(Last Updated on : 12/10/2013)
In India, athletics
is counted among the most popular form of sports and is played extensively throughout the country. India has so far produced several eminent athletes, who have excelled in the international arena. Indian athletes started playing in the international athletic meets for the first time in 1948, when they took part in the London Olympic Games. The Indian team comprised 8 athletes in the 1948 Olympics, out of which 6 were men and 2 women. It was also the first time that the Indian women athletes
participated in the Olympic Games.
Dalip Singh is a well known athlete who was the first sportsperson to represent India at the Olympics. He was also a good hockey
player. He also owns the pride of being the first person from India who became the torchbearer at the inaugural Asian Games held at Delhi in the year 1951.
P. T. Usha is another prominent athlete of India who is also popularly known as "Golden Girl", "Running Machine", "Sprint Queen", "Payyoli Express" and by many other titles. Through her admirable career she had inspired a number of young woman athletes. She is the owner of seven national awards and had won a number of gold and silver medals in different tournaments.
Jyotirmoyee Sikdar carved a distinct niche for herself in Indian athletics by bagging one silver medal and two gold medals at Bangkok Asian Games in 1998. She also won Arjuna Award
in the year 1995. In 1998 she also became the first athlete to receive the honour of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award
Devendra Jhajharia was the winner of first gold medal in Paralympics from India. He is a one armed javelin
thrower who lost one of his arms in childhood in an accident. He was also honoured with the most prestigious sports award, the Arjuna Awards. He also won gold medals at Athens in 2004 and the 8th FESPIC Games of Korea in 2002.
Shiny Abraham was another famous athlete of India who, for fourteen long years, remained the National Champion in 800 metres. She had also won a number of gold medals. In the year 1995 at the SAF games in Chennai
, she was also declared as the best woman athlete. She was awarded with the Arjuna Award and the Chinese Journalist Award.
Sriram Singh was a middle distance runner who gained substantial fame in the athletics world. His time remained as an Asian record till the year 1994 and an Indian record till 2007. He had retired as an honorary captain from Indian army and later joined Sports Authority of India
as a coach.
Soma Biswas is a well known Indian athlete belonging to Kolkata
. Heptathlon was his speciality in athletics. She won a silver medal at the Asian Games held at South Korea in 2002 and at the 2006 Asian Games organized at Doha.
Other Indian Athletes
Some other notable Indian Athletes include Anju Bobby George
, Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore
, Jeev Milkha Singh
, Abhinav Bindra, K P Thomas
, Asha Agarwal
, Rajwinder Kaur
, Neelam Jaswant Singh
, Geeta Zutshi
, Chetan Anand
, Vijay Kumar
, Anil Kumar
, Gopal Saini
, J.J. Shobha
, Premlata Agarwal
, Geeta Rani
, Sathi Geetha
, Sabir Ali
, Makhan Singh
, T. C. Yohannan
and many more.
Since the 1948 Olympic Games, Indian athletes have shown considerable success in various international championships. Apart from the Olympics, they have excelled in the other prestigious championships like the Asian Games, World Championships, SAF Games etc. While showing great performances in the tournaments, Indian athletes have also won gold, silver and bronze medals for India.