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Young Indian sports persons made a mark at the international level in diverse disciplines during 2017. As the year comes to an end, here is what you should know about their individual as well as team achievements.
The 25-year-old boxer from Haryana’s Jind district won the silver medal at the AIBA Women’s World Championships held in Astana, Kazakhstan, in May. She lost in the finals of the 57-kg featherweight category but was the only Indian to win a medal in this year’s edition of the tournament.
Employed with the Indian Railways, Sonia also won the silver medal at the Asian Women’s Boxing Championships held in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in November.
16-year-old Yash Phadte defeated US team member Ayush Menon in four games in the final. He was the lowest seeded player in the tournament to win a title. Born on 23 November 2001, Yash was barely eight years old when he took up the game. He plays for the club NOI Goa.
Earlier this year, Phadte had become the youngest member of the Indian team for the U-19 World Junior Squash Championships and U-17 Asian Junior Championships.
India’s junior para-athlete Rinku Hooda won a silver medal in the javelin throw F46 category at the World U-20 Para Athletics Championships in Nottwil, Switzerland, in August. The 18-year-old threw a distance of 54.92 m to make the second place.
Rinku was disabled as a three-year-old when his left arm got stuck in a machine. The 18-year old won his first national level medal in 2013 during the Para Nationals meet.
The young athlete from Kerala improved on her own national record in the U-18 pole vault category at the National Junior Athletics Championships held in Vijaywada in November. She cleared 3.55 m, up from the national record of 3.40 m she had set at a meet in Bangkok in May this year.
The athlete from Delhi broke an 11-year-old national record while winning the junior boys’ U-20 400m event at the 33rd National Junior Athletics Championships held in Vijaywada in December. He clocked 46.59 s, beating Virender Pank’s 2006 timing of 46.99 s.
The young boxer was the lone Indian to win a gold medal the Commonwealth Youth Games held in the Bahamas in July. Sachin Siwach, the world youth champion, emerged the winner in the light flyweight (49 kg) category.
He also won the silver medal at the Asian Youth Boxing Championship held in Bangkok in July.
It was a gold rush for India at the AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championships held in Guwahati in November. The Indian pugilists won five gold medals to finish as the overall champions for the first time in the tournament’s history. Nitu Chahal, Jyoti Gulia, Sakshi Choudhury, Shashi Chopra and Ankushita Boro won gold medals during the Indian sweep in the finals.
Adding to the tally were two bronze medals secured by young Indian sports persons Neha Yadav and Anupama, making it the best-ever performance by young Indian sportspersons at the marquee age-group event.
Young athletes powered India to its best-ever performance at the Asian Athletics Championship during the 2017 meet held in Bhubaneswar, Odisha, in July. India finished on top of the medals tally, beating China who took the second. The team won a total of 29 medals, with as many as 12.
The gold medal winners included Muhammed Anas Y (23), Ajay Kumar Saroj (20), Neeraj Chopra (20) and Amoj Jacob (19). In the women’s disciplines, the young gold medal winners were P U Chitra (22), Manpreet Kaur (21), Jisna Matthew (18), Nirmala Sheoran (22) and Swapna Barman (21).
Indian shooters won eight medals, including three gold, at the ISSF Junior World Championship held in Suhl, Germany, in June. The gold medal winners were Yashaswini Singh Deswal (Women’s 10 M Air Pistol); Anish Bhanwala (25 M Standard Pistol); Anish Bhanwala, Anhad Jawand And Shivam Shukla (25 M Pistol -team Event).
The Indian team also won two silver medals and three bronze medals. China emerged the champion with 19 medals.
Young Indian sports persons made a clean sweep of all 10 gold medals on offer at the South Asian Junior Table Tennis Championships at Mount Lavinia, near Colombo, in May. They won four gold medals in team events on the first two days of the three-day championships.
India added six more to their tally on the concluding day to win all the gold. Indian players also claimed four silver medals to take their total tally to14 medals.