Top 10 Performers for India in Summer Olympics

Sushil Kumar

Indian Olympians have appeared for in the Summer Olympics since its inception. From the team sport to individual sport, Indian athletes have made the country proud on various occasions at the mega sporting event. From being country’s first ever achiever in Olympics to making India proud more than once, Indian athletes have been quite an achiever in Olympic Games. 

Here is the list of the successful Indian athletes who have been made Indian proud at the Summer Olympics till now:

1) Sushil Kumar (2008 & 2012 Summer Olympics)

Summer Olympics

The 36-year-old former wrestler  made India proud twice in the Olympic events. He participated in the 66kg Freestyle category in 2008 Beijing Olympics where he won Bronze medal. It was in that year he made a mark for India and himself at the Indian level. The veteran wrestler had already won numerous Gold medals in many competitive multi-sports events across the world.

In 2008 Beijing Olympics, Sushil Kumar couldn’t qualify for the upper stages, so in the bronze medal match Kumar beat Leonid Spiridonov of Kazakhstan 3:1. Again in 2012, Sushil Kumar qualified himself for the 66Kg Freestyle category. Sushil Kumar improved his performance in that year’s Summer Games in London by reaching the finals. Apparently, he lost the final match against Japan’s Tatsuhiro Yonemitsu and had to settle for the Silver medal. It was his second medal in the Summer Olympics. As of now, he is the only Indian wrestler to have won two individual category medals in Olympics. 

2) Abhinav Bindra- Beijing Olympics (2008)

Abhinav Bindra

The name one cannot miss out. Abhinav Bindra was India’s first athlete to have won the first individual Gold medal for the country. He made it possible in 2008 Beijing Olympics. That Summer Olympics gave India a star who will always be remembered. At the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Abhinav Bindra won the gold in the Men’s 10m Air Rifle event. Abhinav Bindra was also the flag bearer for India at the Rio Olympics in 2016 as he was appointed the Goodwill Ambassador of India by Indian Olympics Association (IOA) . 2016 Rio Olympics was also his last Olympic event before he announced his retirement. The former is known to have paved the path for the budding shooters from across the country as he remains one of the top performers for India in Olympics. 

3) Dipa Karmakar- Rio Olympics (2016)

Summer Olympics

Artistic Gymnast Dipa Karmakar became the first Indian female gymnast ever to compete in the Olympics for India. She qualified for the Rio Olympics event in the Test event with a score of 14.833. However, Dipa Karmakar couldn’t win  a medal at Rio, she won a billion hearts with her outstanding effort. The 26 years old ranked an impressive fourth position in the women’s vault finals in Rio de Janeiro that was too a commendable performance by her. As of now, Dipa Karmakar is preparing for the next year’s Tokyo Olympics and is bidding on her current form and performances that will give her the entry for the upcoming Summer games. 

4) PV Sindhu- Rio Olympics (2016)

Mary Kom- Bronze Medal

Badminton single’s specialist PV Sindhu made the country proud with her Silver medal at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. PV Sindhu with her terrific performance reached the finals of Women’s single events. But after battling out for 83 minutes in the court, PV Sindhu was defeated by Spain’s Carolina Marin. Therefore, Sindhu had to settle for the Silver medal. But the final match between the two grabbed whole world’s attention. PV Sindhu made her mark in the Olympics with her attention grabbing performance in the Olympics for India.

Currently, PV Sindhu has just won the BWF World Championship finals, winning the Gold medal by defeating Japan’s Nozomi Okuhara. PV Sindhu is hopeful for getting India a medal in the next year’s Olympic games. She is  name who has a lot of potential which she already proved with her performance in the Rio Olympics. 

5) Yogeshwar Dutt – London Olympics (2012)

Summer Olympics

The veteran wrestler makes it into this list as his performance in 2012 London Olympics goes down to be the most memorable fight of any Indian wrestler in the Olympics event. It was on August 12, 2012 when Yogeshwar Dutt brought India its fifth medal in the following year’s Olympics event. The fight between Yogeshwar Dutt and North Korean Ri Jong Myong goes down to be a memorable because none of the wrestlers were ready to drop their guard down but the wilful attitude of Yogeshwar Dutt got him rewarded with a bronze medal in the end.

