Sports Couples in India are a sight to watch for, as their bonding with Indian sports stars is pretty strong. The moment when two sportspersons fall in love, let it be the same sport or different, it leaves us awestruck. We try to get to the roots of their relationship, how it started and when it started. After our research is done, we start admiring them even more.
Here are the 6 mesmerizing sports couples of India:
1. Milkha Singh and Nirmal Kaur
One of India’s greatest ever sportsman Milkha Singh who has been married to former volleyball player Nirmal Kaur for more than 50 years. Known as the Flying Sikh, Milkha Singh is a sporting icon and came close to winning an Olympic medal for India in the 400m finals at 1960 Games. He became the first Indian male athlete to win an individual athletics gold at the Commonwealth Games in the year 1958. He also won gold at the 1958 and 1962 Asian Games. Nirmal Kaur was a former captain of the Indian women’s volleyball team and she met Milkha Singh in Sri Lanka in 1957.
“It was in 1957 during Indo-Ceylon sports meet that I met Nirmal for the first time,” he said, as reported by the Tribune.
“It was in 1961 that Nirmal joined the Punjab Sports Department as Assistant Director. That is when I got interested in her again. And in 1962, we got married.”
2. PVV Lakshmi and Pullela Gopichand
It was at the Gopichand badminton academy set up by the former Olympians that Nehwal had her initial training in the game. Gopichand came into limelight in 2001 when he won All England Badminton Championships. He was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna the same year and he is the only person to have won both the Arjuna Award and the Dronacharya Award. He has also been awarded the Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan.
PVV Lakshmi is a former national champion and secured her place in history as the first Indian woman to play badminton at the Olympics, representing her nation at the 1992 Games. She also turned out for India at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
The couple got married on June 5, 2002
3. Heena Sidhu and Ronak Pandit
Heena specializes in the 10-meter air pistol event and won a gold medal in women’s (Pairs) with Annu Raj Singh and securing second place in the singles competition at the 2010 Commonwealth Games. She created history by becoming the first shooter from the country to win a gold medal at the ISSF World Cup finals held in Munich in the year 2013, with a world-record score of 203.8.
Ronak won the gold medal in the Men’s 25m Standard Pistol (Pairs) partnering Samaresh Jung at the 2006 Commonwealth Games. In all, Ronak has represented India in about 55 competitions winning 40 medals.
Ronak is also Heena’s trainer and though she might have raced her husband with her accomplishments, the pair do respect for each other
4. Dinesh Karthik and Dipika Pallikal
The two of them seemed to be a very unlikely pair with the squash champion publicly expressing her dislike for cricket as she felt it was affecting the growth of other sports in the country.
Dipika is India’s top-ranked squash player and is the first female from the country to break into the Top 10 in the WSA rankings. She also created history by partnering Joshna Chinappa at the 2014 Commonwealth Games to win India’s first medal in the sport at the quadrennial competition by securing the gold medal in the doubles event. She was awarded the Arjuna award in 2012 and the Padma Shri in 2014 in recognition of her outstanding achievement.
Dinesh Karthik is one of India’s top wicketkeeper-batsman and has played 23 Tests and 79 ODIs for the national team. He was a member of the Indian team that won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and was the top scorer in India’s tour of England in 2007 with 263 runs when they won a series in the country for the first time in 21 years
5. Manjeet Kaur and Gurvinder Singh Chandi
This pair hails from Jalandhar and have represented India at the Olympics. Gurwinder made his international debut in 2008 and is just 3 games short of making 100 appearances for the national team. He was also a member of the Indian Hockey team that defeated Pakistan in the Asian Games, securing a gold medal after a wait of 32 years as well as the team that won silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Manjeet Kaur has won gold at the 2006 and 2010 Asian Games. She also holds the national record 51.05 seconds in the 400-m sprint, a feat that has stood for more than 10 years. She also won at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in the 4*400 m relay event and was part of the 2012 Olympics team that reached the finals in the event. She was awarded the Arjuna award in 2005 for her contributions to Indian athletics.
6. Anju Bobby George and Robert Bobby George
Anju was the torchbearer of Indian athletics in the early 2000s and quickly established herself as the long jump queen in the country.
She won bronze at the 2002 Commonwealth Games and a gold at the Asian Games and created history by becoming the first athlete to win a medal at the World Athletics Championships in 2003. But her highest achievement came in 2005 when she clinched the gold medal at the World Athletics Finals in 2005. She was awarded the Arjuna award in 2002 and went one better winning the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award the following year.
Her husband Robert is a former national champion in triple jump and is Anju’s coach as well. He bagged the Dronacharya award after Anju bagged medals at the World Championships and he has revealed that he has been a constant support to his wife in more ways than one.
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