Indians also saluted Mary Kom, PT Usha, Sania Mirza, Mirabai Chanu and others in a resounding vote for woman power. Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, who stunned with his Olympic gold, got 24 percent of the votes, but maybe that was because the survey was conducted before his trailblazing feat.
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 saw India’s best performance in over four decades. Ahead of India’s 75th Independence Day, YouGov, a global public opinion and data company, asked people which sportsperson according to them made India proud at an international level.
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The survey was conducted between August 3 and 6 among 1,135 respondents. Two-third of urban Indians (around 67 percent) surveyed said P.V. Sindhu made the country proud at the international sports event.
Sindhu became India’s first female double Olympic medallist after her successful game at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. The ace badminton player won a bronze for India at the Tokyo Olympics 2020. Besides this, she also has five world championship medals to her name and has received the highest national awards like Padma Bhushan and Padma Shri.
P.V. Sindhu was followed by boxer Mary Kom (53 percent ) and eternal queen of Indian track and field P.T. Usha (52 percent). Both of them have been a source of inspiration to many.
The list was dominated by sportswomen. It included names like Sania Mirza (45 percent), Saina Nehwal (44 percent), Geeta Phogat (35 percent), and Sakshi Malik ( 34 percent).
It is not really surprising to see these names in the list after we witnessed the strength of woman power at the Tokyo Olympics. Around two in five urban Indians (40 percent) think Mirabai Chanu, this year’s silver medallist in the weightlifting category, has made the country proud, while around 21 percent think that Karnam Malleswari, the first Indian female to win an Olympic medal in weightlifting, is a formidable figure.
The list also has the name of India’s ‘Flying Sikh’ the late Milkha Singh. Nearly half of urban Indians (46 percent) think the Padma Shri awardee has made the country proud at various international sporting events, including the Olympics.
Indian gold medallist at the just-concluded Games Neeraj Chopra also figured in the list. Around a quarter of urban Indians (24 percent) think that the star athlete has made India proud. The results may very well be different now, as this survey was conducted before his historic win.
Abhinav Bindra, India’s first Olympic gold winner is also in the reckoning with around 35 percent share of votes. The list includes legendary names like Lovlina Borgohain (23 percent), Bajrang Punia (20 percent ), Deepika Kumari ( 26 percent), Vinesh Phogat (19 percent), Dutee Chand (18 percent), Rani Rampal (17 percent), and Manika Batra (15 percent).
Besides these young stars, the country also remembered some senior sportsmen who represented India on various international platforms. The urban Indians did not forget to salute the Indian hockey legend, the late Dhyan Chand (33 percent), former Indian hockey captain Dhanraj Pillay (22 percent), Olympic silver medallist Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore (18 percent), and Olympian shooter Randhir Singh with a share of 9 percent.
(Edited by : Shoma Bhattacharjee)
First Published: Aug 12, 2021 7:50 PM IST