From cricket to tennis, boxing to badminton, many iconic female athletes have made their mark on the field. Despite facing societal barriers and stereotypes, these trailblazers have broken through to achieve incredible success through sheer hard work and dedication. Their achievements continue to inspire countless young girls and boys across the nation, proving that anything is possible with determination and perseverance. These top 10 female athletes have cemented their place in history, and their contributions to Indian sports have played a vital role in shaping the country’s growing reputation as a sports-loving nation.
List of Top 10 Female Athletes in India
1. The Phogat Sisters
The Phogat sisters and their families have emerged as India’s most celebrated sportswomen, particularly in the field of wrestling. Hailing from Balali, Haryana, these six sisters, namely Geeta, Babita, Priyanka, Ritu, Vinesh, and Sangita, have made a remarkable impact on the international wrestling scene. Their father, Mahavir Singh Phogat, a former wrestler and coach, played a pivotal role in shaping their careers.
- The Phogat sisters’ achievements have garnered immense attention, given the prevailing societal challenges in Haryana, such as gender inequality, female feticide, and child marriage. Their remarkable success has served as a beacon of hope and inspiration for many. The media has extensively covered their journey, shedding light on the sisters’ perseverance and triumphs.
- At the Commonwealth Games, three Phogat sisters, namely Geeta, Babita, and Vinesh, clinched gold medals in different weight categories, showcasing their exceptional skills. Priyanka secured a silver medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships, while Ritu claimed a gold medal at the National Championships. Sangita has also made significant strides by securing numerous age-level international championships, proving her mettle in the sport.
- The Phogat family’s extraordinary story captured the imagination of audiences nationwide and was adapted into the Bollywood film “Dangal.” Released in December 2016, the film depicted the lives of Mahavir, Geeta, and Babita, becoming the highest-grossing Bollywood film ever. Its success further propelled the Phogat sisters into the limelight and inspired countless individuals across the country.
- Among the Phogat sisters, Vinesh holds a special place in the world of wrestling. Coming from a renowned family of wrestlers, she has brought immense glory to India on the international stage. Vinesh is a freestyle wrestler who has been bestowed with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award. She stands out as the only Indian woman wrestler to have won multiple medals at the World Wrestling Championships. Furthermore, Vinesh made history by becoming the first Indian athlete to be nominated for the esteemed Laureus World Sports Awards.
The Phogat sisters’ journey exemplifies their resilience, determination, and ability to overcome societal obstacles. Through their remarkable achievements and the global recognition they have garnered, they have become trailblazers and role models, inspiring generations of aspiring athletes in India and beyond.
2. Mithali Raj
Mithali Raj is a renowned former cricketer who has left an indelible mark on Indian cricket. She has been recognized with prestigious accolades, including the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the Arjuna Award in 2003, and the Padma Shri in 2015, in acknowledgment of her exceptional contributions to the sport. Mithali is widely regarded as one of the greatest women’s cricketers of all time.
- Throughout her illustrious career, Mithali Raj has shattered numerous records and set new benchmarks in international cricket. She holds the distinction of being the highest run-scorer for India across all formats, including Tests, One-Day Internationals (ODIs), and Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). Her ability to consistently accumulate runs and anchor the innings has been instrumental in India’s success on the cricketing stage.
- Mithali’s proficiency as a batter has been particularly evident in the ODI format, where she has reached unprecedented heights. She became the first woman cricketer to surpass 6,000 runs in ODIs, and her aggregate of over 6,800 runs is a testament to her exceptional batting prowess. Mithali’s batting average in ODIs remains impressive, underlining her consistency and ability to perform under pressure.
- In addition to her remarkable records, Mithali Raj has showcased her leadership skills as well. She captained the Indian women’s cricket team for several years, guiding the side to numerous victories and notable achievements. Under her captaincy, India reached the final of the ICC Women’s World Cup in 2005, where they narrowly lost to Australia. Mithali’s astute leadership and calm demeanor have earned her respect from teammates and opponents alike.
- Mithali Raj’s contributions to cricket extend beyond her on-field performances. She has been an influential figure in inspiring young girls to take up the sport and has played a significant role in promoting women’s cricket in India. Her achievements have paved the way for aspiring female cricketers and have helped in elevating the status of women’s cricket in the country.
- After retiring from international cricket, Mithali continues to contribute to the game through her insights and expertise. Her experience and knowledge make her a sought-after commentator and mentor. Mithali’s impact on Indian cricket will be remembered for generations to come, and her legacy serves as an inspiration for aspiring cricketers around the world.
