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Top 10 Indian athletes who dominated headlines in 2023

Published at :January 1, 2024 at 2:26 AM
Modified at :January 13, 2024 at 11:53 PM
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Anmol Kakkar


Several youngsters had a breakthrough year.

India had a remarkable year in the sporting fraternity, with athletes from various disciplines achieving unprecedented success at international events. The year saw many firsts for India, with athletes dominating in their respective fields. Badminton was one of the standout sports, with several Indian athletes performing exceptionally well.

Archery was another sport where Indian athletes shone, with many of them achieving great success. Table Tennis also had its highlights, with the Mukherjee sisters achieving the unthinkable. Para-archery saw the advent of a young superstar in Sheetal Devi, who made a name for herself with her exceptional performances. Neeraj Chopra, one of India’s most promising athletes, continued to create records and make the country proud.

Wrestling and Chess have mentioned too. Antim Panghal, an Indian wrestler, won a bronze medal at the 2023 World Wrestling Championships in the 53kg category, becoming the first Indian wrestler to secure an Olympic quota for the next year’s games. R Praggnanandhaa, an Indian chess grandmaster, became the youngest Indian player to reach World Chess World Cup final.

Indian athletes who dominated their fields in 2023

Satwik/Chirag

Asian Games 2023 Badminton: Satwik-Chirag become first Indians to win gold, to become World No. 1
Asian Games 2023 Badminton: Satwik-Chirag become first Indians to win gold, to become World No. 1

Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had a phenomenal year in 2023, winning three BWF World Tour titles and two continental titles in men’s doubles. They started the year with a semifinal finish at the Malaysia Open, followed by winning the Asian Championships. They then created history by becoming the first Indian pair to clinch a Super 1000 title at the Indonesia Open, defeating their arch-rivals Aron Chia and Soh Woo Yik of Malaysia.

The duo continued their impressive run by winning the Korea Open (Super 500) and playing a crucial role in India’s silver medal at the Asian Games men’s team event. They also won the gold medal at the Asian Games in men’s doubles, becoming the first Indian shuttlers to do so. They achieved another milestone by becoming the first double pair from India to reach the World No. 1 ranking.

They ended their season on a high note, finishing as the runner-up at the China Masters, losing a nail-biter to Liang Min Chun and Wang Chi-Lin of Chinese Taipei. They were also bestowed with the prestigious Khel Ratna Award for 2023.

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Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra World Athletics Championships 2023
Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win gold medal at World Athletics Championships

Neeraj Chopra, India’s golden boy and Olympic champion, had another stellar season in 2023. He became the first Indian to win gold at the World Athletics Championships with a best throw of 88.17m. He also topped the Doha Diamond League and the Lausanne Diamond League with his brilliant performances.

He continued his dominance by defending his Asian Games gold medal with a best throw of 88.88m. He finished second in the Zurich Diamond League and the Diamond League Final at Eugene. He was also nominated for the World Athletics of the Year award and came in the final five. He also became World No. 1 in javelin throw, making him the only Indian to achieve this feat.

Jyothi Surekha Vennam

Jyothi Surekha Vennam
Jyothi Surekha Vennam won three gold medals at the Asian Games 2022

Jyothi Surekha Vennam, the Indian compound archer, had an extremely great year in 2023. She won three gold medals at the Asian Games in women’s individual, women’s team and mixed team events. She also won the bronze medal in women’s individual at the World Championships, losing to compatriot Aditi Gopichand in the semifinal. She added another gold medal in the women’s team event, taking her total tally of World Championships medals to eight.

She also dominated the World Cup circuit, winning four gold medals in different stages. She also won one gold and one silver medal at the Asian Archery Championships. She capped off her remarkable season by winning the silver medal at the Taipei Indoor Archery Open.

Sheetal Devi

Sheetal Devi becomes World No. 1 para archer in latest World Archery rankings
Sheetal Devi becomes World No. 1 para archer in latest World Archery rankings

Sheetal Devi, the first armless archer to compete on the international stage, had a remarkable year in 2023. She won the silver medal at the World Para Archery Championships in the women’s individual recurve open category. She also won gold in mixed team, silver in individual, and bronze in women’s doubles at the para archery European club tournament in France.

