The Unsung Sporting Heroes of 2009
While the entire nation went into a tizzy over the exploits of Sachin Tendulkar, Virendra Shewag, Aubhav Bhindra, Pankaj Advani, Viswanathan Anand, Somdev Barman and Baichung Bhutia in their respective fields in the year which has just gone by for all the right reasons, there were sportsmen who contributed in their humble way but not fortunate enough to hog the limelight. In my article I would try to name some of them and the success they achieved in 2009.
Gagan Narang's name may not have been heard by many. This young air-rifle shooter had the rare distinction of becoming the first ever Indian to win two medals at a single World Cup which was held in April,2009. He clinched the gold in the 50-metre rifle 3 position and a bronze in 10 metre air-rifle events.
Narain Karthikeyan, the first Indian racing sensation became the first Indian to race in the Lemans Series. The Olympian boxer Vijender Singh won the bronze medal in the European Grand Prix and he scaled a new height by emerging as the first Indian to be ranked No.1 in the middleweight category.
Boxer Suronjoy Singh won the sole gold medal for the country at the European Grand Prix . At the World Cup which was held in Munich, Germany the rifle shooter Tejaswini Singh clinched a bronze in the women's 3 position rifle.
There are many others like Jwala Gutta, V. Diju, Gaganjeet Bhullar, Sukhen Dey and many young talents who shone brightly but there were fewer people to see and applaud it. It is particularly important to note most of these are individual disciplines and not team games and attract world-wide participation unlike cricket which is played by a handful of countries and when the team wins a member even contributing anything with the bat or the ball earns handsomely. Let us sing in praises of the scintillating performances of these brave-hearts if we are to call ourselves as true lovers of sports and games.
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