Indian Sports in 2022: Hockey good, badminton better, Neeraj best | More sports News

NEW DELHI: The Thomas Cup triumph makes for an epic success story while Neeraj Chopra further enhanced his superstar status with a rare Diamond League title, but the cricket team’s struggles on the 22-yard strip left much to be desired in a bittersweet 2022 for Indian sports.
In hockey, the women’s team continued their inspiring run with a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
The coveted mark of 90 m eluded the Olympic champion, but the legend of Neeraj Chopra continued to grow with podium finishes at elite tournaments.

(Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images)
However, the wrestler Ravi Dahiya was unable to continue his Olympic success and had a shock exit in the first round of the world championship.
Sincere, passionate and hard-working athlete that is Dahiya, defeat would have irked the grappler the most.
He is not someone who can easily digest defeat and should go all out in the 2023 season when quotas for the Paris Games will be up for grabs.
Dahiya’s exit was unexpected, as was the performance of the male commuters at the Thomas Cup, where the historic title victory set India on the path to becoming a badminton powerhouse.
The rise in Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty has been phenomenal over the past two years and their performance was instrumental in India breaking the hegemony of China and Indonesia at the prestigious tournament held in Bangkok in May.
Established stars such as PV Sindhu and Lakshya Sen haven’t exactly set the courts alight, but they have made their presence felt by winning a number of titles on the BWF Tour.


The Commuters extended their impressive run to Birmingham CWG, winning six medals, including three gold, one silver and two bronze.
Neeraj missed the CWG with a groin injury but before that he won a silver medal at the World Championships in the USA to become only the second Indian after Anju Bobby Geaorge – who won a bronze medal at the Parisian edition of 2003 – to win a medal for the centerpiece.
In September, he became the Diamond League champion by winning the prestigious meeting series final, adding another first to his name.
He came agonizingly close to the 90m mark when he threw the spear 89.94m to finish second in the Stockholm leg of the Diamond League.
At least six top Indian athletes have been arrested for using banned drugs and preparations for the Commonwealth Games have been marred by a series of positive doping cases.
Indian wrestlers were expected to dominate the CWG, but the tougher World Championships served as a reality check for established stars such as Dahiya.
While Dahiya struggled, Aman Sehrawat was steadily advancing in the 57kg category. He became U-23 world champion after winning a gold medal at the Bolat Turlykhanov Cup in Almaty.
Vinesh Phogat has also struggled, but the rise of Greco-Roman wrestlers and a stellar show from the juniors on the big stage made it an eventful year for Indian wrestling.
The rise of Antim Panghal to become U-20 world champion in Sofia is very encouraging and she could be India’s best bet at 53kg when Vinesh is not around.
Indian hockey teams continued their upward trend, with women slightly outperforming their male counterparts in winning a CWG medal – a bronze medal – after 16 years.
The men’s team took silver, but a crushing 0-7 loss to Australia in the final was a drag.
Later in the year, India faced the Kookaburras on their home turf and although they lost the series 1-4, engaging the host in a high-scoring series would have given the players confidence ahead of the FIFA Cup. world.
Weightlifter Mirabai Chanu added a second World Championships medal to his collection, in addition to a CWG gold medal. The sport also found new heroes in Jeremy Lalrinnunga and Achinta Sheuli, who were among the 10 medal winners in Birmingham.
However, replicating the CWG’s success in tougher tournaments proved to be a Herculean task for almost everyone except Mirabai.
India, however, secured its first junior world champion in the sport in Harshada Garud.
What Indian fans won’t forget and can watch on repeat without getting tired are Virat Kohli’s jaw-dropping shots in the high-octane T20 World Cup match against Pakistan.
The cricketing world was in awe as he proved that batting remains an art even in the T20 format, where muscle power and innovation redefine the style of play.
This was after Kohli quit the leading role in the longest format and his relationship with BCCI hit a nadir after he was sacked as ODI captaincy.
To say the least, Indian cricket in 2022 was chaotic both on and off the pitch.
The struggle of top hitters, including that of skipper Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, has remained a subject of intense debate. Their approach was questioned as the Indian team often paid the price for their power play struggle.
Hardik Pandya became the new leader of the T20 national team as Rohit paid the price for another World Cup semi-final exit after a crushing defeat at the hands of England.
The team also lost a series of tests in South Africa.
As established players struggled, one hitter that mesmerized fans and pundits alike was Suryakumar Yadav. His ability to hit the ball hard and clean was phenomenal as he took the T20 stick to another level, drawing comparisons to the great AB de Villiers.
The manner in which Sourav Ganguly’s term as BCCI chairman ended also drew criticism. The Supreme Court allowed him to continue as president, but the council installed Roger Binny as the new leader.


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