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13 Amazing Indian Sportswomen The Nation Should Be Proud Of

Weaker sex? Says who?

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1. Sharmila Nicollet

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Born in Bangalore, Sharmila started golfing when she was 11, and won her first tournament by the time she was 15. After becoming the youngest amateur golfer to win the All India Ladies Amateur Championship in 2008, she turned pro the following year.

Latest Success: Nicollet became the youngest Indian golfer to qualify for the Ladies European Tour in 2012, the same year in which she was the champion at the Hero-KGA Tournament.

2. Jwala Gutta & Ashwini Ponnappa

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Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa created history when they surprised everyone with a gold at the 2010 Commonwealth games. Ever since then, they have been a force to be reckoned with on the badminton circuit, consistently being ranked within the top 20 in the world.

Latest Success: The dynamic duo followed up their silver medal performance at last year's Commonwealth Games with an impressive semi finals appearance at the India Open Grand Prix Gold in January.

3. Dipika Pallikal

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Dipika Pallikal is only 23 years old, but she already holds the distinction of being the first Indian to break into the top 10 of the World Squash rankings in December 2012. She also partnered with compatriot Joshna Chinappa to bring home a gold medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Latest Success: The current world number 14 made a great start to 2015, taking top spot at the Winnipeg Winter Club Open in Canada.

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4. Saina Nehwal

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Saina Nehwal entered the global badminton scene in 2006, and her career has not looked back since. She has won enough competitions to start losing count, and is currently the world number one (WOOOOT). Aaaand she's only 25 years old.

Latest Success: En route to her ascent as the world's best badminton player, she picked up a silver medal at the All England Open, and a gold at the Indian Open.

5. Koneru Humpy

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Until 2008, Koneru Humpy was the youngest woman to ever become a grandmaster, which she achieved at the tender age of 15. Now 27, the current World Number 3 is actively participating (and winning) many chess tournaments around the world.

Latest Success: Humpy is playing in the Women's World Chess Championships right now, where she was named top seed. So far, she has had a great run into the quarter finals of the tournament along with comrade D. Harika.

6. Deepika Kumari

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Deepika Kumari was only 16 when she won gold at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the individual recurve event. The 20 year old is now ranked number 14, though she has already attained the number one position in her sport.

Latest Success: Deepika won second place at the 2013 FITA Archery World Cup, her third silver in as many appearances at the tournament. Let's hope she takes gold the next time round!

7. Mithali Raj

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Mithali Raj has been a mainstay in the Indian cricket squad since 1999. She has helped the team achieve numerous landmarks, including their first World Cup final in 2005. At the age of 32, she continues to captain the Indian squad even today.

Latest success: Citing her immense contribution to women's cricket in India, Mithali Raj was conferred the Padma Shri award in January, 2015.

8. MC Mary Kom

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The soft spoken mother of two from Manipur has been breaking barriers for a while now, becoming the first Indian in her sport to win a medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Latest Success: Mary Kom won her first gold medal at the Asian Games in the 51 kg category in October 2014, which was also India's first boxing gold at the competition.

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9. Rahi Sarnobat

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Rahi Sarnobat became a force to be reckoned with in the world of shooting when she won gold at the 2008 Commonwealth youth games. She became one of India's top shooters when she followed that up in 2010 with a double haul at the main Commonwealth games.

Latest Success: In 2014, Sarnobat claimed the gold medal in the women's 25-metre pistol event at the Commonwealth Games.

10. Geeta Phogat

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Geeta Phogat has been breaking stereotypes all her life, and it all came full circle when she became the first Indian female wrestler to qualify for the Olympic Games in 2012. Phogat also became India's first ever gold medalist in women's wrestling in the 55 kg category at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Latest Success: The same year Phogat qualified for the London Olympics, she picked up a bronze at the FILA World Wrestling Championships at Stratha County, Canada.

11. Neha Aggarwal

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Table Tennis is a sport that is largely ignored in India, but Neha Aggarwal is a woman who likes breaking boundaries. She was the only woman paddler from India to participate in the 2008 Olympics, and has been one of India's most prominent players ever since.

Latest success: Neha Aggarwal teamed up with Manika Batra to win the women's doubles gold medal at the 35th National Games in February.

12. Tashi & Nungshi Malik

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The 24 year old Malik twins created history in the world of mountaineering, when they became the first siblings to conquer the Seven Summits, which are the highest mountains in every continent.

Latest Success: They became the first twins to ever scale Mount Everest, when they conquered the mother of all mountains in May, 2013.

13. And of course, Sania Mirza

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The tennis player became one of the biggest icons of Indian sports for the current generation since she burst onto the scene in 2003. She has since retired from singles to concentrate on her tennis doubles game.

Latest Success: She teamed up with former tennis superstar Martina Hingis to win the Indian Wells doubles title in 2015, which propelled her to No. 3 in the world double's ranking.

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