India is a country in which a variety of sports disciplines are practiced. The origins of many sports, such as karate, wrestling, hockey, archery, fencing and even weight-lifting, can be traced back to India too. Sports personalities or legends are sports persons who underwent rigorous training in the past, to perform outstandingly at the national and international level. There are numerous such sports legends in India, who have left an indelible mark in their respective sports disciplines.
The discipline of cricket has seen many sporting legends till date. Some of them are:
- Ajit Laxman Wadekar: He was a left-handed batsman, and scored 4,288 runs from 73 matches, during his tenure of 17 years.
- Kapil Dev: He was one of the best bowlers and hitters of his time. During his time, he achieved the world record of taking the highest number of wickets in test matches: a giant 432 wickets. Kapil Dev also captained the Indian cricket team, to a memorable victory in the 1983 World Cup.
Athletics also has many sporting legends, who have brought national and international laurels for the country. Two sports legends from the athletics are:
- Milkha Singh: Known as the 'flying sikh', Milkha Singh set up unbeatable track and field records in the National Games and Asian Games. Singh still holds a record of 20.7 seconds for the 200 meters race.
- Charles Borromeo: This athlete entered the sports hall of fame with his outstanding performance in the 800 meters race at the 9th Asian games. He also won the Arjuna Award in 1982, and the Padma Shri in 1984.
Sporting legends are role models for aspiring players, and have been known to inspire them to perform to great levels. Some of the other sports legends who have performed brilliantly at international tournaments, and went on to inspire generations include:
- Vishwanathan Anand in chess
- Dhyanchand in hockey
- Geet Sethi in billiards
- Kartar Singh in Wrestling
- Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi in lawn tennis
- Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi and Bishen Singh Bedi in cricket
- PT Usha in athletics
- Baichung Bhutia and Peter Thangaraj in football
- Jaspal Rana and Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in shooting.