In summary, Mithali Raj’s career as a cricketer has been nothing short of extraordinary. Her records, accolades, and leadership qualities have solidified her status as one of the greatest women’s cricketers in history. Mithali’s impact extends beyond her statistical achievements, as she has become a role model and a driving force for the growth of women’s cricket in India. Her contributions to the game and her indomitable spirit continue to inspire future generations of cricketers.
3. Mirabai Chanu
Mirabai Chanu is an exceptional weightlifter who has made a significant impact on the international stage. Known for her modest demeanor, she has garnered numerous accolades throughout her career. Her most notable achievement came in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where she clinched a silver medal in the women’s 49 kg category, bringing immense pride to India.
- Mirabai’s success extends beyond the Olympic Games. She has also claimed gold medals in prestigious competitions such as the World Championships and the Commonwealth Games. Her exceptional strength and technique have propelled her to the top of her field, establishing her as one of the finest weightlifters in the world.
- In addition to her remarkable performances, Mirabai Chanu holds the world record in the Clean & Jerk discipline in the 49 kg category. This extraordinary feat further cements her legacy in the sport and showcases her exceptional skill and dedication.
- Mirabai’s journey to success has not been without challenges. She hails from a humble background in Manipur, a state in northeastern India. Overcoming adversity, she has defied expectations and emerged as a role model for aspiring athletes, especially for young women in India.
- Her dedication and hard work have been recognized with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award, a testament to her outstanding contributions to weightlifting. This recognition further solidifies her status as one of India’s most accomplished sportspersons.
- Mirabai Chanu’s success and her journey to the podium have inspired countless individuals in India and beyond. Her commitment, perseverance, and unwavering determination serve as an inspiration to aspiring athletes, highlighting the potential for greatness that lies within every individual, regardless of their background.
Mirabai continues to strive for excellence, aiming to further push the boundaries of her sport and achieve even greater feats in the future. Her remarkable performances and unwavering spirit have placed her among the elite in weightlifting, and she remains a cherished symbol of Indian sporting achievement.
4. Jhulan Goswami
Jhulan Goswami, a former cricketer, is widely regarded as one of the greatest fast bowlers in women’s cricket. Her illustrious career, spanning from 2002 to 2022, left an indelible mark on the sport. With an impressive tally of 225 wickets, Jhulan holds the record for the highest number of wickets in Women’s One-Day Internationals (ODIs).
- Known for her pace, accuracy, and ability to generate movement off the pitch, Jhulan Goswami was a formidable force in the bowling department. Her bowling prowess played a significant role in India’s successes on the international stage. She consistently troubled batsmen with her disciplined line and length, often making crucial breakthroughs for her team.
- Jhulan’s remarkable achievements have been recognized with prestigious awards. In 2010, she received the Arjuna Award, which honors outstanding athletes in India, and in 2012, she was bestowed with the Padma Shri, one of the highest civilian awards in the country. These accolades reflect her exceptional contributions to Indian cricket and her impact as a role model for aspiring cricketers.
- Throughout her career, Jhulan represented India in numerous international tournaments, including multiple editions of the ICC Women’s World Cup. She played an instrumental role in guiding India to the final of the 2005 World Cup, where they narrowly missed the title. Jhulan’s performances consistently showcased her ability to rise to the occasion and perform under pressure on the global stage.
- Beyond her cricketing achievements, Jhulan Goswami has been a trailblazer for women’s cricket in India. Her success and influence have inspired countless young girls to take up the sport and have played a pivotal role in elevating the status of women’s cricket in the country. Jhulan’s dedication, resilience, and passion for the game have made her an iconic figure in Indian cricket.
- After retiring from international cricket in 2022, Jhulan continues to contribute to the sport. She serves as a mentor and advisor, passing on her knowledge and experience to the next generation of cricketers. Her impact extends beyond her records and awards, as she remains a respected figure in the cricketing fraternity.
In summary, Jhulan Goswami’s career as a fast bowler has left an indelible mark on women’s cricket. Her record-breaking wicket tally in ODIs, along with the recognition received, solidifies her status as one of the greatest cricketers to have represented India. Jhulan’s contributions have not only paved the way for future generations of female cricketers but have also played a crucial role in elevating the stature of women’s cricket in the country. Her legacy will continue to inspire and motivate aspiring cricketers for years to come.
