2nd Edition of Unsung Heroes of India comprises of people from different backgrounds and creating history on international grounds for India. Let’s Salute them and remember their contribution towards our nation and world.
Abhinav Singh Bindra
Abhinav Singh Bindra (born September 28, 1982) is an shooter from Zirakpur, Mohali, Punjab and is the current World and Olympic champion in the 10 m Air Rifle event. By winning the gold in the 10 m Air Rifle event at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, he became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Olympic Games and India’s first gold medal since 1980, when the Men’s Field Hockey Team won the gold.
At 15, Abhinav Bindra became the youngest participant in the 1998 Commonwealth Games. His fame to honour though came when he won a Bronze in the 2001 Munich World Cup with a new junior world record score of 597/600. Bindra was also the youngest Indian participant at the 2000 Olympic Games.
He won six gold medals at various international meets in 2001. In 2001 he was honoured with the Arjuna Award and the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award in 2001.
In the Air rifle event at the 2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, he won Gold in the Pairs event. Bindra also won Silver in the individual event.
In the 2004 Athens Olympics, despite breaking the Olympic record Bindra failed to win a medal. He scored 597 in the qualification round and was placed third behind Qinan Zhu (599 – Olympic Record) and Li Jie (598). In the finals, Abhinav finished with 97.6 points, last in the field of eight, and was the only player below 100 points. His sub-par finals dropped him from third to seventh.
But on July 24, 2006, Bindra became the first Indian shooter to win a World Championship gold in Zagreb. Dr. Karni Singh’s Silver in 1962 was the previous best by an Indian in a World Championship meet.
At the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, he won the Gold in the Pairs event and the Bronze in the Singles event.
|Gold||2008 Beijing||Men’s 10 m air rifle|
|ISSF World Shooting Championships|
|Gold||2006 Zagreb||Men’s 10 m Air Rifle|
|Gold||2002 Manchester||Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Pairs)|
|Silver||2002 Manchester||Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Singles)|
|Gold||2006 Melbourne||Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Pairs)|
|Bronze||2006 Melbourne||Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Singles)|
|Gold||2010 Delhi||Men’s 10m Air Rifle (Pairs)|
|Silver||2010 Delhi||Men’s 10m Air Rifle|
Kumar Ram Narain Karthikeyan (born 14 January 1977, in Madras), is the first Formula One motor racing driver from India. He has previously competed in Formula One, A1GP, and the Le Mans Series. He made his Formula One debut in 2005 with the Jordan team, and was a Williams F1 test driver in 2006 and 2007. Like several other former F1 drivers, Karthikeyan moved to stock car racing and drove the #60 Safe Auto Insurance Company Toyota Tundra for Wyler Racing in the 2010 NASCAR Camping World Truck Series. In January 2011, however, he announced that he has signed to drive for the Hispania Racing team in the 2011 Formula One season.
On 1 February 2005, Karthikeyan announced that he had signed the preliminary deal with Jordan Formula One team and said that he would be their main driver for the 2005 Formula One season, thus making him India’s first Formula One racing driver. His partner was the Portuguese driver, Tiago Monteiro. Karthikeyan completed the necessary testing distance of 300 km in an F1 car in order to gain his superlicence at the Silverstone Circuit on 10 February.
- 2011: Formula One World Championship HRT, 23rd (season in progress)
- 2010: Superleague Formula - PSV Eindhoven, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series - Starbeast Motorsports, Wyler Racing
- 2009: A1GP World championship A1 Team India, 2nd place at British GP at Brands Hatch
- 2009: 24 Hours of Le Mans and Le Mans Series, Kolles Audi R10 TDI
- 2008: A1GP World Championship A1 Team India, Winner British GP, Brands Hatch.
