A recap of all major sporting events that India took part in 2014. India shined in many, got into shambles in the others. Let’s have a look and reminisce this past year in Indian Sports.
2014 has just bid adieu to us.
It was a memorable year for Indian Sports in many ways, good and bad.
Many new feats were achieved. Some scandals and allegations did blemish India’s image, but the positives prevailed. India’s performance was somewhat satisfactory since it was neither dull nor fantastic. However, a few retirements by veterans did make us emotional, we still wish they continued.
Let’s have a look at some sporting categories and how India performed in them this past year:
On the cricket Pitch, the IPL spot fixing scandal made more news than the sport itself. N. Srinivasan was asked to step down from BCCI Presidential duties and Sunil Gavaskar was appointed Interim BCCI President by the Supreme Court of India to oversee the 7th Edition of the Indian Premier League.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the captain of the test squad, announced a sudden and unwelcome retirement from Tests amidst the dismal performance against the Aussies in the December test series.
Sachin Tendulkar, the golden boy of Indian Cricket was awarded the Bharat Ratna in recognition of his insurmountable cricketing feats and laurels for the country.
India lost to Sri Lanka in the World T20 finals.
Ishant Sharma’s fiery pace spearheaded India to decimate England in the Lords test match, registering a long needed win since 1986.
The IPL spot fixing scandal was the highlight; however, with names of Rajasthan Royals co-owner Raj Kundra and Chennai Super Kings Team Principal Gurunath Meiyappan surfacing in Supreme Court committee reports.
Rohit Sharma managed to hit 264 against Sri Lanka at Eden Gardens registering this contribution as the highest individual score in ODIs.
Many cricketers struggling with form have been overlooked for the probable 30 odd World Cup Squad for 2015 such as Yuvraj Singh, Gautam Gambhir and Virender Sehwag.
WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES
Three athletes represented India at the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia. They competed as Independent Olympic Athletes owing to the Indian Olympic Association’s suspension by the IOC. India is yet to win a medal at the winter games.
India’s ban was lifted by the IOC after fresh elections were held by the IOA. India’s is now again part of the Olympic sporting nations.
India sent the largest contingent ever comprising of 215 athletes to the games held in Glasgow, Scotland. Vikas Gowda clinched India’s first ever gold in the Men’s Discus throw, a feat India managed to achieve for the first time in men’s athletics. Parupalli Kashyap became India’s first male shuttler to win a gold in the men’s singles event after 32 years.
Joshnna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal too scripted history by bringing home the gold for the first time in Squash.
India finished with a commendable fifth-place finish with 15 Gold, 30 Silver and 19 Bronze medals with a total tally of 64 medals.
Indian Hockey ruled supreme at the games held in Incheon, South Korea. The team managed to win the Gold after 16 years and as an added bonus were gifted a direct berth in the 2016 Summer Olympics tournament.
Many Gold medals were earned in promising sports categories. India’s run at these Asian Games was considered the best overall in terms of performance and hard work.
India achieved a solid 8th position overall in the medals tally with 11 Gold, 10 Silver and 36 Bronze in a total tally of 57 medals.
Sania Mirza again proved her mettle by winning the 2014 US Open Mixed Doubles title pairing with Bruno Soares. This is now her third Mixed Doubles career grand slam title.
Sania also played a key role in spearheading Indian Aces’ win in the inaugural edition of the IPTL 2014 championship held in India. She also grabbed two Asian Games medals (mixed doubles gold with Saketh Myneni and women’s doubles silver with Prarthana Thombare).
Mahesh Bhupathi and Vijay Amritraj managed to rope in Roger Federer, Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Novak Djokovic into the IPTL who enthralled audiences with stellar performances.
Neither Somdev Devarman nor Yuki Bhambri managed to register wins in order to enter the ATP Chennai Open.
India lost to Serbia in the Davis Cup Playoffs going down by 3-2.
