Year-Roundup 2023: Top sporting achievements of India in 2023 - A Year of Relay

Throwback to the world of sports with India's historic medal tally in the Asian Games to Neeraj Chopra's World Championship win and from Praggnanandhaa's Chess moves to a heartbreaking Cricket World Cup loss.

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Hitanshu Bhatt
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Sporting achievements of India in 2023

Here is a year roundup of the top sporting achievements of India in 2023 in the fields of Badminton, Athletics, Archery, Football, Cricket, Esports, Para Athletics and other sports along with the major awards, accolades, records and championships won by Indian athletes. 

The year 2023 will be vividly remembered as the year of sports for India as it witnessed many historical milestones, individual and team achievements and a few setbacks that are hard to forget. Let’s revisit the sporting achievements of India in 2023 and let's see how sports came to a full circle for Indian athletes, coaches, authorities and the entire sports fraternity as we discuss some highlight moments, lesser-known sports that came to the forefront, winners of highest National Sports Awards and the sporting events hosted by India in 2023.

The Mad Medal Tally: India's Achievements in Asian Games 2023

Total medals by India at Asian games 2023
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India clinched new heights with the highest-ever medal tally for any Asian Games edition in the 2023 Asian Games at Hangzhou, China. The tally reached a total of 107 medals with 28 gold, 38 silver and 41 bronze in various sporting events. It was the first time in Asian Games history that India’s medals tally crossed the three-figure mark. This was even more remarkable because we became the only fourth country after China, Japan and the Republic of Korea to win 100 or more medals in a single edition of the Asian Games. While all the participants and winners made us proud, here are some of the key highlights:

Records set by India

World Records by Indians in Asian Games 2023: 

  • Sift Kaur Samra made a world record in women’s 50m rifle 3 positions final with 469.6 points
  • The Indian men’s 10m air rifle team of Rudrankksh Patil, Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Divyansh Singh Panwar struck gold in the 10m air rifle with a world record of 1893.7.
  • The Indian team consisting of Swapnil Kusal, Aishwary Pratap Singh Toma and Akhil Sheoran also broke the world record in 50m rifle 3 positions with a record time of 1769.
  • Manu Bhaker along with Esha Singh and Rhythm Sangwan clinched a junior world record of 1759 in the 25m pistol.

Asian Games Records by India:

  • Avinash Sable set an Asian Games record in men's 3000m steeplechase with a time of 8:19:53. 
  • The 17-year-old Palak Gulia created an Asian Games record of 242.1 in the women’s 10m air pistol.
  • Aditi Gopichand Swami broke the Asian Games record twice in the women’s compound archery competition which was equalled by Jyothi Surekha Vennam.
  • Kynan Chenai, Zoravar Singh Sandhu and Prithviraj Toindaman made the Asian Games record in the men’s trap team (361)
  • Sarabjot Singh, Divya TS broke the Asian Games record in 10m air pistol mixed team qualification (577)
  • Ojas Pravin Deotale clinched the Asian Games record in men’s individual compound archery (150-7x)
  • Ojas Pravin Deotale and Jyothi Surekha Vennam made the Asian Games record in mixed team compound ranking round (1413) and also the Asian Games record in mixed team compound match (159)

World records by indians in asian games

Maiden Moments for India in Asian Games 2023:

  • Indian Men’s and Women’s Cricket team won a historic maiden gold medal in Cricket at the Asian Games  
  • The men’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy claimed India’s maiden gold medal in badminton.

Young and Old 

  • Jaggy Shivdasani became the oldest Indian to win an Asian Games medal at 65 years, 7 months and 20 days. He was part of the men’s bridge team that won the silver medal.
  • Meanwhile, Sanjana Bathula became the youngest Indian to win a medal at the Asian Games after she won the bronze in the women's speed skating 3000m relay event. She was 15 years, 3 months and 11 days old when she won the medal.

Need to Know: Baseball, Softball, Cricket, Flag Football, Lacrosse and Squash were officially included as additional sports on the programme for the Olympic Games Los Angeles 2028.

Checkmate Moments for Opponents - India's Achievements in Chess in 2023  

Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa gave the Indian chess community a year to remember by achieving many feats in 2023:

  • He became the youngest player to qualify for the FIDE Chess World Cup at the age of 18 years. 
  • He became the only second Indian (after Vishwanathan Anand) to qualify for the semi-finals and finals of the FIDE World Cup after beating Arjun Erigaisi in the quarter-finals and world number 3 Fabiano Caruana in the semi-finals to compete against world number 1 Magnus Carlsen. 
  • By doing so he also became the third youngest player to qualify for the Candidates 2024 which is an eight-player chess tournament. 
  • Three Indian players - GMs Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Dommaraju Gukesh, and Arjun Erigaisi played in the quarterfinals of the 2023 FIDE World Cup.
  • Vaishali Rameshbabu became the 3rd Indian female chess player to earn the grandmaster title. Following this Vaishali and Praggnanandhaa become the only Grandmaster sibling in the history of chess.
  • Ayush Sharma, an 18-year-old chess player from Madhya Pradesh achieved the International Master (IM) status at the Tsaghkadzor Open 2023 in Armenia.

