A year of firsts for Indian Sports

SportsARM
15 min readJan 16, 2023

The year 2022 will be remembered as an important landmark in Indian Sports. Our dearest, Cricket did registered some personal records, but there are plethora of sports in which we wrote history. Indians setting records in sports, in other words the sky is blue. From Bhagwani Devi, age 94, clinching a gold medal in 100-meter sprint in Finland to our many young starts who won, clearly winning had no age barrier.

Here we highlight 50 achievements from 2022.

  1. Neeraj Chopra carried on his winning form at World Championships and Diamond League

This was the only second medal India has won on the world stage since Anju Bobby George ‘s bronze medal at 2003 World Athletics in Paris. Neeraj Chopra also broke the national record and his personal best throw of 89.94m came in the Stockholm Diamond League competition.

The impact of Neeraj’s achievement sparked and India’s Annu Rani clinched bronze in women’s javelin throw to become the first Indian woman ever to win a medal in the event at CWG. In a remarkable co-incidence, Annu’s win came on August 7, 2022, the same day Neeraj had won the Olympic gold. Now August 7 is celebrated as National Javelin Day to honour Neeraj’s Olympic gold.

Photo Credit — PTI

2. Another memorable Commonwealth Games

The expulsion of shooting from Birmingham 2022 and Neeraj Chopra’s injury did rose a doubt in the medal tally in CWG 2022 but Indian athletes rose to the occasion and came away with 61 medals ,22 golds, 16 silvers, 23 Bronze. Lawn bowl was the surprise with the women clinching the gold and men winning the silver. India had never previously competed in the sport at the Commonwealth games. Eldhose Paul earned India’s first triple jump gold at CWG 2022. The Indian hockey teams and women’s cricket teams also bagged medals. One of the major highlight of the competition was steeplechaser Avinash Sable, who finished with a silver medal in the men’s 3000m steeplechase. Sharath Kamal clinched three gold medals, including an individual gold and a silver medal for India in Table Tennis in 2022 .

Photo Credit — PTI

3. Thomas Cup Maiden triumph

The Thomas Cup is one of the biggest events in badminton and also known as the world men’s team championship.

At the Thomas Cup 2022 held in Bangkok, the Indian men’s badminton team, captained by Lakshya Sen, HS Prannoy, Kidambi Srikanth, and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy wrote history.

India entered the competition who had never won the men’s badminton team world championships in the previous 31 editions. India defeated Indonesia in the finals, the reigning champions and most successful team with 14 championships.

Photo Credit — PTI

4. Our very own Boxing world champion — Nikhat Zareen

Nikhat Zareen became the fifth Indian woman to win the title after the legendary MC Mary Kom, Laishram Sarita Devi, Jenny RL, and Lekha K.C. She defeated Thailand’s Jutamas Jitpong, a Tokyo Olympian 5–0 in the Women’s World Boxing Championships 2022 final.

Photo credit: Twitter/@BFI_official

5. India’s greatest year ever in chess

GM Praggnanandhaa beat 5-time World Chess Champ Carlsen — But despite the win, the Indian finished as runner-up as his total score was 15 points as compared to Carlsen’s 16 points overall. At the World rapid and blitz chess championship, Koneru Humpy won a silver and B. Savitha Shri a bronze.

Photo Credit — Ali Haider/EPA, via Shutterstock

6. Shooting star Avani Lekhara clinched gold again

Avani Lekhara won the gold medal at the Chateauroux 2022 World Cup. Shooter Avani Lekhara also scripted history as she became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal at the Paralympics, firing her way to the top of the podium in the 10m Air Rifle Standing event in Tokyo.

Photo Credit — SAI Twitter

7. Indian women’s hockey team won inaugural Women’s FIH Nation.

The Indian women’s hockey team won the FIH Women’s Nations Cup 2022 in Valencia, Spain which earned them right to be a part of the FIH Pro League in 2023–24.

India participated in the FIH Nation in December led by Savita Punia. They won all three of their group matches to advance to the semifinals, where they defeated a determined challenge from Ireland in a shootout. The Indians defeated Spain in a tight game that finished with a 1–0 victory for them.

Photo Credit — Hockey India Twitter

8. Virat Kohli became the first batter to score 4000 runs in T20Is

Virat Kohli scripted history as he became the first batter in history to reach 4000 runs in T20 Internationals. Kohli reached the landmark in the second semi-final of the T20 World Cup.