Saurav Ganguly’s franchise Atletico de Kolkata Beat Kerala Blasters to win the inaugural ISL Championship. Sandesh Jhinghan, the Centre Back of Kerela Blasters was awarded the ‘Emerging Player of the League’ award.
The National team, however had a dismal year and plunked down to the 174th position in the overall international rankings, their worst ever performance ever.
India retained the World Youth Chess Olympiad title by defeating Iran and Russia. India won this title for the fourth time.
Karthikeyan Murali, the former world under-16 champion won two games in a row at the Indian Youth Olympiad to scale the 2500 rating mark and successfully complete the ‘Grand Master’ requirement.
Five-time world champion Vishwanathan Anand failed to re-crown himself the World Champion after losing to Norwegian Magnus Carlsen in the World Championships finale held in Sochi, Russia.
Pankaj Advani, India’s ace cueist won the World 6-Red Snooker Championship Gold and setting a new world record of winning world titles in both billiards and snooker in all possible formats and also won the World Team Billiards Championship Gold. His singular achievement is the highest number of world titles held by any Indian sports-person
In September 2014, he decided to relinquish his snooker tour card in order to concentrate on his billiards career and give more time to his family.
PGTI enjoyed one of its best seasons ever at the Asian Tour. Arjun Atwal grasped victory at the Dubai Open, ending a four year drought with a brilliant 66 in the final round.
Rashid Khan won the Chiangmai Classic. Jyoti Randhawa hadn’t won an Asian Tour victory since 2009, but finished a respectable second at the Chiangmai Classic.
SSP Chowrasia clinched the Panasonic Open.
Anirban Lahiri emerged victorious at the Macau Open.
India registered itself as a dominant force this year at the international stage. Saina Nehwal and K. Srikanth clinched titles at China Super Series Premier.
Dutee Chand was barred from all international competitions for having more male hormones than the permissible limit after failing all dope tests.
India was reinstated into the International Boxing Association (AIBA) fold after being taken over by a new body, Boxing India.
Indian pugilists managed to bring home five medals from the Commonwealth Games; four silver and one bronze.
Dipika Pallikal, Joshana Chinappa did wonders with the racquet this year, they won the women’s doubles gold medal at the Commonwealth Games, making it India’s first ever in the sport. Harinder Pal Sandhu and Saurav Ghosal together won the Men’s Team Gold Medal at the Incheon Asian Games.
After spearheading India to the Asian Games gold, Coach Terry Walsh tendered his resignation citing a bigger pay package. The Sports Authority of India and Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal could not retain him after prolonged negotiations.
Delhi Waveriders decimated Punjab Warriors in 3-1 penalty shoot-out to win Second Hockey India League 2014.
‘Pistol King’ Jitu Rai emerged the standout performer in shooting this year. Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang and Manavjit Singh Sandhu too, registered medals in their name. This was considered to be one of the most glorious years in Indian shooting, since shooters shined at the World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games by bringing laurels to the nation.
Compound archers were the heroes this year. At the Incheon Asian Games they registered their best ever show by grabbing one gold, one silver and two bronze. Re-curve archers managed to get nothing this year; a very dismal show.
Abhishek Verma bagged one team gold and one individual silver at the Incheon Games.
Our country’s lifters bagged 12 medals at the Commonwealth Games this year, a very respectable performance. Sukhen Dey, Satish Sivalingam and Khumukcham Sanjita Chanu bagged Gold in their respective weight categories.
In Powerlifting, RajinderRahelu bagged a Silver by lifting 180.5 kg.
To sum up, India is on to a winning start with newer and younger athletes coming into the fray. Seeing these medal wins, youngsters are getting inspired to take up sports as a professional career path and bring laurels to the nation.
This is just the beginning, India has already made its mark in sports like Cricket, Wrestling, Boxing and Shooting. Other sports are also coming into the limelight slowly. India is on the path to being one of Asia’s most coveted sporting nations.