The first modern Olympic Games to feature female athletes was the 1900 Games in Paris. Hélène de Pourtalès of Switzerland became the first woman to compete at the Olympic Games and became the first female Olympic champion.
India’s first woman to win an Olympic medal is Karnam Malleswari for Weightlifting. At the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, weightlifter Karnam Malleswari marked her place in Olympic and Indian sports history.
Here are the 6 Indian Women who shone at the Olympics.
- Mary D’Souza
It was in 1952 at the Helsinki Olympics that India got its first woman Olympian – Mary D’Souza. She took part in the 100m and 200m races, in which she came fifth and seventh respectively. It was 48 years later in the 2000 Sydney Olympics that an Indian woman finally found her place on the podium. Let’s take a look at five Indian women who made the nation proud at the Olympics.
2. Karnam Malleswari
Karnam Malleswari was the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal. Known as the ‘iron lady’ Karnam won the bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics. She retired after participating in the 2004 Athens Olympics.
3. Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal was the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal in badminton. She won a bronze medal at the 2012 Beijing Olympics and went on to become the world no. 1 in badminton in 2015.
4. Mary Kom
Mary Kom became the first Indian woman boxer to win an Olympic medal in boxing at the 2012 Beijing Olympics in the 51 kg flyweight category. She also has 13 gold medals from other international competitions.
5. Sakshi Malik
Sakshi Malik became the first Indian woman to win an Olympic medal for wrestling at the 2016 Rio Olympics in the 58 kg freestyle category.
6. PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu bagged a silver medal at the 2016 Beijing Olympics in Badminton. She was the first Indian female athlete to win a silver medal at the Olympics.