Happy New Year! India’s sporting stars look ahead to more success in 2022

While PV Sindhu and Mirabai Chanu hoped to carry their momentum, Vinesh Phogat hoped to bounce back stronger in the New Year.

By Rahul Venkat
Picture by PV Sindhu/Twitter

The New Year fills all with renewed hope and vigour to chase their dreams.

Sportspersons are no different and with 2022 being such a packed year, with several high-profile events, many of India’s athletes ushered in the New Year with new hope.

Badminton superstar PV Sindhu, who won her second Olympic medal at Tokyo 2020, felt positive about more success in 2022.

Men’s hockey team captain Manpreet Singh, who led India to a historic medal at the Tokyo Olympics, wished for more “grand adventures.” He posted his message with a picture of his wife Illi Najwa Saddique and their daughter Jasmine, who was born last month.

Tokyo 2020 medallists Mirabai Chanu and Bajrang Punia thanked their fans for their love and support in a memorable year. The weightlifter also had another important message - she asked people to mask up and help fight the coronavirus.

The year gone by was not a happy moment for every sportsperson though and Asian Games and Commonwealth Games champion Vinesh Phogat acknowledged as much and is optimistic about returning stronger this year.

“2021 is over and it has been a tough year. For me, it has been the most difficult year of my life,” Vinesh Phogat said, referring to her early exit at the Tokyo Olympics. “I started it off in the best possible manner, worked hard, trained harder, but didn't get the result I was hoping for.

“Things didn't work out for me on the biggest stage, but I guess that's life and I will always cherish the bittersweet memories that this year brought and value all the people who have egged me on with their positive energy.

“As we prepare to enter 2022, I am full of hope and optimism. I have always been the happiest on the mat and I can't wait to get out there again and begin another amazing journey, chasing my dreams, and work towards making my country, my sport, and my family proud again!” Vinesh said.

Some athletes are already in action mode in the new year and India’s tennis contingent in Australia, where the 2022 tennis season begins, got together for a night of celebration.

Others like tennis player Ankita Raina - who made her Grand Slam and Olympics debuts in 2021 - and fencer Bhavani Devi - who became the first Indian fencer at an Olympics recapped their year.

Veterans Sharath Kamal and PR Sreejesh rang in the new year with their families while the legendary PT Usha hoped for a safe and healthy 2022.


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