What we witnessed this month was arguably the most glorious month in the history of women’s sport in India. The nation woke up today to its favorite female sportsperson, Sania Mirza, setting the record straight once and for all- by clinching the No.1 spot in the WTA ranking for women’s doubles, after winning the Family Circle Title at Charleston with her partner- Martina Hingis. For once in our country the women in sports seem far ahead of their male counterparts.
This new development is as poetic as it gets, for Sania Mirza is the woman who put women’s Lawn Tennis on the map and yet- grappled with criticisms and controversy every step of the way. Patrons of the orthodox side of our culture tried to put shackles on her will right from calling her sporting outfits anti-islamic, to her choice of husband- Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Akhtar- anti-national. She let her work silence all those skeptics.
The best part is yet to come- Sania simply completed the Hat-trick our sportswomen have been on for the past year. Badminton player Saina Nehwal’s beaming face is still fresh in our memories, as she went on to become the first Indian Sportswoman in history, to clamber to the top spot in a sport at an international level. She is also the first Indian to win a medal in Badminton at the Olympics- having achieved this feat by winning the Bronze medal at the London Olympics 2012 Although she slipped to number 2 in two weeks, her conquest was celebrated with unparalleled vigor as she proved that talent and sincerity prevails above all.
And the third woman on this list is one that made it against all odds. The five-time World Boxing champion, and the only woman boxer to have won a medal in each one of the six world championships- Mary Kom inspires a conservative and overly cautious audience that it is never too late to chase after your dreams. Back it up with some skill but mostly a raging fire in your heart, and is a consequence you cannot escape. She is an icon especially because she comes from a part of India that feels like an estranged sister and represents the sport that wasn’t very popular among Indian women. But despite all this, she, along with many others who are up and coming in different sports, are a great inspiration for not just aspiring sportspersons, but for all the women, who know that they can achieve whatever they want and that their gender is no more a barrier in their road to success.
[Featured Picture Courtesy: India.com]
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