Hockey

From Norman Pritchard to PV Sindhu, here are all the firsts for India at the Summer Olympics

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The much-awaited Tokyo Olympics is all set to kickstart in a couple of months. In the long history of the Summer Olympics, India has managed to win only 28 medals. Most of them due to their sheer dominance of hockey in the earlier editions of the games. Out of the 28 medals, India has won 9 gold, 7 silver, and 12 bronze at the grandest sporting spectacle.

2012 opening ceremony (India)
2012 opening ceremony (India)

In the 1900 Paris Games, only one Indian, Norman Pritchard, participated and won two silver medals for the country. The country first sent a team to the Summer Olympics in 1920.

Since the 1920 Antwerp Games, India has participated in every edition of the mega event. With 11 medals in hockey, India occupies the numero uno position in the all-time medal tally for the sport at the Summer Olympics.

Eventually, medals were won in individual sports like wrestling, shooting, boxing, weightlifting, and badminton. In the last edition of the Olympics, India won only 2 medals, a silver by PV Sindhu in Badminton and a bronze by Sakshi Malik in wrestling.

Let’s take a look at the many firsts for India at the Summer Olympics.

#1 First Medalist at the Summer Olympics (Pre-Independence):

Norman Pritchard- Silver Medal, Athletics(200m), 1900 Paris Olympics

#2 First Medalist at the Summer Olympics (Post-Independence):

Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav – Bronze Medal, Wrestling, 1952 Helsinki Olympics

#3 First individual gold medal for India :

Abhinav Bindra- Shooting (10m Air Rifle), 2008 Olympics

#4 First individual silver medal for India

Rajyavardhan Rathore – Shooting (Men’s Trap), 2004 Athens Olympics

#5 First Indian Sportswoman to win a medal at Olympics:

Karnam Malleswari- Bronze medal, Wrestling(69kg), 2000 Sydney Games

#6 First Indian badminton player to win a medal at Olympics:

Saina Nehwal – Bronze medal, Badminton (Women’s Singles), 2012 London Olympics

#7 First Indian female silver medalist at the Olympics:

PV Sindhu – Badminton (Women’s Singles), 2016 Rio Olympics

#8 First Olympic medal in boxing:

Vijender Singh- Bronze medal, Boxing(Middleweight), 2008 Beijing Games

#9 First Indian female boxer to win a medal at the Olympics:

Mary Kom- bronze medal, Boxing (flyweight), 2012 London Olympics

#10 First Indian female wrestler to win a medal at the Olympics:

Sakshi Malik- bronze medal, Wrestling (58kg freestyle), 2016 Rio Olympics

#11 First multiple individual Olympic medalists from India (pre-independence)

Norman Pritchard- 2 silver medals, Athletics (200m, 200m hurdles), 1900 Paris Games

#12 First multiple individual Olympic medalists from India (post-independence)

Sushil Kumar- wrestling (66kg freestyle), 2008 Beijing Olympics (bronze), 2012 London Olympics (silver)

#13 First Indian team to win an Olympic medal

Indian hockey team – gold medal, 1928 Amsterdam Olympics

Indian participation at the Games has increased over the years. 74 athletes and 2 teams have qualified for the Tokyo Games from India. However, there are still a few qualification tournaments remaining, and there is hope of more athletes booking their tickets to Tokyo.

Published 09 Feb 2021, 16:31 IST

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