Photo Credit — BCCI Twitter

9. Suryakumar Yadav became 1st Indian player to score 1,000 T20 runs.

Star Indian batter Suryakumar Yadav became the first Indian player to score 1,000 T20 International runs in a calendar year.

Photo Credit — Twitter BCCI

10. Bajrang’s World Championship Bronze

Bajrang Punia bagged bronze medal at the World Championships 2022, yet again making India proud. With bronze in Belgrade, Bajrang Punia becomes 1st Indian to win 4 medals at world wrestling championships

Photo Credits — PTI

11. Manika Batra, first ever female Indian to win a medal at Asian Cup

Manika Batra scripted history by becoming the first-ever female player from India to win a medal at the Asian Cup. She won bronze after defeating World No.6 Hina Hayata. It was India’s first medal at the Asian Cup since Chetan Baboor’s bronze in the year 2000.

Photo Credit — PTI

12. Super athlete Mirabai’s historic silver at World Championships

Despite wrist injury, Indian star Mirabai Chanu won a historic silver medal in Columbia at the World Weightlifting Championships in the 49 kg category.

Phtot Credit — Indian Olympic Association Twitter

13. A debut Gold for Rudrankksh Patil

One of the surprising sporting achievements for India in 2022 was the gold in ISSF Shooting World Championships. Excellent performance from the young shooter Rudrankksh Patil bagged gold on his World Championship debut in the men’s 10m air rifle event in Egypt this year.

Photo Credit — Twitter/SAI Media

14. India Hosted another world cup, The Under 17 Women World Cup

The 2022 FIFA U-17 Women’s World Cup was the 7th edition contested by the under-17 national teams of the member associations of FIFA, since its inception in 2008. It was the second time that India hosted a FIFA tournament, after the 2017 Men World Cup, and the first time that India hosting a FIFA women’s football tournament. Spain were the defending champions, who did manage to retain the title.

Photo Credits — AIFF Twitter

15. BCCI’s equal pay policy

BCCI announced pay parity for its women cricketers which is a landmark move, which makes all women cricketers under contract with the board will be paid the same match fee as their male counterparts across the formats, introducing pay equality to the Indian sports ecosystem.

Photo Credit — Twitter

16. First Woman IOA President — PT Usha

The former Indian athlete P.T. Usha, fondly remembered as the “Payyoli Express”, became the first Olympian and first woman to become President of the IOA (Indian Olympic Association).

She is the first Olympian and first international medalist to head the IOA in its 95-year-old history.

Photo Credits — PTI

17. World No. 3 Sukant Kadam bagged Gold at Peru Para Badminton

International World No 3 Sukant Kadam smashed his way to a gold medal at the Peru Para-Badminton International 2022.

Photo Credit — BAI Twitter

18. 1000 Khelo India Centers to be opened across country by August 15 2023

Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur announced development of one thousand Khelo India centres by the 15th of August 2023.
Also, the budget of the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports was Rs 1,219 crore in 2014, which increased to 3,062 crore for the year 2022–23, which is almost three times more.

Photo Credit— Twitter Khelo India

19. India hosted the 2022 AFC Women’s Asian Cup

It was the 20th edition of the AFC Women’s Asian Cup and for the first time in the competition, the final tournament was expanded from eight teams to twelve. The Chinese went on to win the ninth title in their history by defeating South Korea 3–2 in the final.

Photo Credit — AIFF Twitter

20. India hosted & won The 2022 SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship

It was the third edition of the SAFF U-18 Women’s Championship , an international football competition for women’s under–18 national teams organized by SAFF. The tournament was held from 15 to 25 March 2022 in Jamshedpur, India.

India won the title of the SAFF U–18 Women’s Championship 2022 after finishing on the top table with nine points and with a superior goal difference over Bangladesh.

Photo Credit — AIFF Twitter

21. India hosted the 2022 Men’s SAFF U-20 Championship

It was the 4th edition of the SAFF U-20 Championship, India were the hosts of the tournament, held between 25 July and 5 August 2022. India clinched the title defeating Bangladesh by 5–2 in the final on 5 August 2022.

Photo Credit — AIFF Twitter

22. Delhi Gymkhana Club hosted the Davis Cup tie after a gap of 49 years.

The Delhi Gymkhana Club set up a world class stage on its grass courts for the Davis Cup tennis tie against Denmark which was played on March 4 and 5 2022.