She continued her stellar performance by winning two gold and one silver medal at the Asian Para Games in Jakarta. She also won two gold and one silver medal at the Asian Para Championships in Bangkok. She is an inspiration to many people with disabilities and a proud representative of India.

Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar

Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar
Aishwary won four medals in shooting at the Asian Games 2022

Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar became the third Indian to win four medals in a single edition of the Asian Games. He won two gold, one silver and one bronze at the 2023 Asian Games. Aishwary’s first medal came was a gold in the 10m Air Rifle Team event where he alongside Rudrankksh and Divyansh secured the top spot with a world record score of 1893.7.

He then went on to win the 10m Air Rifle individual bronze medal with a score of 228.8 finishing behind two Chinese shooters. His third medal came in the men’s 50m Rifle 3 Position team event where he alongside Swapnil and Akhil won the gold medal with a world record of 1769.

Furthermore, Aishwary went on to win the silver medal at the 50m Rifle 3 Position individual event where he scored 459.7. He also won Gold at the World Championships in the men’s team event. He also won 1 Gold and 1 Silver medal at the Asian Championships.

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa

FIDE World Cup 2023 Final Praggnanandhaa vs Magnus Carlsen
Praggnanandhaa became the youngest player to qualify for the finals of the FIDE World Cup

Praggnanandhaa had a remarkable year in 2023, as he became the second Indian to qualify for the Candidates Tournament after Vishwanathan Anand. He also became the youngest player to qualify for the finals of the FIDE World Cup, where he defeated world No. 2 and 3 en route to the title. He set a record by achieving this feat at the age of 18, only two years after becoming a grandmaster at 16.

Praggnanandhaa also shone on the international stage, as he won a silver medal with the Indian team at the Asian Games in Hangzhou. He also showed his skills and potential by beating Magnus Carlsen, the world champion, in a rapid game at the Airthings Masters tournament in February. Praggnanandhaa is widely regarded as one of the most talented and promising chess players of his generation.

Antim Panghal

Antim Panghal U-20 Wrestling World Championships
Antim Panghal became the first Indian wrestler to win an Olympic quota for Paris 2024

The young Indian wrestler is showcasing her talent at the international level and bringing lots of pride to the country with her sensational performances. Antim Panghal became the first Indian woman to become U-20 World Champion. She also won the silver medal winner at the 2023 Asian Wrestling Championships.

The youngster clinched her maiden world championships medal by winning bronze and thereby went on to secure the Olympic quota for India in the women’s 53kg category. She also won the bronze medal at the Asian Games.

HS Prannoy

HS Prannoy
Prannoy won a historic bronze medal at the Asian Games

HS Prannoy, who was battling with injury last year came back stronger this year and had a great season. He won his first world championship medal after defeating Viktor Axelsen in the QF in a thrilling match. He also won his maiden World Tour title when he defeated Weng Hong Yang to clinch the Malaysian Masters title.

He played a huge role in helping his team win the bronze medal at the Asian Mixed Team Championships and a silver medal at the Asian Games. Prannoy then went on to win the bronze medal at the Asian Games 2023. He also won the silver medal at the Australia Open 2023.

Sutirtha Mukherjee/Ayhika Mukherjee

Asian Games 2023 Indian medal winners
Sutirths/Ayhika won historic doubles medal at the Asian Games 2022

They won their first WTT title at the WTT Contender Tunis 2023 by defeating Shin Yu-bin and Jeon Ji-hee in the semifinal before a victory against Miyuu Kihara and Miwa Harimoto in the final. They also became the first Indian women’s doubles pair to win the historic bronze medal at the 2023 Asian Games when they defeated home favorites Cheng Meng and Wag Yigdi of China in the QF.

Ojas Pravin Deotale

Ojas Pravin Deotale World Archery Championships 2023
Ojas Pravin Deotale became the first Indian man to win the gold at the Archery World Championships

Another rising star in the compound archery, Ojas also won three gold medals at the Asian Games (Men’s Individual, Men’s team, and Mixed team). He also became the first Indian man to win the gold at the world championships. He defeated Mr. Perfect Mike Schloesser in the semifinals. Ojas won 3 Gold, 1 Silver, and 1 Bronze in the 2023 Archery World Cup.

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