India has produced some of the finest players in various sports over the years who went on to become world champions.
Being sports fanatics, we all have witnessed the beauty of sports over the years. There have been various sports being played on this globe and every sport has produced a number of champions. Following is a list of players who have reached their summit in sports history:
Leander Paes (Tennis)
If you are a tennis lover, then Leander Paes is surely one of your favourites in the game. He has been a stalwart not only in India but also in world Tennis. The Indian legend has played for over two decades with various partners in the doubles tennis circuit. His tenure as the world number one lasted from July 1999 to February 2000. Though he remained number one for a shorter duration, his skills and ability to win tournaments over the years had been outstanding.
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Mahesh Bhupathi (Tennis)
Mahesh Bhupathi’s World No. 1 ranking lasted for just two weeks and that too with Leander Paes. However, the Chennai-born player held his top 10 positions longer than Paes. His fearless style of playing became everyone’s favourite. The remarkable Wimbledon victory with Paes became the highlight of his career. Bhupathi had won many tournaments with various partners in men’s doubles and mixed doubles as well.
Deepika Kumari (Archery)
In 2012, when the London Olympics were about to begin, Deepika Kumari was world number one. It was a clear indication that she would be getting a gold during the major event, but the Indian star lost to Ay Oliver of Great Britain in the first round. Over the years, she has exceeded expectations in non-Olympic events. Her gold in the Recurve individual and women’s team events at the 2010 Commonwealth Games became the highlights.
Prakash Padukone (Badminton)
If you know about Deepika Padukone then you must be aware of what a tremendous gem Prakash Padukone has been for the country. Clearly, he was the one who put Indian badminton on the map. Padukone became the first-ever Indian to win the All-England Badminton Championships. He became world number one on several occasions from 1980 to 1983. A gold medal in the 1978 Commonwealth Games was another highlight of his career.
Heena Sidhu (Shooting)
In 2014, Heena Sidhu came into the limelight when she became the World No. 1 in the women’s 10m air pistol event. However, it was her consistent performance that earned her this rank. Since 2008, she had consistently won titles across the globe. From the 2008 Hungarian Open to the 2014 Asian Championship, she only won gold. She also added a silver medal to her list at the 2014 ISSF Shooting Championship in the USA.
Viswanathan Anand (Chess)
One of everyone’s favourites, Viswanathan Anand, has been the flag-bearer for Indian Chess over the past 20 years. He had won World Championships and made it to finals on numerous occasions. The five-time world champion attained number one ranking across different periods. His first tenure was from April 2007 to October of the same year. He then regained the world number one ranking in April 2008 and held it till July.