The Shuttles Fly High - India's Achievements in Badminton in 2023

As for other sports, Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy stole the show for Indian Badminton in 2023 along with stellar performances by other players:

  • They achieved a historic milestone by becoming the first Indian men's doubles pair to bag a gold at the Badminton Asia Championships.
  • They also created another meteoric feat by winning the Indonesia Open Super 1000 title – the highest tier of the event on the BWF World Tour along with the Korea Open Super 500 title by defeating the then-world No. 1 pair of Fajar Alfian and Muhammad Ardianto.
  • The Duo also clinched the world No. 1 ranking in men's doubles, becoming the first Indian pair to achieve the milestone.
  • Lakshya Sen secured the men's singles title at the Canada Open 2023

  • HS Prannoy secured a bronze medal in the men's singles category at the BWF World Badminton Championships 2023 at the age of 31.

Shot on Target - India's Achievements in Football in 2023

As the Indian men’s football team made its entry into Round 2 of the FIFA World Cup and started the campaign with a historic win against Kuwait this was the first time Indian football won a game against a Gulf nation away from home there were many pearls already perched in the 2023 campaign:

 

  • India won the 2023 Tri-Nation Series defeating the Kyrgyz Republic.
  • India lifted the Intercontinental Cup beating Lebanon in the finals.
  • The Blue Tigers claimed their ninth SAFF Championship.
  • India reached the knockouts of the 2023 Asian Games.
  • India reached the 100th spot in the FIFA ranking in June 2023.

Kabaddi Kabaddi Kabaddi - India's Achievements in Kabaddi in 2023 

  • Indian Men’s team won the Asian Kabaddi Championship 2023 by defeating Iran.
  • Indian Women’s Kabbadi team bagged a gold at the Asian Games.

Almost a Boundry - India's Run in Cricket in 2023 

One of the most loved sports in India went through a roller coaster of a journey this year and here are some of the highlight moments:

  • The Indian Men’s Cricket team stood Number One in All Formats - ODI’s, T20’s and Test Cricket.
  • Indian Men's Cricket Team triumphed in the 50-over Asia Cup 2023.
  • India Women's Under-19 team won the T20 World Cup 
  • The blind Women's Cricket team stood victorious at the IBSA World Games.
  • While we talk about women’s cricket we witnessed another major change in the form of pay scale. The salary for Indian Men’s and women’s Cricket players was made equal. 
  • Amidst all these celebrations India saw a major setback in the form of a World Cup loss against Australia after a tremendous season of staying undefeated in all the games. 

Left No Stone Unturned - India's Achievements in Para Athletics in 2023  

Indian para-athletes left no behind in creating the historic highest-ever medal tally of 111 in the Asian Para Games. India finished in the 5th position with a total of 29 gold, 31 silver and 51 bronze

World Records in Para Asian Games 2023 by India: 

  • Gurjar Sundar Singh set a new world mark in the men's javelin throw-F46 discipline with a gold medal-winning 68.60 m throw.
  • Sumit Antil set a new world record in the men's javelin throw-F64 with a 73.29m attempt.
  • The men's compound Archery team of Rakesh Kumar and Suraj Singh created a world record with a score of 158.
  • Need to Know: The 16-year-old Sheetal Devi, the only current female international archer to shoot with her feet, won gold in the compound individual open event as well as the compound mixed team and also bagged a silver in the women's compound doubles.

Maiden Moments:

  • India won 1st ever medal in Para-Rowing which was formed by the team of Anita and Konganapalle Narayana. 
  • The first ever (Bronze) medal was won by Aruna in the debut Para-Taekwondo event by India. 
  • The husband-wife duo Manish Kaurav and Prachi Yadav won a gold and a silver medal in the Para-Canoe event respectively. By doing this Prachi also became the first ever Indian to win gold in this event.

A Sprint through the Marathons - Sports that came to the forefront in 2023

There were many new accolades won in popular and mainstream sports but there were some lesser-known sports that came to the forefront and marked another enchanting year for Indian Sports. 

Javelin Throw:

  • Neeraj Chopra became the first ever Indian to win a gold medal at the World Athletics Championships in Javelin Throw.
  • The 25-year-old javelin thrower also retained his top spot in the Asian Games 2023

Archery:

This year also saw the rise of Archery for India’s sports fraternity as the Indian team finished the Berlin archery meet with three gold and one bronze medals. This was India’s best haul in Archery at the world championships. 

  • Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Parneet Kaur and Aditi Gopichand Swami won the women's compound team event and bagged India’s first-ever gold at the archery world championships.
  • At 17, Indian archer Aditi Swami became the youngest to win an individual gold medal at the world championships
  • Jyothi Surekha Vennam defeated Ipek Tomruk of Turkey to clinch the bronze medal in the women's individual compound event.

