India has always been a land of immense talent and it’s only getting better with time. We may still have a long road to tread before India is amongst the front runners in the medals tally at world sporting & athletic events but we’re on the right track to making it happen. With more and more support towards young athletes with initiatives like ‘GAIL The Fastest Indian’, there is an air of positivity around that is fuelling the desire to win amongst the crop of young athletes. Here are 11 promising young athletes who have the potential to make the country proud in the near future.
1. Khushbir Kaur: 20KM Walk
Hailing from a small town in Amritsar called Rasulpur Kalan, this young 21 year old athlete first came into the limelight after winning the Bronze at the 3rd Junior Asian Games, Sri Lanka, 2012. She is also the first Indian woman to clinch a 20 km Race Walk Silver Medal in the Asian Games 2014.
2. Anjana Thamke: 400m and 800m
Anjana’s training began when she had to jog 7 km’s to school every day. She was adjudged ‘Best Athlete’ in the National Junior Athletics Championship, 2012, under the U-16 category. She bagged Gold in the 1500m and 400m run in the U-17 section of the National School Games.
3. Kisan Tadvi: 3000m
Kisan developed an interest in running even before he turned 10 when he used to tend to domesticated animals in his parents’ farm where he would chase errant cows or goats every now and then. His greatest achievement till now has been the silver medal he won at the 2014 Youth Olympics Asian Area Athletics in China.
4. Dutee Chand: 100m, 200m Sprint
Born in 1996 in the Jajpur District in Odisha, Dutee is one of the four daughters of a poor weaver couple. In spite of all the odds, Dutee has managed to get a plethora of medals under her belt. In 2013, she also enrolled in the KIIT University to pursue law.
5. Arpinder Singh: Triple Jump
Arpinder is currently the national record holder in Triple Jump. He recently won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. He is currently ranked number 1 in Asia and is India’s hope for the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
6. Deborah: Cycling
Deborah was born in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and is a Tsunami survivor. She is one of the biggest hopes for India in cycling. She has won 2 gold medals at the women’s junior individual sprint at Asian Cycling Confederation (ACC) Track Asia Cup in Thailand in 2013 and she is also making big strides in the domestic circuit.
7. Devendro Singh: Light Flyweight Boxing
Devendro comes from a family of boxers in Imphal, Manipur. He won the silver medal at the Asian Confederation Boxing Championship, 2013 and another silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. He is a strong contender for the 2016 Rio Olympics and we’re sure he’ll make the country proud!
8. Shiva Thapa: Bantamweight, Boxing
The current world number 3, Shiva was the third Indian to clinch a Gold Medal at the Asian Games. He was also the youngest Indian to qualify for the Olympics when he participated in the 2012 London Olympics.
9. Navjeet Kaur Dhillon: Discuss
Navjeet is 17 years old and became the second Indian to win a medal at the IAAF World Junior Championships when she won a bronze medal at the 2014 event in Eugene, USA. She comes from a family of athletes in Hoshiarpur, Punjab and with the continued support of her family, mentors, and coaches, there’s no stopping her from conquering the world around her.
10. KT Irfan: 20 km Walk
Irfan Kolothum Thodi comes from Malappuram, Kerala and he is credited for setting the Indian national record in the 20 km walk at the London 2012 Olympics.
11. Tintu Lukka: 800m
Tintu is the national record holder in the women’s 800-meter race. She won the Silver Medal at the Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Jakarta in 2008. But her latest achievement has been the Silver Medal in the 800m sprint at the Asian Games 2014. She is coached by legend P.T. Usha and is one of the brightest young stars in the nation today.
As we can clearly see that there is no dearth of talent in India and it comes from all corners of the countries and often times from the remotest towns and villages. It is the need of the hour to scout and find more of such talent which will make the nation proud someday. Stemming from the thought is GAIL’s initiative ‘The Fastest Indian’ where we are looking for the next Olympic medal winner from India in athletics. Will your city give us the next Milkha Singh? Come nominate your city and tell us why it is amongst the ‘fastest’ ones around, here: http://athletics.gailvoice.com/