5. Karnam Malleswari
Karnam Malleswari is a trailblazing and highly inspirational athlete who has left an indelible mark on Indian sports, particularly in the field of weightlifting. In the year 2000, she etched her name in history by becoming the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. This remarkable achievement not only brought her glory but also paved the way for future generations of Indian women athletes.
- Karnam Malleswari’s success extended beyond the Olympic Games. She has also clinched several medals in the World Championships, firmly establishing herself as one of the world’s top weightlifters. Among her notable accomplishments are two gold medals, showcasing her exceptional skills and dominance in the sport.
- In recognition of her extraordinary achievements, Karnam Malleswari was honored with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 1999. This award, bestowed upon her by the Government of India, is a testament to her immense contributions to weightlifting and her remarkable impact on Indian sports.
- Karnam Malleswari’s journey to success is a testament to her unwavering determination and resilience. Hailing from a small village in Andhra Pradesh, she overcame numerous challenges and societal barriers to reach the pinnacle of her sport. Her achievements have not only inspired aspiring weightlifters but have also empowered women across various fields, serving as a shining example of what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
- Even after retiring from competitive weightlifting, Karnam Malleswari continues to be actively involved in promoting sports and supporting young athletes. She has dedicated her time and expertise to nurturing and mentoring the next generation of weightlifters, ensuring that her legacy lives on through their accomplishments.
- Karnam Malleswari’s impact transcends the boundaries of her sport. Her groundbreaking achievements and relentless pursuit of excellence have shattered stereotypes and empowered women to dream big and pursue their passions fearlessly. She stands as a true icon and an inspiration for athletes in India and around the world.
In summary, Karnam Malleswari’s journey as a weightlifter has not only brought her glory but has also paved the way for future generations of Indian athletes. Her historic Olympic medal, combined with her success in the World Championships and her numerous contributions to weightlifting, has solidified her status as a sporting legend. Karnam Malleswari’s determination, resilience, and commitment to empowering women continue to make her an iconic figure in Indian sports.
6. P.T. Usha
P.T. Usha, widely revered as the “queen of the Indian track and field,” is an iconic figure in Indian sports with a remarkable career in athletics. Besides being a celebrated athlete, she currently serves as the president of the Indian Olympic Association, contributing to the growth and development of sports in the country. Her dedication and exceptional performances have earned her numerous accolades and the respect of millions.
- Throughout her career, P.T. Usha has achieved remarkable success on the international stage. Her prowess in track and field events is evident from her impressive medal haul. She has won four gold medals and seven silver medals in the Asian Games, firmly establishing herself as one of Asia’s finest athletes.
- One of the defining moments of P.T. Usha’s career came in the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles. In the 400m hurdles event, she narrowly missed out on a bronze medal by a mere 1/100th of a second, finishing in fourth place. Her breathtaking performance in that race not only showcased her exceptional talent but also made her a symbol of resilience and determination.
- P.T. Usha’s achievements have been recognized with prestigious honors, including the Padma Shri, one of India’s highest civilian awards. This accolade serves as a testament to her significant contributions to Indian athletics and her unwavering commitment to excellence.
- Beyond her achievements, P.T. Usha has played an instrumental role in nurturing young talent and promoting athletics in India. Her involvement in various coaching and training programs has helped shape the next generation of athletes, ensuring a bright future for Indian sports.
- P.T. Usha’s impact extends beyond her athletic career and administrative role. She has become an inspiration for aspiring athletes, especially young girls, who look up to her as a symbol of determination, perseverance, and breaking barriers. Her journey serves as a powerful reminder that with dedication and hard work, one can overcome obstacles and achieve greatness.
- As the president of the Indian Olympic Association, P.T. Usha continues to be a driving force in the promotion and development of sports in India. Her leadership and vision contribute to creating a favorable environment for athletes to excel and represent the nation on the global stage.
In summary, P.T. Usha’s contribution to Indian sports is immeasurable. Her stellar performances, numerous medals, and her near-miss at the Olympics have established her as a legendary figure in track and field. Beyond her achievements, she serves as an inspiration to aspiring athletes and an influential leader in the Indian sports community. P.T. Usha’s enduring legacy will continue to inspire generations of athletes to strive for excellence and push the boundaries of Indian athletics.
7. Mary Kom
Mary Kom, often referred to as “Magnificent Mary,” is a legendary figure in the world of boxing and an inspiration to millions. With an illustrious career spanning over two decades, she has left an indelible mark on Indian sports.
