Sky High: Five sportsmen, women from Mumbai who left a global mark

Mumbai has produced a number of sporting stars who have proved to be crucial in shaping the history of Indian sports. Here are five sportsmen and women who have left a mark on the world with their A game

Sky High: Five sportsmen, women from Mumbai who left a global mark

When it comes to producing sporting stars, Mumbai has been one of the cities in India that has contributed significantly. Being the financial capital of the country, Mumbai has been home to players who have not only represented India at the international stage in various sporting events but also etched their name forever in history. Here are five players that played a crucial role in shaping the history of Indian sports:

Viren Rasquinha

Viren Wilfred Rasquinha (born 13 September 1980) is the former captain of India's national field hockey team. He studied at St. Stanislaus High School in Bandra and was a member of the Indian team that finished seventh at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

He quit international hockey to pursue management studies at the age of 28. After completion of his MBA, he joined Olympic Gold Quest in 2009 and is the CEO of the same.

OGQ had supported five of the athletes who won medals in Olympics 2012 and 2016: Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar (shooting), Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu (badminton), and Mary Kom (boxing).

Jehan Daruvala

Jehan Daruvala (born 1 October 1998) is an Indian racing driver, currently competing in the FIA Formula 3 Championship with Prema Powerteam. 

This year, Daruvala scripted history as he became the first-ever Indian to go atop the FIA F3 Championship leaderboard momentarily after clinching the second position in an action-packed feature race at Silverstone circuit.

The young driver is set to race again on August 3 & 4 at the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Anjali Bhagwat

Anjali Ramakanta Vedpathak (born on 5 December 1969) is an Indian shooter who has been deemed as one of the world's finest Air Rifle Shooters. She got into MRA (Maharashtra Rifle Association) as a part of her curriculum.

The Indian shooter started shooting at the age of 21 and within 7 days of holding a gun, she took part in the National Championship of 1988, winning a silver medal for Maharashtra in the process.

To date, she has won 31 Gold, 23 Silver and 7 Bronze medals. She has set 13 new records in international competitions and has won 55 Gold, 35 Silver and 16 Bronze medals, with 8 new records in national competitions in India. 

She became the World Number One in 10m Air Rifle in 2002. After which, she won her first World Cup Final in Milan, in 2003, with a score of 399/400.

Aparna Popat

Aparna Popat (born 18 January 1978), is a former Indian badminton player. She was India's national champion for a record-equalling nine times when she won all the senior national championships between 1997 and 2006.

In 1996, she won a Silver medal at the World Junior Championships at Silkeborg, Denmark. In 1998, she won an individual silver medal and team bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games held at Kuala Lumpur.

In 2006, at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, she won a bronze medal in the team championships. Accordingly, Popat was bestowed with the Arjuna Award in 2005.

Ayonika Paul

Ayonika Paul (born 23 September 1992) is an Indian shooter who competes in the 10-metre air rifle event. She won the silver medal in the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. She studied at Swami Vivekananda high school in Chembur, Mumbai.

She graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering degree from Pillai College of Engineering, Panvel — and is now pursuing a Master’s in Electronics Engineering. Ayonika Paul was once an excellent swimmer but slowly her interest developed in the rifle shooting. She had earlier won Bronze in ISSF World Cup 2014 in Slovenia.

Ayonika Paul was confirmed by the Selection Committee of NRAI to represent India at the Rio Olympics 2016, where she finished at the 47th position in the qualification round out of 51 contestants.

Honorable Mention

Apart from the sportsmen and women, there is a player (read God) that ensured that Mumbai and cricket became synonymous with each other. Fondly known as the God of Cricket, Sachin Tendulkar is the one player without whom the list seemed to be incomplete.

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar began his journey as an 11-year-old batsman who represented John Bright Cricket Club. Later in 1985-86, he played the whole season aged 12. Eventually, the Little Master went on to play for the Cricket Club of India (CCI).

In a cricketing career that lasted for around 24 years, Tendulkar became the highest run-scorer in the history of cricket with 34,347 runs in his kitty.

Eventually, it is evident that these players from Mumbai have proved that the city will constantly keep producing gems that will contribute to sports and shatter an age-old prejudice about Mumbai being 'all about cricket'. 

MumbaiLive would like to send you latest news updates