Sunday, May 9, 2010


India's top 10 sportspersons of the year

Somdev Devvarman (Tennis): The 24-yearold,

who was talked of as the next big thing ever since his debut in the Davis Cup match against Japan last year, created history in January by becoming the first Indian to reach the final of the ATP Chennai Open. The University of Virginia graduate beat the likes of former World No.1 Carlos Moya and Croat Ivo Karlovic en route to the final. Somdev also became the first Indian men's player to qualify for the singles main draw of a Grand Slam event in seven years in the US Open.

Chinnaswamy Muniyappa (Golf): For a man who caddied for one rupee

during his childhood, winning the Indian Open in October 2009 was a lifetransforming

moment. The win fetched Muniyappa the Rookie of the Year

title after the 32-year-old finished his season in 10th place on the Order of

Merit with $223,269 through one win and three other top-25 finishes. The

caddie-turned-pro was the lone Indian in Asian Tour's annual roll of


Gautam Gambhir (Cricket): The year has been outstanding for Indian

opener Gautam Gambhir. He won the International Cricket Council's (ICC)

Test Player of the Year award in October. In July, he held the number one

Test ranking, though for only 10 days.

Leander Paes (Tennis): Age only seems to bring the best out of Leander

Paes. The 35-year-old Indian with Czech partner Lukas Dlouhy won the

French Open title, beating Wesley Moodie of South Africa and Belgium's

Dick Norman. He also finished runners-up in mixed doubles with partner

Cara Black in the Wimbledon and the US Open.

Subrata Paul (Football): The Indian team goalkeeper rose from his

turbulent past to take the country to a sensational 6-5 victory in a

shootout over Syria for the Nehru Cup title. With the win, India not only

retained the ONGC Nehru Cup but the sport in the country also found a

new hero. Paul was also adjudged the Footballer of the Year by the All

India Football Federation (AIFF), the first

goalkeeper to win the award.

Vijender Singh (Boxing): After last year's

Olympic bronze, boxer Vijender Singh proved

he was not a flash in the pan. Vijender silenced

his critics when he won a bronze medal in the

World Championships in September, the firstever

medal for India in the Championships.

Later in the month, the Bhiwani boxer added

yet another feat becoming the world's number

one boxer in the middle weight (75kg) category, the first Indian ever to do

so. He was awarded the Khel Ratna along with Olympic bronze medallist

wrestler Sushil Kumar and women's four-time world champion boxer Mary


Suranjoy Singh (Boxing): The gritty boxer from Manipur gave India its

first Asian Championship gold in 15 years. A Mike Tyson fan, the 22-yearold

flyweight pugilist, however, could not repeat his success in the World

Championships at Milan, where he made a first round exit. Suranjoy

worked on his game and returned to win gold at the prestigious AIBA

President's Cup in December. The win has only added to his hunger to win

medals for India.

Saina Nehwal (Badminton): After a stupendous 2008, wherein she

reached the quarterfinals of the Olympics and also won the most

'Promising Player of the Year' award, Saina carried on from where she left

last year. The 19-year-old created history in June when she became the

first Indian to win a Super Series title with the Indonesian Open in

Djakrata. She touched her career-high ranking of six in July. Saina was

also awarded the Arjuna Award this year for her achievements.

Valiyaveetil Diju and Jwala Gutta (Badminton): India's top mixed

doubles pair has been making waves on the international scene since

renewing their partnership in early 2008, after a year's break. Riding on

their performance, they entered the top-10 in world rankings and made

the cut for the World Championships in Hyderabad where they became the

first Indian pair to reach the quarterfinals. They won the Chinese Taipei

Open in August and finished the year on a high, reaching the final of the

World Super Series Masters Finals in Malaysia earlier this year.

Pankaj Advani (Snooker): It is hard to neglect Pankaj Advani when one

talks of distinct achievements in Indian sports. The 24-year-old, who is the

only player to have achieved the 'grand double' of winning both the points

and time formats at the IBSF World Billiards Championships, winning it in

2005 and the 2008 Championships held in Bangalore, carried his form this

year. Advani won the 2009 World Professional Billiards Championship in

Leeds, his first World Professional Billiards Championship title, beating

defending champion Mike Russell in the final. The World Championships

last month however turned out to be a dampener for him.

No comments:

Post a Comment