There is a rise in the participation of Indian women athletes at the Olympics right now. It was very difficult for Indian women athletes to join a field that is mostly dominated by men, but they worked hard and paved their way to glory. The first Indian woman athlete to compete at the Olympic games is Nilima Ghose. She took part in the 100m sprint and 80m hurdles at the 1952 Olympics Games in Helsinki.
That moment was a turning point for Indian Olympic history. Karnam Malleswari is the first Indian woman athlete to win an Olympic medal. She won this prestigious award and glorified the Nations’s name in the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Women like them have given their blood and sweat to bring India to a position in the Olympics where it is today. Here are the Indian women athletes who participated in the Olympics the most times.
1. Shiny Wilson
Shiny Wilson is a former Indian athlete who represented India in more than 75 International competitions. She was the national champion in 800 meters for a straight 14 years. She is considered to be one of the very few athletes who have participated in 6 Asian Track and Field Meets in a row beginning in 1985 in Jakarta. In this 6 Asian track and field meet she won 2 bronze, 5 silver, and 7 gold medals. She is also the first Indian woman captain and flag bearer for the Indian continent in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
Her first Olympics was the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics where she became the first woman to qualify for the semifinal in Olympics as an Indian. She represented India 4 times in the Olympic games- the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics Games, 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, and 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. In 1984 she was awarded the Arjuna award and in 1998 she also received the Padma Shri.
2. P.T. Usha
P.T. Usha is regarded as one of the greatest athletes of India. No wonders why she is also called the “queen of track and field” of India. She has a lot of contributions to put India’s name in the Olympics and glorifying it. She represented India in the Olympics 4 times- the 1980 Moscow Olympic games, the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, and the 1988 Seoul Olympic games. Her performances in Asian championships have always been the best as she won innumerable medals from those championships. In 1985, she also received the Padma Shri.
3. Saina Nehwal
Saina Nehwal is undoubtedly one of the greatest tennis players of India and the reason to increase the fame of badminton in the country. She is the first Indian female player and overall the second player from India to achieve the world number one ranking. In 2015 she achieved this outstanding record of becoming the number 1 player. India has a definite recognition in the Olympics when it comes to badminton and Saina Nehwal is one of those players who has made it happen. Her overall career in every tournament has been great. Saina represented India in the Olympics 3 times- the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, the 2012 London Olympics, and the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
In the 2012 London Olympics, she also won a bronze medal against the opponent Wang Xin and became the first Indian woman athlete to win a medal in the Olympics. In 2009, she received the Arjuna award. She also received the Padma Shri in 2010, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2009-10, and Padma Bhushan in 2016.
4. Bombayla Devi Laishram
Bombayla Devi Laishram is an Indian Archer who participated in 3 Olympics Games. She started playing at the very early age of 11. At the 2007 Asian archery championships, her career took a turn when she won the bronze medal as a part of the women’s recurve team. She has been a part of the recurve team of the 2010 Commonwealth Games where she defeated England in the final and won the gold medal. Till 2016, she has also won every archery World Cup.
She was a part of the Indian team at the Olympics thrice. The first Olympics game was the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Later she also participated in the 2012 London Olympics and the 2016 Rio Olympics. In the 2016 Rio Olympics, she won the match 6-2 against Laurence Baldauff in the Round of 64 encounters. She also won the next matches to reach the round of 16 but she could not win past it and lost with 2-6 against Alejandra Valencia of Mexico. She received the Arjuna award in 2012 and Padma Shri in 2019.