Photo Credit — First post

23. The first Indian to win a Formula 2 race, Jehan Daruvala

Jehan Daruvala finished the season at 7th position with 126 points and became the first Indian to win a Formula 2 race.

Photo Credit — Indian Express

24. Government recognized e-sports as part of multisport events

A major boost for E-sports in India as E-sports will be handled by the Department of Sports under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.

Photo Credit — InsideSport.in

25. Indian Boxers won Gold Medals at Youth World Boxing Championships 2022

Young Indian boxers Vishwanath Suresh, Vanshaj, and Devika Ghorpade recorded a clean 5–0 win to bag gold at the IBA Youth Men’s and Women’s World Boxing Championships 2022.

Photo Credit — PTI

26. Devendra Jhajharia won silver at World Para Athletics Grand Prix

Indian javelin thrower, Devendra Jhajharia bagged a silver medal in the World Para Athletics Grand Prix, in Morocco.

Photo Credit — Twitter

27. Manisha Ramadass, the Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year

The 17-year-old para shuttler enjoyed a great run in 2022, winning four gold, including the Para-Badminton World Championships women’s singles title. She also won two silver and bronze medals. Due to her standout performance, Manisha won the Female Para-Badminton Player of the Year award by BWF in December.

Photo Credit — PTI

28. Pramod Bhagat retained the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships title

The Paralympics gold medalist won four titles in men’s singles and was remarkably consistent throughout the season. Out of the nine tournaments he played, he emerged as the winner on four occasions. In the remaining five, he was runner-up in four events and semi-finalist in another. Pramod finished the season achieving an incredible feat: retaining the BWF Para-Badminton World Championships title.

Photo Credit — PTI

29. Jayanti Behera bagged multiple medals

Odisha’s ace para-athlete Jayanti Behera brought laurels to the country as she bagged three medals at the IWAS World Games Portugal 2022. She clinched gold medals in 400m and 200m events besides securing a silver medal in 100m sprint.

Photo Credit — PTI

30. India defeated Australia to win third Sultan of Johor Cup

Indian junior men’s hockey team defeated Australia to win the Sultan of Johor Cup 2022 in a shootout 5–4 after a 1–1 draw at the Taman Daya Hockey Stadium in Johor Bahru, Malaysia.

Photo Credit — Hockey India

31. Pankaj Advani won his record 25th World title in Kuala Lumpur

Indian cueist, Pankaj Advani defended his World Billiards Championships (150-up) title for the 5th time, beating compatriot Sourav Kothari in the best-of-7 frames final at the High End Snooker Club.

Photo Credit — PTI

32. Vinesh Phogat won bronze in World Wrestling Championships

Vinesh Phogat won bronze at the World Wrestling Championship 2022 in the women’s 53kg category. Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman wrestler to win two medals at the World Championship.

Photo Credit — PTI

33. India’s First-ever Gold Medal in Judo World Championship

Indian judoka Linthoi Chanambam scripted history by winning India’s first-ever medal in Judo World Championships with a gold in the Women’s 57kg category. The 15-year-old judoka outclassed Brazil’s Bianca Reis in the 57-kg category final.

Photo Credit — PTI

34. India’s first-ever U-20 World Champion in wrestling

Antim Panghal, a 17-year-old wrestler from Haryana, defeated Kazakhstan’s Atlyn Shagayeva 8–0 to win the title of Under-20 world champion. Antim Panghal is the first Indian woman to do so. Antim Panghal was also nominated for United World Wrestling 2022 Rising Star of the Year award.

Photo Credit — PTI

35. Manisha Kalyan became 1st Indian to play in the UEFA Women’s Champions League

Manisha Kalyan became the first Indian footballer to play at the UEFA Women’s Champions League when she made her debut for Apollon Ladies FC.. In November 2021, the 20-year-old also became the first ever Indian footballer to score a goal in the AFC Women’s Club Championship.

Photo Credit — AIFF Twitter

36. Mairaj Ahmad Khan scripted history by winning gold medal in skeet

Veteran Indian shooter Mairaj Ahmed Khan made history by becoming the first person to ever win a men’s skeet gold medal at an ISSF World Cup. The 46-year-old from Uttar Pradesh shot 37 in the 40-shot final to finish ahead of Minsu Kim from Korea (36), who took second place, and Ben Llewellin from Britain (26), who took third place.