- Mary Kom’s achievements in boxing are truly exceptional. She holds the distinction of being the only boxer, male or female, to have won eight medals at the World Championships. Her remarkable tally includes six gold medals, one silver, and one bronze. This unparalleled feat is a testament to her skill, tenacity, and unwavering dedication to the sport.
- In addition to her success at the World Championships, Mary Kom has also emerged victorious at the Asian Championships. She has won five gold medals, solidifying her status as one of the region’s most accomplished boxers.
- One of the defining moments of Mary Kom’s career came at the 2012 London Olympics, where she won a bronze medal. Her performance in the flyweight category showcased her resilience and fighting spirit on the grandest stage of them all. The Olympic medal further cemented her legacy as one of India’s greatest sporting icons.
- Mary Kom’s exceptional achievements have earned her widespread recognition and accolades. In 2009, she was honored with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award, the highest sporting honor in India. This recognition highlights her significant contributions to boxing and her immense impact on Indian sports.
- Beyond her accomplishments in the ring, Mary Kom is a symbol of empowerment and determination. Hailing from Manipur, a northeastern state in India, she has overcome numerous challenges and societal barriers to become a trailblazer in women’s boxing. Her success has inspired countless young athletes, particularly girls, to pursue their dreams fearlessly.
- Even after achieving unprecedented success, Mary Kom continues to push the boundaries of her sport. Her passion for boxing remains undimmed, and she serves as a mentor and inspiration to the next generation of athletes. Her guidance and support have nurtured young talents, ensuring that her legacy lives on through their accomplishments.
In summary, Mary Kom’s impact on Indian boxing and sports at large cannot be overstated. Her record-breaking performances, including eight medals at the World Championships, exemplify her extraordinary talent and determination. Mary Kom’s achievements have not only brought her glory but have also paved the way for aspiring athletes, leaving an indelible mark on Indian sports history. She stands as a symbol of perseverance, resilience, and female empowerment, inspiring generations to believe in their dreams and strive for greatness.
8. Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal, a true icon of badminton, has left an indelible mark on the sport and has become one of India’s most revered athletes. Her extraordinary achievements and unwavering dedication have solidified her status as one of the greatest badminton players to emerge from the country.
- Saina Nehwal’s remarkable journey reached its pinnacle at the 2012 London Olympics, where she clinched a bronze medal in the women’s singles event. This historic achievement made her the first-ever Indian badminton player to win an Olympic medal, sparking nationwide celebrations and inspiring a new generation of athletes. Her medal not only brought her glory but also put Indian badminton on the global map.
- As a former World No.1 player in singles, Saina Nehwal has consistently displayed her exceptional skills and competitiveness on the international stage. Her powerful and agile playing style, coupled with her strategic prowess, has made her a force to be reckoned with in the badminton world.
- In recognition of her outstanding contributions to the sport, Saina Nehwal was honored with the prestigious Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2010. This esteemed accolade is a testament to her dedication, perseverance, and exceptional performances that have brought pride and glory to the nation.
- Saina Nehwal’s impact extends beyond her achievements on the court. Her success has inspired countless young badminton enthusiasts across the country to take up the sport and strive for excellence. She has become a role model for aspiring athletes, particularly women, who see in her the embodiment of grit, determination, and resilience.
- Throughout her career, Saina Nehwal has consistently represented India in numerous international tournaments and has brought home numerous medals. Her achievements include winning multiple Commonwealth Games medals, Asian Games medals, and prestigious titles in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) circuit.
- Despite facing injuries and challenges along the way, Saina Nehwal has consistently fought back and demonstrated remarkable resilience. Her determination to overcome obstacles and her unwavering focus on success have endeared her to fans around the world.
- Off the court, Saina Nehwal is actively involved in promoting badminton and nurturing young talent. She has established academies and training centers to provide aspiring athletes with the necessary guidance and support to excel in the sport.
In summary, Saina Nehwal’s contribution to Indian badminton is immeasurable. Her historic Olympic medal, combined with her achievements as a former World No.1 player, has propelled her to legendary status. Saina Nehwal’s determination, skill, and passion for the sport continue to inspire generations of athletes, leaving an indelible legacy in Indian sports history. She is a true champion and a source of inspiration for aspiring badminton players in India and beyond.