Despite getting injured in his eye, Yogeshwar Dutt didn’t lose hope as he made the country proud. The veteran wrestler is currently the coach of the World’s No. 1 wrestler Bajrang Punia who is also a hopeful for bringing India a medal in the next year’s Tokyo Olympic Games. Yogeshwar Dutt’s contribution is still remarkable as he is passing on his knowledge of the sport to the talented youngsters of the country. 

6) Leander Paes- Atlanta Olympics (1996)

Leander Paes

The 46 year old former tennis player Leander Paes is one of the greatest Tennis player for India. He represented India in the 1996 Atlanta Summer Olympics in the Men’s Single event where he beat Argentina’s  Fernando Meligeni in a bid to win the Bronze medal in that year’s Summer Olympic events. Leander Paes gave India an International recognition in the Tennis sport and also proved why he is one of the greatest Olympian and Tennis Player for India of all time. Later, for his success in the Olympics he was awarded the highest sporting honour by the government of India, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna in 1996.  

7) Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore- Athens Olympics (2004)

Summer Olympics

He is considered the face of India when it comes to Olympics. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore won a silver medal for the country. Rathore rose to prominence by winning the silver medal at the 2004 Athens Olympics. It was India’s first ever individual silver at the Olympics. He won the medal in the Double trap category and since then he is considered one of the faces for India at the Olympics.

Following his medal winning shot in the 2004 Athens Olympics, Rathore was the chosen flag bearer for India during the 2008 Summer Olympics in BeijingChina. Because of his imminent success, he was also awarded  Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna (Highest Sporting Honour of India) in the year 2004-2005. Rajyavardhan had set an example for the budding shooters that they can achieve big for the country at the Olympics. And looks like, Indian shooters have followed his path by qualifying for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 easily. 

8) Karnam Malleswari- Sydney Olympics (2000)


Karnam Malleswari

Karnam Malleswari was the first Indian woman to win a medal in Olympic Games and make the country proud. Karnam Malleswari participated in the 69 Kg Weightlifting category. Retired Weightlifter Karnam won the Bronze medal at the Sydney Summer Olympics and set an example to the millions of girls in the country that they too can achieve the similar feat someday. Karnam is Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award winner and also received the civilian Padma Shri award. At the 2000 Sydney Olympics, Malleswari lifted 110 kg in the “snatch” and 130 kg in the “clean and jerk” categories for a total of 240 kg. Currently, she is the only Indian woman weightlifter to win an Olympic medal. 

9) Milkha Singh- Melbourne(1956), Rome(1960) &  Tokyo(1964)

Milkha Singh

The legendary Indian former track and field sprinter hit the tracks for India for the in the Olympics for the first time in Melbourne Olympics in 1956. The Asian Games gold medal winner couldn’t win any medal in Olympic Games but his three consecutive appearances in the Summer Olympics gave him and India an International recognition in the multi-sporting event. He represented India in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, the 1960 Summer Olympics in Rome and the 1964 Summer Olympics in Tokyo. He was also awarded the Padma Shri award, India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, in recognition of his sporting achievements for the country. He is a legend and has the most number of appearance in the Olympics for India. 

10) Indian Hockey Team

Summer Olympics

India has won the most number of Gold medals in Olympic Games because of Hockey. Between 1928 and 1980 Indian Hockey team won 8 Gold medals, 1 Silver and 1 Bronze medal in Olympics. Proving the world their proficiency in the hockey sport, There was a phase between 1928 and 1956, the Indian team was unbeatable in every corner of the world. Owing to their major success at Olympics, India unofficially declared Hockey as the national sport of the nation.

Apparently, Indian Hockey men’s and women’s team is looking solid as they will be hosting the Tokyo 2020 Olympics qualifier between October and November this year. The Indian hockey team is one of the favourites to qualify for the 2020 Olympics as this will be the first time since the 1980s that Indian Hockey team look probable to win a medal in the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

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