Pankaj Advani (Snooker and Billiards)
Another feather on the Pankaj Advani’s cap as he won both the ISBF World Snooker Championship and the ISBF World Billiards Championship in 2017. He won the World Snooker Championship for the third time while it was his ninth win in the World Billiards Championship.
Advani has a total of 58 gold medals in his cabinet, 18 of which are World, eight Asian, two at Asian Games, a solitary gold in Australian Open, and 29 at the national level. A legend in the circuit.
Bhawani Devi (Fencing)
C.A. Bhawani became the first Indian to win a gold medal in an individual sabre event, as she clinched the of the Women’s Satellite Fencing Championship held in Iceland. It was her third attempt at a satellite event and she was glad to finally win one.
The competition consisted of 26 participants from 8 countries, but Bhawani managed to come out on top in the end. She beat Great Britain’s Sarah Jane Hampson 15-13 in the final.
The 24-year-old earlier settled for a bronze medal in the same category in Italy. In the 2017 Asian Fencing Championships, she lost in the quarter-finals to the eventual winner, Kim Ji-yeon.
Jehan Daruvala (Racing)
In February, Jehan Daruvala became the first Indian to win a Grand Prix, when he won the New Zealand GP at Circuit Chris Amon. He beat the likes of Pedro Piquet, who is the son of former World champion, Nelson Piquet, and Thomas Randle, the winner of Toyota Racing Series.
In July, the Mumbai-born driver became the first Indian to win an FIA Formula 3 European Championship at the Nuremberg Circuit. He was hailed as the “brightest Indian prospect” by Narayanan Karthikeyan.
Bhumika Sharma (Body building)
In June, Bhumika Sharma won her first Miss World Bodybuilding Championship in Venice, Italy. The championship saw 50 contestants competing in different events.
The girl from Uttarakhand who trained in a gym in Dehradun was one of the 27 contestants from India n the tournament.
The 21-year-old won maximum points in three different categories, individual posing, body posing and fall events.
37 medals at the World Dwarf Games
The Indian contingent bagged 37 medals including 15 golds at the 7th edition of World Dwarf Games held at the University of Guelph in Ontario. This edition saw nearly 400 athletes from 24 countries feature in the tournament.
Many players won multiple medals. Joby Matthew won a total of six medals including two golds, three silvers and a bronze in many sports such as badminton, shot put, javelin and discus throw.
Arunachalam Nalini also bagged five medals including a gold. CV Rajanna clinched three gold medals in events such as 200m sprint at the event.
Bharat Khandare (Mixed Martial Arts)
In November, Bharat ‘Daring’ Khandare became the first Indian MMA fighter to sign with the Ultimate Fighting League. He became the first Indian to be involved in a UFC fight when he made his debut against the Chinese, Liu Pingyuan on 25th November.
UFC has been trying to popularise its brand in Asia for a long time and organised a local promotional event for the same reason. At that event, Khandare was crowned the Featherweight champion.
He has a wrestling and a kickboxing background and his move will surely encourage other young Indians to aim to fight in the World’s No.1 MMA organisation.
Gayatri, who is the daughter of legendary Indian badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, won the U19 All India Badminton tournament at the tender age of 14 and became the youngest player to win the tournament.