- 2007: A1GP World Championship A1 Team India, Winner Chinese GP
- 2007: Formula One World Championship Williams F1 Team, Test Driver
- 2006: Formula One World Championship Williams F1 Team, Test Driver
- 2005: Formula One World Championship Jordan, 18th (5pts)
- 2004: Formula Nissan World Series (World Series by Nissan), 6th (TATA RC Motorsport)
- 2003: Formula Nissan World Series (Superfund Word Series), 4th (Carlin Motorsport)
- 2002: Formula Nissan World Series (Telefónica World Series), 9th (TATA RC Motorsport)
- 2001: Formula Nippon, 14th (Team Impul)
- 2000: British Formula 3, 4th (Stewart)
- 1999: British Formula 3, 6th (Carlin Motorsport)
- 1998: British Formula 3, 12th (Carlin Motorsport)
- 1997: British Formula Vauxhall, 8th
- 1996: Formula Asia, Champion
- 1995: Formula Asia (4 races)
- 1994: British Formula Ford Winter Series, Champion
- 1993: Indian Formula Maruti + British Formula Vauxhall Junior
- 1992: ELF Winfield Racing School, Circuit Paul Ricard, France won debut race Pilote Elf Competition for Formula Renault.
Pullela Gopichand (born on November 16, 1973 in Nagandla of Prakasam district, Andhra Pradesh) is an Badminton player. He won the All England Open Badminton Championships in 2001 defeating Chen Hong of China in the finals by 15-12,15-6. He became the second Indian to achieve this feat after Prakash Padukone, who won it in 1980. He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award for the year 2001. But later on, his game was affected due to injuries and his ranking dropped to 126 in the year 2003. In 2005, he was awarded the Padma Shri.Now, he runs the Gopichand Badminton Academy. He is now a very renowned coach who received the Dronacharya Award and is the main force behind the emergence of Saina Nehwal.
Gopichand made his debut into International Badminton in the year 1991 when he was selected to play against Malaysia. In his International Badminton career, he represented the nation in 3 Thomas Cup tournaments. In the year 1996 he grabbed a Gold Medal in the SAARC Badminton Tournament held at Vijayawada, and repeated the victory in the same tournament held at Colombo in 1997. At the Commonwealth Games, he won a Silver Medal in the team event and a Bronze Medal in the singles event.
To commemorate his excellent achievements as a badminton player at both national and international level, the Government of India awarded him the Arjuna Award in the year 1999.Further in 2001, he was bestowed upon the highest Indian honour in the field of sports, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award. After he won The All England Badminton championship, the Government of Andhra Pradesh rewarded him with a cash prize and a plot in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad as a token of appreciation. In the year 2005, he was conferred the Padma Shri Award. He received the Dronacharya Award on 29 August 2009 for his contribution to Indian badminton as a coach.
Vijender Singh Beniwal (born October 29, 1985) is an Olympic Medalist Indian boxer from Kalwas, Bhiwani district in Haryana. Vijender’s early days were spent in his village where he did his schooling, after which he received a bachelor’s degree from a local college in Bhiwani. He practiced boxing at the Bhiwani Boxing Club where coach Jagdish Singh recognized his talent and encouraged him to take to professional boxing.
Vijender went on to compete at the sub-junior nationals where he won a silver medal for two years in succession. Having won medals in different competitions at the national level, Vijender was picked to train and compete at several international level competitions such as the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics and the 2006 Commonwealth Games. At the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, he won the bronze medal after losing the semifinal bout against Kazakhstan’s Bakhtiyar Artayev. At the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, he defeated Carlos Góngora of Ecuador 9–4 in the quarterfinals which guaranteed him a bronze medal—the first ever Olympic medal for an Indian boxer.
After this historic win, Vijender was given a number of awards, including the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award—India’s highest sporting honour. In 2009, he participated at the World Amateur Boxing Championships where he won the bronze medal. In the same year, the International Boxing Association (AIBA) announced Vijender as the top-ranked boxer in its annual middleweight category list with 2800 points. He is credited for bringing back the sport of boxing into the limelight in India.
Vijender Singh Medals List
|World Amateur Boxing Championships|
To check Unsung heroes I, click here. Some more heroes with some more glory will be followed soon.