(July 3, 2022) For decades, India has produced some legendary sportspersons like Milka Singh, PT Usha, MS Dhoni, Abhinav Bindra and P V Sindhu – the names that inspire the current and future generation of Indian sports stars. It’s these sportspersons who have now taken it upon themselves to prove their mettle and take the legacy forward.
Global Indian takes a look at some of the prodigious talents that the country has produced in the recent years.
Jyothi Yarraji, Athlete
Only in her early 20s, Jyothi Yarraji is currently the fastest women’s 100m hurdler in India. Born in 1999 in Visakhapatnam, Jyothi grew up with limited resources. Her father, Suryanarayana, works as a private security guard while her mother, Kumari, is a domestic help who works part-time as a cleaner in a city hospital. Combined, they earn less than ₹18,000 per month.
Jyothi, however, was destined for greater things. The path was set during her school days when her physical education saw the potential in her, owing to her good height to become a hurdler. Since then, there has been no looking back for the girl who came into the spotlight after winning a gold medal at an Andhra Pradesh inter-district meet in 2015. This was the beginning of a career which saw her win various medals in junior and senior national meets.
Marking her international debut at the Cyprus International athletics meet in Limassol in 2022, Jyothi Yarraji finally pocketed the women’s 100m hurdles national record with a timing of 13.23 seconds, shattering the previous mark of 13.38 set by Anuradha Biswal in 2002.
- Follow Jyothi Yarraji on Instagram
Vedaant Madhavan, Swimmer
Son of Indian actor R Madhavan, Vedaant has been creating waves in the world of swimming in India and abroad. A promising name in the sport, he has made India proud on various occasions, including the recent Danish Open 2022 where he clinched a gold.
The 16-year-old swimming champion discovered his talent for the sport while competing at swimming events for his school. It was at the Goregaon Sports Club in Mumbai that he began his professional training. He later shifted to the Glenmark Aquatic Foundation, a CSR (corporate social responsibility) programme which aims to promote Indian competitive swimmers to the global level, in 2017.
With many accolades to his credit including a 1500m freestyle bronze at the Khelo India Youth Games 2020, he is the touted as the next big thing in swimming.
Parth Salunkhe, Archery
Aiming for the bull’s eye is what Parth Salunke is great at. An archer by profession, this 19-year-old is a powerhouse of talent who has been making headlines with his skill and prowess.
Trained by his father, Sushant, a former national-level silver medalist in kickboxing, Parth upped his game at every opportunity. But things changed for Parth after he was scouted during the Khelo India trials in Aurangabad. He soon shifted base to Sports Authority of India centre in Sonipat in 2018, and as they say the rest is history. The young archer won gold during the junior World Championships in 2021 and had also represented the senior team at the World Championships in Yankton, USA.
A frequent member of the national team, he is creating a stir in the world of archery at such a young age.
- Follow Parth Salunkhe on Facebook
Jeremy Lalrinnunga, Weightlifting
In 2018, Jeremy Lalrinnunga almost scripted history when he won India its very first gold medal at the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina. The 19-year-old from Mizoram has put together with outstanding totals, lifting the heaviest weight in the men’s 67kg category, and even took a Youth World Record with 134kg in snatch and 163 in clean and jerk, combining 297 in total.
Despite being backed by many to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, his chances took a hit. However, he now has his eyes set on the forthcoming IWF Junior, Youth, and Senior World Championships followed by the 2022 Commonwealth Games and Asian Games.
Aadil Bedi, Golf
Golf is slowly finding its moment in the sun, and golfer Aadil Bedi is steadily gaining massive popularity, thanks to his impressive resume. A popular name in the national golf circuit, he has proved his mettle over the years with his skills and talent.
He was just four when he picked up a golf stick. In later years, he started training professionally wherein he clocked 10000 hours of practice in 13 years, won 170 medals and trophies in 286 national and international tournaments. Though the pandemic played a spoiler in the last two years, he is now all set to play multiple tours such as Korn Ferry Tour with the aim to make it through the Q-School.