The Game of Consoles and Keyboards - India's Achievements in Esports in 2023 

While the traditional sports shone this year as well, esports took centre stage with much-deserved recognition:

  • Team Godlike Esports consisting of players - Learn, Neutrino, Trunks, Abhizdada, Skullguy and Prevail finished runners-up in Call of Duty Mobile World Championship 2023.
  • India organized the largest Esports event in the country, the Pokemon UNITE India Open which saw True Gravity as the winner. 
  • The Indian eFootballer Hemanth Kommu represented India at the Global Esports Games 2023, Riyadh.
  • Gladiators Esports won the Battlegrounds Mobile India Series 2023 (BGIS) Mobile. 
  • Blind Esports secured the championship title at the Battlegrounds Mobile India Pro Series 2023 (BMPS). 
  • S8UL secured the prestigious 'Esports Content Creator of the Year' award at the Global Esports Awards 2023 and the ‘Global Impact on Mobile Gaming' award at the MOBIES.
  • With Esports debuting as an official medal sport at the Asian Games 2023, India's 15-member contingent represented in four games where the League of Legends contingent secured a meteoric fifth place. 
godlike
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Highest National Awards Winners in 2023

Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award - The award is conferred for the most outstanding performance in the area of sports by a sportsperson over the time period of the last four years.

  • The Badminton duo Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy.

Dhyan Chand Award for Lifetime Achievement - This award is conferred to honour sportspersons who have contributed to the field of sports through their performance as well as after retirement.

Manjusha Kanwar Badminton 
Vineet Kumar Sharma Hockey
Kavitha Selvaraj Kabaddi

Arjuna Award - The award is conferred for great performance over the last four years and for demonstrating qualities of sportsmanship, a sense of discipline, and leadership.

Aditi Gopichand Swami Archery
Ojas Pravin Deotale   Archery
Parul Chaudhary   Athletics
Sreeshankar M  Athletics
Mohameed Hussamuddin   Boxing
Vaishali Rameshbabu   Chess
Mohammed Shami  Cricket
Divyakriti Singh  Equestrian Dressage
Anush Agarwalla  Equestrian
Diksha Dagar  Golf
Pukhrambam Sushila Chanu   Hockey
Krishan Bahadur Pathak   Hockey
Ritu Negi   Kabaddi
Pawan Kumar  Kabaddi
Nasreen   Kho-Kho
Pinki  Lawn Bowls
Esha Singh   Shooting
Aishwarya Pratap Singh Tomar   Shooting
Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu  Squash
Ayhika Mukherjee  Table Tenis
Antim  Wrestling
Sunil Kumar   Wrestling
Naorem Roshibina Devi   Wushu
Sheetal Devi   Para Archery
Illuri Ajay Kumar Reddy Blind Cricket
Prachi Yadav  Para Canoeing

Dronacharya Award 2023 - The award is conferred to coaches for demonstrating outstanding work consistently and for making it possible for sportspersons to ace International events.

Regular Category

Lalit Kumar  Wrestling
R. B. Ramesh Chess
Maheveer Prasad Saini  Para Athletics
Shivendra Singh  Hockey
Ganesh Prabhakar Devrukhkar  Mallakhamb

Lifetime Category

Jashkirat Singh Grewal  Golf
Bhaskaran E  Kabaddi
Jayanta Kumar Pushilal Table Tennis

Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Trophy or MAKA Trophy 2023 - The award is given to the overall high-performing university in inter-university tournaments.

Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar  Overall winning University
Lovely Professional University, Punjab  1st runner-up University
Kurukshetra University, Haryana  2nd runner-up University

Sporting Events Organized in India in 2023

ODI Cricket World Cup 2023 Various Venus 
Men's FIH Hockey World Cup 2023 Bhubaneswar and Rourkela
Khelo India Youth Games 4th Edition  Madhya Pradesh 
Women’s World Boxing Championships 2023  New Delhi
Asian Wrestling Championships 2023 Delhi
59th National Senior Chess Championship New Delhi
13th Hockey India Senior Women National Championship 2023  Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

While we discuss the major achievements we also believe that everything can’t be on the glorious side when it comes to sports. The Indian wrestlers went on a protest at Jantar Mantar, accusing WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh Sharan of sexual exploitation and intimidation, demanding his resignation and dissolution of the federation. A few months after the row, Sanjay Singh allies of Brij Bhushan Singh Sharan was elected the president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI). Following this many wrestlers decided to quit wrestling but as we say all’s well what ends well when Sports Minister Anurag Thakur suspended the newly formed committee. 

Neeraj Chopra India's Achievements in Asian Games 2023 Asian Games Records by India India's Achievements in Chess in 2023 Praggnanandhaa India's Achievements in Badminton in 2023 India's Achievements in Football in 2023 India's Run in Cricket in 2023 Para Asian Games 2023 Aditi Swami India's Achievements in Esports in 2023 WFI chief Brij Bhushan Singh Sharan National Awards Winners in 2023 Chirag Shetty Satwiksairaj Rankireddy