Sports is perhaps the bastion of masculinity. It is the wear and tear, the rough and tough of sports that men use to herald themselves as the superior and stronger gender. And what happens when they are dethroned from that seat of extreme entitlement? What happens when an entire spectrum of sports is annotated by the powerful performance of women?! A tribe of strong, stunning, self-reliant women is brought about. This is what 2018 was all about. It was about women who are sportsperson par excellence, they are gentle but they boast of strength, they are simple but they boast of power that is inexplicable.
Women who beat records, women who created history, women who only knew how to soar. 2018 is an unusual year for recapping sports, because not a single male player did anything extraordinary. Or even if they did, isn’t the world bored by the gender disparity? Here are some women, out of a league of many lest we forget them, who knocked it out of the park and how.
1. Mithali Raj went on to become the highest run-getter in T20Is, surpassing Rohit Sharma and Indian men’s team captain Virat Kohli. Mithali is at 2283 runs so far while Sharma and Kohli have scored 2207 runs and 2102 runs in T20Is respectively. Who run Indian cricket? It’s Mithali Raj!
2. Hima Das won India’s first ever track gold medal at the IAAF World Under-20 Athletics Championships in Finland. She recorded a time of 51.46 seconds in the 400m race. Run like a girl, so you can win those medals!
3. Dipa Karmakar participated at the FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Challenge Cup in Turkey on July 8 and bagged a gold medal, hence becoming the first Indian gymnast to clinch the yellow metal at a global event. No one stronger, no one sturdier!
4. Dipika Pallikal is the first Indian to enter into the top 10 PSA Women’s rankings in Squash! Unstoppable force of nature, so super successful!
4. Ace Badminton player PV Sindhu becomes the first Indian to win a gold medal at the BWF World Tour Finals 2018. All the while being the sassiest queen on the court!
5. Mary Kom won her sixth gold medal in women’s 45-48 kg category at the Commonwealth Games 2018. And you thought only men could knock people out with their strength?
6. Rahi Jeevan Sarnobat clinched a Gold Medal for India in women’s 25m pistol event at the Asian Games 2018. Not only did she win a gold medal but also set a new record in a double shoot-off in 25m pistol event. Grit, focus, and perseverance are anyway synonyms to womankind!
7. Vinesh Phogat from the famous Phogat family of wrestlers, clinched a Gold medal in Asian Games 2018. She had also bagged another Gold at Commonwealth Games 2018 in the Gold Coast. She is the first ever Indian woman wrestler to win Gold in both Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. A legacy that rests on shoulders of women, is sure to carry it on with minimal obstruction!
8. Swapna Barman bagged a Gold medal in Women’s Heptathlon at Asian Games 2018. And we thought only men could bring versatility to sports!
9. Harmanpreet Kaur is the first Indian woman cricketer to score a century in T-20 Internationals. She is the third player in world cricket to score a T20I International century. Men who? Cricket is now the ample play field for womenfolk, and this is one of the faces that prove that!
10. Ekta Bhyan won the gold medal in the women’s club throw event with a throw of 16.02 metres at the Asian Para Games 2018. Did we hear someone call out strength and resilience? Or were you just looking for Ms. Bhyan?!
11. And at last but not the least, three cheers to the Indian Women’s Hockey team for making it to the finals of Asian Games 2018 in 20 years. And we thought wonder women existed only in films.