Girls Just Wanna Score Runs: Why 2018 Was a Banner Year for Women in Sport

Sports

Girls Just Wanna Score Runs: Why 2018 Was a Banner Year for Women in Sport

Illustration: Arati Gujar

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couple of weeks ago, we were treated to an early Christmas gift from national badminton superstar, PV Sindhu. Sindhu won her first gold medal at the Badminton World Federation finals, defeating Nozomi Okuhara of Japan to win it all in the sport’s biggest event after the Olympics. After two years of winning silver after silver in various international tournaments, making it to the finals but not being able to crack gold, Sindhu finally silenced the critics who’d accused her of lacking the mental fortitude to be a true champion.

If anything, 23-year-old Sindhu’s triumph is a fitting cap on a year where female athletes have defied societal expectations like never before, and forced naysayers to eat their words. Women’s T20 cricket has made a mark, as much for the exciting gameplay as for the controversy surrounding skipper Harmanpreet Kaur when she excluded star batswoman Mithali Raj from the World Cup squad, citing poor form. Although many fans claimed that the move might have cost India the semi-final against England, the scandal also generated an interest in the women’s game that we’ve rarely seen – as well as a new enfant terrible in Indian sport.

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