“Indian Women Olympic Medalists: Historic Victories and Inspiring Achievements”

“Discover India’s inspiring women Olympic medalists in weightlifting, badminton, boxing, and wrestling. From Karnam Malleswari to PV Sindhu, relish their historic victories at the Olympic Games. 🏅

The Olympic Games are an athletic festival that began in ancient Greece and was resurrected in the late nineteenth century. Over the years, India has won 35 Olympic medals. Although hockey has been the country’s best-performing event in the quadrennial event, it has also won several medals in other sports. However, it was not until the twenty-first century that women began to win Olympic medals for India. In the early 1900s, males won all of India’s Olympic medals. India has 8 Olympic medals, won by 7 women players.

Here, we will have a look at all of the Indian women who have won Olympic medals since then.

Athlete Medel Sport (Event) Olympics
Karnam Malleswari Bronze Weightlifting (Women’s 54kg) Sydney 2000
Saina Nehwal Bronze Badminton (Women’s singles) London 2012
Mary Kom Bronze Boxing (Women’s flyweight) London 2012
PV Sindhu Silver Badminton (Women’s singles) Rio 2016
Sakshi Malik Bronze Wrestling (Women’s 58kg) Rio 2016
Mirabai Chanu Silver Weightlifting (Women’s 54kg) Tokyo 2020
Lovlina Borgohain Bronze Boxing (Women’s welterweight) Tokyo 2020
PV Sindhu Bronze Badminton (Women’s singles) Tokyo 2020



  • Karnam Malleswari

Weightlifter Karnam Malleswari broke the stereotype-winning concept and established history by being the first Indian woman to secure an Olympic medal. Karnam Malleswari won a bronze medal at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after lifting 110kg in the snatch and 130kg in the clean and jerk categories for a total of 240kg. She became the first Indian (male or female) weightlifter to obtain an Olympic medal. Malleswari is India’s only Olympic champion in weightlifting, even two decades after winning bronze.

  • Saina Nehwal

Saina Nehwal became the second Indian woman to win an Olympic medal during the 2012 Games in London, 12 years after Karnam Malleswari’s historic victory in Sydney. Saina put Indian badminton on the map when she clinched bronze in the women’s singles tournament at the 2012 London Olympics. Saina Nehwal earned the bronze medal after her Chinese opponent Wang Xin resigned due to injury during the bronze medal playoff match. The Indian badminton player was defeated 13-21, 13-21 by top seed Wang Yihan in the semi-finals. Saina Nehwal is the first Indian badminton player to earn an Olympic medal, having competed in three Summer Games (Beijing 2008, London 2012, and Rio 2016).

  • Mary Kom

Mary Kom, a boxer from Manipur, is the only Indian woman to have won an Olympic medal in boxing. She became the third Indian woman to win an Olympic medal for her country, only days after Saina Nehwal won gold in London. Mary Kom, a star boxer, created her place in Indian sports history by obtaining a bronze medal in the Olympic Games in London in 2012. The Manipuri pugilist conquered Poland’s Karolina Michalczuk and Tunisia’s Maroua Rahali in the initial two rounds before surrendering in the semi-finals against UK’s Nicola Adams and taking bronze.

PV Sindhu is the second badminton player who clinched an Olympic medal. However, PV Sindhu is an exception because she is the first Indian woman sportsperson and after wrestler Sushil Kumar, the second athlete from this country, who earned two Olympic medals in Badminton (Women’s Singles)- one Silver in Rio 2016 and the other one Bronze in Tokyo 2020. 

PV Sindhu lost the final to Spain’s Carolina Marin and finished with a silver medal after an 83-minute title duel. Despite finishing second, PV Sindhu made history by becoming India’s youngest individual Olympic medalist. She was also the first Indian woman to take home an Olympic silver medal.

PV Sindhu achieved a Bronze medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, following to her silver medal from Rio 2016. PV Sindhu lost in the semi-finals to second seed Tai Tzu-Ying of Chinese Taipei 18-21, 12-21 after dominating through the group stages and earlier knock-out rounds. She moved on to win a Bronze medal in a playoff defeating China’s eighth-seed He Bingjiao.

  • Sakshi Malik

Indian wrestler Sakshi Malik achieved a bronze medal in the women’s 58kg category in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games to become the first Indian female wrestler to bag a medal at the Olympics. Malik began extensively, beating back-to-back rounds of 32 and 16 over Johanna Mattsson of Sweden and Mariana Cherdivara of Moldova to advance to the quarterfinals. Malik was beaten in the quarterfinals against eventual champion Valeria Koblova of Russia. In the repechage, she overcame Mongolian PĂĽrevdorjiin Orkhon in her first bout before clinching a Bronze medal by claiming an 8-5 comeback victory over Kyrgyzstan’s Aisuluu Tynybekova.

  • Mirabai Chanu

Mirabai Chanu also became the second Indian weightlifter, after Karnam Malleswari, to win a medal at the Summer Games as well as the second Indian woman, after PV Sindhu, to win a silver medal at the Olympics. Mirabai Chanu, a weightlifter, won Silver in the 49kg division at Tokyo 2020 with a total lift of 202kg. Mirabai Chanu of Manipur became the first Indian weightlifter to take home an Olympic medal with her victory.

Assamese boxer Lovlina Borgohain followed in the steps of the famous Mary Kom by securing an Olympic Bronze medal in Tokyo 2020. Lovlina Borgohain won Bronze by defeating Germany’s Nadine Apetz in the Round of 16 and outpunching Chinese Taipei’s Chen Nien-chin in the quarter-finals.

Also Read: Step-by-Step Guide to Make Your Career in Wrestling and Participate in International Competitions

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