Highlights

  • If cricket is a religion that all Indians follow, Sachin is undeniably God for them
  • Over 60-year-old dream of Milkha Singh was fulfilled when Neeraj Chopra won India’s first-ever Olympic Gold

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Independence Day 2022: Top five Sportspersons of Independent India

If Dhyan Chand laid the foundation of Indian hockey before independence, then Balbir Singh Senior was the strongest pillar of the sport post-independence.

From Balbir Singh Senior to Golden boy Neeraj Chopra, India since its independence has produced umpteen inspiring sports personalities.

Let’s take a look at five legendary sportspersons who etched their names in India’s sporting history books:

Balbir Singh Senior

If Dhyan Chand laid the foundation of Indian hockey before independence, then Balbir Singh Senior was the strongest pillar of the sport post-independence. 3-time Olympic Gold medallist and a coach who inspired a demoralised team to win the Hockey World Cup in 1975, Balbir Singh Senior was Independent India’s most prolific centre-forward.
Singh played a huge part in the 1948 Olympics glory; he scored the first two goals in India's 4-0 win against Britain in the final.

Milkha Singh

Displaced during partition, an orphan, Milkha Singh ended up representing India on several international stages where he won accolades, and smashed records. The ace athlete who was India’s first to win CWG & Asian Games medal in the same year, unfortunately, missed an Olympic medal by 0.1 sec in Rome 1960. Milkha Singh was fondly called ‘Flying Sikh’ a moniker given by Pakistan’s president General Ayub Khan after he beat Pakistan's Abdul Khaliq at an International Athletic Competition in Lahore.

Sachin Tendulkar

If cricket is a religion that all Indians follow, Sachin is undeniably God!
With his aggressive style of batting, Sachin showed how to turn the tide when his team was staring down the barrel. For the heights he achieved, the Master Blaster became the first sportsperson in the nation’s history to be honoured by India's highest civilian award, Bharat Ratna. Tendulkar, though has retired, many of his records remain untouched, as he continues to inspire a whole generation of cricketers.

Neeraj Chopra

Over 60-years-old dream of Milkha Singh was fulfilled when Neeraj Chopra won India’s first ever Olympic Gold in Athletics at Tokyo 2020. The Haryana-born star, at the age of 24 has become a legend, scaling every height that felt insurmountable in the past. The youth who recently won India’s first-ever Silver medal at World Athletics Championships has emerged as a hero for the younger population of Modern India.

Also Read Independence Day 2022: Five greatest wins of Independent India

Mary Kom

The Magnificent Mary Kom, an Amateur boxer, politician and World Champion is one of the most successful Indian sportswomen. Shattering glass ceilings, India’s most celebrated boxer is the only pugilist to win 6 World Amateur Boxing Championships and to win 8 World championship medals. Hailing from a small district of rural Manipur, she not only made India proud with her boxing prowess but inspired millions of small-town girls to smash stereotypes in boxing gloves.

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