Since India’s independence on August 15, 1947, the country has witnessed tremendous amounts of success in sports in the past 74 years. From Kapil Dev’s side leading India to its first World Cup in 1983 to Neeraj Chopra winning a gold medal at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics 2020, the country has experienced it all. On the 74th Independence Day, Republic World has picked India’s top five sporting moments.

Indian men’s hockey team has won a record 8 golds in Olympics

After winning three Olympic gold medals prior to independence (1928-36), the Indian men’s hockey team clinched their first gold medal at the 1948 London Olympics as an independent country. The Indian team landed its fourth consecutive gold medal, with Balbir Singh Dosanjh emerging as the star performer. Team India has won eight Olympic gold medals in men’s hockey in total and also won the 1975 Hockey World Cup.

Independence Day top sporting moments: 1983 World Cup win

Kapil Dev surprisingly led the Indian cricket team to its maiden World Cup in 1983 when they beat the mighty West Indies by 43 runs in the final at the Lord’s Cricket Ground. The 1983 World Cup win was historic as that laid the marker for future success in the sport. India posted just 183 runs on the board but managed to bowl out West Indies for 140 runs. Mohinder Amarnath and Madan Lal were the picks amongst the bowlers as they each picked up three wickets in the final.

Abhinav Bindra wins first individual gold for India in Olympics

Abhinav Bindra scripted history for India at the 2008 Beijing Olympics as he became the first-ever individual Olympic gold medalist in independent India. Bindra won the gold thanks to an excellent 10.8 on his last shot at the shooting event. Prior to his last attempt, he was tied with Finland’s Henri Hakkinen.

Independence Day top sporting moments: 2011 World Cup win

Considering cricket is India’s top watched sport today, the 2011 World Cup win is perhaps the most memorable as it was won on home soil. The MS Dhoni-led side defeated subcontinent rivals, Sri Lanka, in the final at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, sending the crowd into raptures. As a result of the remarkable victory, cricketing legend Sachin Tendulkar also got his hands at the elusive World Cup to add to his neverending personal achievements.

Neeraj Chopra wins first Olympic gold medal for India in athletics

Neeraj Chopra scripted history for India at the recently concluded Tokyo Olympics as he became only the second Indian to win an individual gold medal at the showpiece event. The 23-year old won the gold medal thanks to an outstanding throw of 87.58m. That throw not only helped Team India win its first gold medal in athletics but also ended the country’s 100-year drought of winning a medal in the track and field events.