5 Deaflympics Medals, Sindhu’s Silvers: India’s Big Wins of 2017
India had a fantastic year in sports, winning big titles across most fields. The most evident rise can be seen in the badminton circuit with the likes of PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth notching some breathtaking victories.
From India’s dramatic Test series win against Australia to its most successful Deaflympics campaign, our nation attained great heights this year.
As 2017 draws to a close, here’s a look at some of the big titles won by India or Indians (individually) this year.
February – India Win T20 Blind World Cup
India defended their T20 Blind Cricket World Cup title after defeating Pakistan by 9 wickets in the final in Bengaluru on 11 February.
India, who also won the first edition of the tournament in 2013, lost just one match in the entire competition. India lost to Pakistan in the group stages.
In the final against Pakistan, Prakasha Jayaramaiah top-scored for India with 99* runs. India chased down Pakistan’s total of 197/8 in just 17.4 overs.
March – India Wins Dramatic Test Series
India won a dramatic Test series against Australia in March. The Aussies surprised India by thrashing them by 333 runs in the first Test in Pune. India were on the verge of going 2-0 down in the four-match series, when Australia attained a lead of 87 runs in the second Test.
But, India fought back through their best Test players. First, Cheteshwar Pujara notched a gritty 92 to help India set a target of 188 runs for Australia.
Then, Ravichandran Ashwin picked up 6 wickets for 41 runs and helped India win the match by 75 runs.
The two teams held on to a draw in the next Test, before India won the final Test by 8 wickets.
April – Sai Praneeth Wins Singapore Open
Kidambi Srikanth may have had a fantastic year in the men’s circuit, but Sai Praneeth was the one, who kicked off the year with a title.
Praneeth defeated Emil Holst, Qiao Bin, Tanongsak Saensomboonsuk, Lee Dong Keun in the first round, second round, quarter-final and semi-final respectively.
In the final, Praneeth triumphed over Srikanth after losing the first game. The former eventually won 17-21, 21-17, 21-12.
May – Sultan Azlan Shah Bronze, Wrestlers Win Medals at Asian Wrestling C'ships
The Indian hockey team thrashed New Zealand to clinch a bronze medal at the Sultan Azlan Shah Cup. Rupinder Pal Singh scored two goals in the 17th and 27th minute respectively.
SV Sunil added to India’s tally in the 48th minute before Talwinder Singh wrapped up the 4-0 victory in the last minute.
Sakshi, Vinesh and Divya Win Silver Medals at Asian Wrestling Championship
Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik (60kg), Vinesh Phogat (55kg) and Divya Kakran (69kg) clinched silver medals at the Asian Wrestling Championship.
Sakshi beat Kazakhstan's Ayaulym Kassymova 15-3, Vinesh thrashed China’s Qi Zhang 4-0 and Divya defeated Hyeonyeong Park of Korea 12-4 in their semi-final bouts.
In the gold medal bouts, Sakshi went down to Japan's Risako Kawai, Vinesh lost to Sae Nanjo (Japan) and Divya lost to Sara Dosho of Japan.
June – Rohan Bopanna Wins His First Grand Slam Title
Rohan Bopanna clinched his first Grand Slam title after winning the mixed doubles draw with Gabriela Dabrowski at the French Open.
Bopanna, at the age of 37, became the fourth Indian after Leander Paes, Mahesh Bhupathi and Sania Mirza to win a Grand Slam title.
Bopanna and Dabrowski defeated Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld and Colombia's Robert Farah 2-6, 6-2, 12-10 in the final.
The Indo-Canadian pair first defeated Matt Reid and Jessica Moore, then went past Benoit Paire and Chloe Paquet in the second round.
In the quarter-finals, Bopanna and Dabrowski beat Ivan Dodig and Sania Mirza. In the semi-finals, the Indo-Canadian pair defeated Edouard Roger-Vasselin and Andrea Sestini Hlavackova.
Bopanna and Dabrowski won all matches in straight sets except for the final.
July – India’s Best Deaflympics Campaign
India clinched five medals at the Deaflympics this year, making it their most successful campaign. Virender Singh (wrestling), who won the gold in the 74 kg category, clinched his third Deaflympic gold medal. Ajay Kumar and Sumit Dahiya also shone in freestyle wrestling, winning bronze medals in 65 kg and 97 kg respectively.
Diksha Dagar won a silver in the golf event. Prithvi Sekhar and Jafreen Shaik clinched the bronze medal in the doubles (tennis) event.
