2004 – Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s much talked about Silver medal
When India’s ace shooter Rathore bagged a silver medal after scoring 179 points at the Athens Olympic Games in 2004, it created quite a stir nationwide. He gave India its first silver medal in an individual event at the Olympics.
2005 – Pankaj Advani won the World Billiards Championships
National snooker star Pankaj Advani created a sensation when he won the IBSF World Billiards Championship in 2005 at Qawra, Malta, and became the first player to achieve a “grand double” by winning both time and point formats. He also won the World Championship in 2003 at the age of 18 and became the youngest Indian to win the title. He has eight world titles under his name so far.
Apart from Advani, Snooker has seen yet another amazing player Geet Sethi who has six professional titles and three amateur level World Cup titles along with two world records under his belt.
2005 – Narain Karthikeyan became first F1 driver from India
In a country like India where obsession with cricket is not hidden, we saw a new sports sensation in Narain Kathikeyan when this young racer became India’s first Formula One motor racing driver. After him, Karun Chandok too joined the sport, and thanks to their initial momentum, now there is an Indian F1 team and an Indian Grand Prix circuit.
2007 – Six sixes in an over by Yuvraj Singh
Who can forget the amazing six sixes in one over by Yuvraj Singh in the T20 Cricket World Cup 2007 match against England? Singh’s incredible batting against Stuart Broad was a treat for cricket fans across the globe. The first ball was hit hard and sent to cow corner while the second ball went to backward square leg followed by four other amazing sixes. His incredible innings won him a record of making a half century in just 12 balls. Singh’s incredible batting paid off and India won the match (also becoming the first T20 champions).
2008 – Abhinav Bindra’s gold medal at the 2008 Olympics
2009 – Saina Nehwal becomes the first Indian woman to win a Super Series Tournament
Nehwal is among those very few players who have brought badminton into the limelight. She became the first Indian to win a Super Series tournament as she grabbed the much deserved title after defeating a higher ranked Lin Wang from China in Jakarta.
Nehwal also made India immensely proud when she won a bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics. After the victory, instead of celebrating the victory in the court, Nehwal showed a more humble side and first went to the Chinese player who was retired from the match after an injury.
2014 – Mary Kom’s “golden” come back
Five time world champion and Olympic bronze medallist Mary Kom captured everyone’s heart with her first Asian Games gold medal in the women’s 48-51 kg boxing. The victory was even more special for her as she had returned to the ring after a break of two years in which she delivered her third baby. Three cheers for the strong come back!