9. Sania Mirza
Sania Mirza is a prominent Indian female athlete and an acclaimed tennis player. She has made significant contributions to the sport, both nationally and internationally. Born on November 15, 1986, in Mumbai, Sania Mirza displayed exceptional talent in tennis from a young age.
Sania Mirza’s career breakthrough came in 2005 when she won the Wimbledon Championships in the mixed doubles category alongside her partner, Mahesh Bhupathi. This victory marked a historic moment as Sania became the first Indian woman to win a Grand Slam title.
- Throughout her career, Sania Mirza has achieved numerous accolades and milestones. She has represented India in multiple prestigious tournaments, including the Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, and Fed Cup. Her skill, determination, and fierce competitive spirit have earned her a place among the elite athletes in the world of tennis.
- In addition to her on-court success, Sania Mirza has also been a trailblazer for women’s empowerment and gender equality in India. She has shattered stereotypes and proved that women can excel in sports at the highest level. Sania’s journey has inspired countless young girls to pursue their dreams fearlessly and break barriers.
- Off the court, Sania Mirza is known for her philanthropic work. She has been actively involved in various charitable initiatives, especially those focused on education and healthcare. Sania’s commitment to giving back to society has made her a role model for not just aspiring athletes but also individuals striving to make a positive impact on their communities.
- Sania Mirza’s contributions to Indian sports and her remarkable achievements have earned her numerous awards and recognition. She has been honored with prestigious accolades, including the Arjuna Award, Padma Shri, and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, among others.
Sania Mirza continues to be an inspiration and a symbol of female empowerment in India. Her dedication, talent, and resilience have left an indelible mark on the world of sports, making her a true icon for aspiring athletes, especially women, across the country.
10. P.V. Sindhu
P.V. Sindhu, an extraordinary athlete and badminton prodigy, has etched her name in the annals of Indian sports history. Widely regarded as one of the greatest Indian female athletes of all time, Sindhu’s exceptional achievements have earned her immense admiration and respect.
- Sindhu’s prowess on the badminton court is evident through her remarkable accomplishments at various international tournaments. She holds the distinction of being the first Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. At the 2016 Rio Olympics, she secured a silver medal, and in 2021 at the Tokyo Olympics, she clinched a historic bronze medal, further cementing her status as an icon in Indian sports.
- In addition to her Olympic success, Sindhu has amassed an impressive collection of medals at the World Championships. She has five medals to her credit, highlighting her consistency and dominance on the global badminton stage. Sindhu’s achievements also extend to other prestigious events, including two medals in the Asian Games, two in the Asian Championships, and five in the Commonwealth Games, including two gold medals.
- Sindhu’s outstanding performances have garnered recognition both nationally and internationally. In terms of national honors, she was awarded the Arjuna Award in 2013, the Padma Shri in 2015, and the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna in 2016. These esteemed accolades reflect her remarkable contributions to Indian badminton and her unwavering dedication to her craft.
- In 2020, Sindhu was honored with the prestigious Padma Bhushan, one of India’s highest civilian awards. This recognition underscores her exceptional achievements in the field of sports and her significant impact as a role model for aspiring athletes.
- Beyond her athletic achievements, Sindhu has become an inspiration for millions of young athletes in India and around the world. Her commitment, discipline, and relentless pursuit of excellence serve as a testament to what can be achieved through hard work and perseverance.
- Off the court, Sindhu actively participates in philanthropic endeavors and uses her platform to promote various social causes. She has been a vocal advocate for women’s empowerment and the importance of sports in fostering personal growth and societal change.
In conclusion, P.V. Sindhu’s remarkable accomplishments and her impact on Indian badminton are unparalleled. Her historic Olympic medals, multiple World Championships medals, and consistent success in various prestigious tournaments have elevated her to legendary status. Sindhu’s determination, skill, and sportsmanship inspire countless athletes and fans worldwide. She embodies the spirit of resilience, excellence, and the limitless potential of Indian sports.
In conclusion, female athletes in India have made significant strides and achieved remarkable success in various sports disciplines. Their exceptional performances, record-breaking achievements, and trailblazing spirit have inspired a generation of athletes. These extraordinary women have shattered stereotypes, overcome challenges, and brought pride to the nation. Through their dedication, talent, and determination, they have become role models, inspiring young girls to pursue their dreams in the world of sports. The legacy of these female athletes will continue to shape the future of Indian sports and serve as a testament to the power of resilience and perseverance.
For more Information Click here…