However, when the Indian team returned home on 1 August, the government didn’t acknowledge their effort with a grand welcome. Irritated with lack of effort from the officials, the athletes refused to leave the New Delhi airport for 6 hours. Watch the video above for the entire story.
August – Sindhu, Saina Medal at World Championships; Vijender Singh Wins
PV Sindhu played an epic final match at the World Championships against Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara. After a gruelling contest for 1 hour and 49 minutes, Sindhu settled for a silver medal, losing 19-21, 22-20, 20-22.
Saina Nehwal, who clinched the bronze medal in the tournament, lost her semi-final match to Nozomi Okuhara 12-21, 21-17, 21-10.
Vijender Singh Wins WBO Oriental Super Middleweight Belt
Vijender Singh battled hard to defeat Zulpikar Maimaitiali in 10 rounds in a classic boxing match. The Indian won the WBO Oriental Super Middleweight belt and retianed his WBO Asia Pacific Super Middleweight belt.
Vijender won the bout 96-93, 95-94, 95-94.
September – Sindhu Wins Korea Open
Less than a month later, Sindhu had her revenge. This time when the Indian ace met Okuhara, she pulled off a 22-20, 11-21, 21-18 victory in 1 hour and 23 minutes.
Sindhu went past Cheung Ngan Yi, Nitchaon Jindapol, Minatsu Mitani and He Bingjiao in the first round, second round, quarter-final and semi-final. Sindhu had to battle hard from the quarter-final stage as all matches from that stage went into the third game.
October – Srikanth’s Fourth Super Series Title, Glory in Hockey and Shooting
Kidambi Srikanth clinched his fourth Super Series title of the year after defeating Japan’s Kenta Nishimoto 21-14, 21-13 in the final of the French Open Super Series. The 24-year-old clinched the titles in Denmark Open, Australian Open and Indonesia Open earlier this year.
Srikanth played an epic match against compatriot HS Prannoy in the semi-finals. He lost the first game 14-21, but then fought back to win 21-19, 21-18 in the last two games.
India Win Asia Cup
After 10 long years, the Indian hockey team clinched the Asia Cup. They beat Malaysia in the final, to win the title for the third time.
Ramandeep Singh (3rd minute) and Lalit Upadhyay (29th) scored for India as the team took a 2-0 lead. Shahril Saabah managed to pull one back in the 50th minute, but failed to find the equaliser.
India defeated Japan, Bangladesh and Pakistan in the group stages. In the Super 4s stage, India drew with South Korea, but defeated Malaysia and Pakistan.
Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu Clinch Gold in ISSF World Cup Final
Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu clinched a gold medal in the 10m air pistol mixed team event at the ISSF World Cup Final. The pair shot 483.4 to win the competition in New Delhi.
November – Women’s Hockey Team Win Asia Cup, Mary Kom’s Comeback
The Indian women’s hockey team won their first Asia Cup title in 13 years after defeating China 5-4 (shoot-out) in the final. Navjot Kaur put India ahead with a goal in the 25th minute, but then Tiantian Luo found the equaliser in the 47th minute.
During the tense shoot-out, skipper Rani Rampal scored India’s final goal before goalkeeper Savita pulled off an excellent save to take India to victory.
India beat China, Malaysia and Singapore in the group stages. Then the team defeated Kazakhstan and Japan in the quarter-final and semi-final respectively.
Mary Kom Wins Asian Boxing Championships Gold
MC Mary Kom won her fifth Asian Boxing Championships gold medal after defeating North Korea's Kim Hyang Mi 5-0 in the final bout.
Mary Kom won her first international gold medal since the 2014 Asian Games and her first medal in over a year.
December – Hockey Team Clinches Bronze, Sindhu Wins Silver
The Indian hockey team clinched the bronze medal in the Hockey World League Final tournament after beating Germany 2-1 in the third place match on 10 December.
India won a dramatic match against Belgium – 3-2 in a penalty shoot-out in the quarter-finals before going down 0-1 against Argentina in the semis.
PV Sindhu Wins Silver at Dubai World Super Series Finals
PV Sindhu ended the year with a terrific performance at the Dubai World Super Series Finals. The Indian badminton star breezed past the group stages (without a loss) and the semi-final before facing Akane Yamaguchi in the final.
Sindhu won the first game 21-15 without much trouble, but then seemed to have lost her rhythm in the next two games. Sindhu lost the final 21-15, 12-21, 19-21.
However, the shuttler picked up a silver medal at Badminton’s year-end tournament.
Video Editor: Sandeep Suman
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