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In the 120 years long history of modern Olympics, this is for the first time that Olympics are happening during the winter season of the host country. The 2016 Rio Olympics are about to begin and no matter how cold the country is, women players of Indian contingent are set to raise the temperature of the samba city. Amongst the 107 Indian players selected for Olympics, more than 30 are women, and this is, in fact, India’s largest contingent so far.
As Basheer Abdullah, USA’s boxing coach, once said, “It’s always an honor to be able to represent your country at the highest level,” it is clear that there is no greater joy for one sportsperson to win for his/her nation.
Qualifying for the Olympics in itself is a big achievement, but coming from the male dominant society, these women athletes do not just break the stereotypes but also act as an inspiration for many women athletes around the world.
Here is a list of 4 Inspiring Indian Women athletes who are going to participate in the upcoming Olympic games in Rio De Janeiro.
Steeplechase is one of the most historic track events at the Olympics, which originated in Ireland. In a layman’s term, it is an obstacle race which derived its name from the ‘steeplechase’ in horse racing. Steeplechase has always featured as an Olympic game for men, until the year 2008, when it was introduced as women’s game as well, in Beijing Olympics. Although, the women’s event is quite identical to that of men’s but the hurdles used are slightly lower.
Lalita Babar, currently ranked number 1 in the world in 3000m steeplechase, will be participating in the coming Rio Olympics.
Born in a small village in Satara district of Maharashtra, Babar began her career in athletics as a long-distance runner at a young age. Her first gold medal was won in the U-20 National Championships at Pune in the year 2005.
Life for Lalita has not been a bed of roses. Her father was a farmer and the area that they belonged to was regularly affected by droughts hence, affecting the agriculture in the area. Babar became the hat-trick winner of the Mumbai marathon and has even broken her personal record, the Indian National record and the games record by winning the gold medal clocking 9:34.13 at the 2015 Asian Championships, hence, qualifying for the 2016 Summer Olympics.
Babar definitely has the potential to be one of the highest Olympic placings by an Indian track and field athlete. All depending on how she improves over the next few months, Lalita Babar is one of the strongest athletes to bring the Olympic medal in the country.
The tiniest movement could make the biggest difference, especially when you are shooting over a long distance. One twitch and the arrow won’t even hit the board. Archery is not just a sport but is an art. An archer needs maximum focus and patience along with strength. There’s a lot of strength required in the muscles of an archer and it is actually hard to just build up that strength by working out in the gym. The best exercise one can perform is to get into a shooting position with your bow, pull the string back and hold for 30 seconds, relax for 30 seconds and then repeat as many times as you can.
Deepika Kumari is one such archer who has earned it the hard way and is all set to make India proud by participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Deepika began her training at a very young age by joining the Tata Archery Academy at Jamshedpur. After that there has been no looking back for Deepika.
She is the second Indian to win the Junior Compound competition in Archery and the first World Cup individual gold in Antalya. She won the yellow metal at Medellin, Colombia in 2013 and has been acknowledged by the Arjuna award in 2012.
Deepika has even equalled the world record (686720) set by North Korea’s Ki Bo-bae during the first stage of the World Cup held in Shanghai.
Deepika belonged to a poor family, her father was a farmer and mother was a nurse in a private hospital. Their family income was low but Deepika and her family’s spirits high. Deepika participated in the London Olympics but could not do well. She is again getting the chance to win the medal for our nation.
Weightlifting is an athletic discipline in the modern Olympic programme in which the athlete attempts a maximum-weight single lift of a barbell loaded with weight plates. Weightlifting is not another normal strength testing game or competition. It tests the highest aspects of strength one can have. Weightlifting was earlier considered a man’s sport as it involved strength but with time women broke the stereotype by participating in it and won laurels in the sport as well.
Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is one name that shines in women weightlifters category. She has already made India proud by lifting a total of 170 kgs, hence, winning the silver medal in the women’s 48 kg weight class at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Chanu, who is just 21 years of age, belongs to Imphal East, Manipur. On her way to qualifying for Olympics, Chanu broke two national records, one being her own and another being a 12-year-old record which was made by her own coach and esteemed weightlifter Kunjarani Devi.
Chanu’s journey to success brings her under the category of top inspiring women. For her training, she used to travel 60km away from her place as there was no training centre in her area.
Though, Chanu will be getting a tough competition ahead in the Rio Olympics but the entire nation has faith in her talent and has high hopes to see her bring the Olympic medal in the country.
For India, where women are mostly considered to be fragile and physically week, wrestling is a sport that has often been associated with men, as it involves grappling type techniques.
But women like Sakshi Malik have smashed these stereotypes and proved that there is nothing a woman cannot do. Sakshi has won many medals in this sport but it was never easy for her. She had to earn her success the hard way as she started wrestling when she was just 12 years of age.
“I always wanted to be different. There are very few girls in this field and as a result I had to train with boys mostly,” said Sakshi in an interview.
Sakshi represented India in the women’s freestyle 58 kg category at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and won the silver medal. She became the only Indian Wrestler to win a gold at the Dave Schultz International Wrestling Tournament by defeating Jennifer Page in the final of 60 kg bout.
She also won a bronze medal in 2015 Asian Championships by displaying some aggressive wrestling techniques.
There are a lot of high hopes from Sakshi and not just Haryana but the entire nation wishes for Sakshi to bring honour to India’s name in these olympics.
These are among the few Indian Women Achievers that we will see in the upcoming Rio Olympics. Feministaa wishes all the sportspersons best of luck and support and wish them to win laurels for India this year.