have a glimpse at India's best sporting achievements.
1983 Cricket World Cup win
Few had given India a chance to make it far in the tournament let alone win it. Yet, an incredibly steadfast and hard working team under the exuberant leadership of Kapil Dev defied all odds to win the country's maiden ICC World Cup title. The fact that this was achieved by defeating the mighty West Indies team of that era made it even more impressive. The men in maroon were a team of superstars, and had won the first two editions of the tournament and were odds on favourites to make it three in a row. But the men in blue had different plans and managed to stop the West Indian juggernaut to script their own name in the annuls of cricketing history.
2011 Cricket World Cup win
India faced a long, agonizing wait of 28 years to finally claim their second World Cup trophy. But, boy, was it worth the wait, as an Indian side boasting of star names steamrolled their opposition under the able leadership of MS Dhoni to bring glory back to the nation. An everlasting moment etched into the minds of Indian supporters will always be Dhoni clubbing a massive six to seal the win and send the whole nation into raptures. This was truly the best of Bharat.
1975 Hockey World Cup win
Prior to the 1983 cricket World Cup heroics, the first Indian team that brought home a World Cup was the hockey side of 1975. Indians truly felt a great sense of pride and joy when the hockey team beat none other than arch-rivals Pakistan to win their maiden hockey World Cup. What makes it all the more notable was the fact that by this time India were no longer the dominant force they once were. On the other hand, Pakistan's hockey side seemed to be at their peak and had defeated the Indian team in the finals of the Asian Games twice and had also won the last World Cup. Suffice to say India finally got its sweet revenge on their neighbour.
Abhinav Bindra's gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics
Few sporting events unite the country and draw towards it as many an eyeball as much the much revered Olympic Games. Unfortunately, India has not really been a star power in this tournament and fans have often been left wanting when watching the various events at the Olympics. In the 2008 edition of this grand event was another dry spell with the country only winning 3 medals. But thanks to Abhinav Bindra, these three medals seemed to mean a whole lot more to the nation. Bindra, who won the gold medal in shooting, sent the country into a tizzy. It was heartwarming and pride-filling to see an Indian athlete stand on the top step of the podium and to hear the national anthem proudly played was a truly emotional moment.
Neeraj Chopra's gold medal at the 2021 Tokyo Olympics
The Tokyo Olympics saw India notch its highest ever Olympics medal tally, but in truth it was Neeraj Chopra who put the icing on the cake and made the record even sweeter. With his Javelin Throwing prowess, Chopra shot to fame to be India's new golden boy and clinch the country's first gold medal in any event since Bindra's achievement 13 years ago. India can only hope that Chopra's gold medal which capped off the country's last Olympics campaign is the start of a new era in Indian sports. The whole nation collectively hopes that the best of Bharat is yet to come at the Olympics.