37. Bhagwani Devi, age 94, baggged gold medal in 100-meter sprint in Finland

Bhagwani Devi Dagar, a 94-year-old Indian sprinter, won the gold medal in the 100-meter sprint at the Tampere, Finland, World Masters Athletics Championships.

Photo Credit — PTI

38. India bagged 22 medals in Asian U-20 Wrestling Championships in Manama, Bahrain

Indian grapplers had a fantastic outing at the U20 Asian Wrestling Championships in Manama, Bahrain where they won as many as 22 medals.

39. First Indian cyclist to win silver at Asian Championship, Ronaldo Singh

Ronaldo Singh made cycling history by becoming the first Indian cyclist to win a silver medal in a continental competition in the senior division. The feat accomplished by Ronaldo was the best in a continental competition by an Indian cyclist.

Photo Credit — PTI

40. Sunil Chhetri became joint 5th highest goal scorer

Indian Men’s football team captain, Sunil Chhetri scored his 84th International goal against Hong Kong during the Asian Football Confederation. Sunil Chhetri is the 5th highest goal scorer in international football among active players.

Photo Credit — IndiaTV Twitter

41. India won the Inaugural FIH Hockey 5s Title

India beat Poland 6–4 in final to clinch the inaugural FIH Hockey 5s championship in Lausanne in Switzerland.

Photo Credit — PTI

42. Sakshi Malik, Mansi Ahlawat, and Divya Kakran won gold in the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup

Sakshi Malik won her first international gold medal in the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup,a UWW Ranking Series event. Mansi Ahlawat and Divya Kakran also finished at the top of the podium in their respective weight categories while Pooja Sihag settled for bronze.

Photo Credit — PTI

43. India won bronze in Men Hockey Asia Cup

India defeated Japan 1–0 to win bronze at the Asia Cup 2022 in Jakarta, Indonesia. This was India’s 10th medal from the 11 editions of the continental meet held so far. India, champions in 2003, 2007 and 2017, have finished runners-up on five occasions and have won the bronze medal twice.

44. India’s largest representation at Deaflympics

India sent a contingent of 65 athletes to compete in 11 sports, India recorded their best performance at the Deaflympics by winning 16 medals, including eight golds. India finished ninth in the Deaflympics 2021 medals tally. In Brazil, badminton player Jerlin Jayaratchagan won three gold medals — in the women’s singles, mixed doubles and the mixed team event. Shooter Dhanush Srikanth, who shot a world record score of 247.5 to win the 10m air rifle event title, won two gold medals. Meanwhile, tennis ace Prithvi Sekhar pocketed three medals and wrestler Virender Singh managed to bag his fifth straight Deaflympics medal with a bronze.

Photo Credit — PTI

45. Sajan Prakash won GOLD in Denmark

Top Indian swimmer Sajan Prakash won the men’s 200m butterfly gold at the Danish Open swimming meet in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Photo Credit — Olympics Twitter

46. India’s first-ever gold medal at World Doubles Squash championships

The second-seeded Indian duo Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Saurav Ghosal won the mixed double title at the 2022 WSF World Doubles Squash championship at Glasglow. This is the first gold medal for India at the WSF World Doubles Squash championship, which the country had never won before this.

Photo Credit — Women sport report

47. PV Sindhu won the Swiss Open Badminton title 2022

India’s P.V. Sindhu has defeated Busanan Ongbamrungphan of Thailand to win the women’s singles title at the Swiss Open Super 300 badminton tournament.

Photo Credit — PTI

48. India’s Sadia Tariq won Gold in Russia

Indian Wushu player Sadia Tariq won a gold medal in the junior tournament at the Moscow Wushu Stars Championship 2022.

Photo Credit — PTI

49. Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of world’s third-largest cricket stadium

Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly laid the foundation stone of the world’s third-largest cricket stadium in Jaipur. The International Cricket Stadium in Jaipur will be the second-largest cricket stadium in India and the third-largest in the world.

Photo Credit — Twitter

50. PR Sreejesh won World Games Athlete of the Year award 2021

Indian men’s hockey player PR Sreejesh won the World Games Athlete of the Year award for 2021 in 2022. He is the second Indian after Rani Rampal to win this award. In 2020, Indian women’s hockey captain Rani Rampal became the first Indian to win the honour for her performances in 2019.

Photo Credit — Olympics Twitter

As we stand fresh in 2023, there are champions winning our hearts from a diverse section from our society than ever before, introducing us to new sports from a vast horizon of sports disciplines and making us proud, again and again.

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