It’s challenging to go back to work after having a child, but more and more Indian athletes are defying conventions and competing anyhow.
It can be challenging to go back to work after having a child, but an increasing number of Indian athletes are shattering stereotypes by continuing to compete. Mary Kom, a great boxer, and Sania Mirza, a six-time Grand Slam champion, are two of the nation’s most well-known sports mums. These Indian mothers can be seen here, and the Hangzhou Asian Games will begin on September 23.
Dipika Pallikal (Squash)
Dipika Pallikal is the face of squash in India and has consistently performed well for her nation. She and Joshna Chinappa won the first squash gold medal for India at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
In addition to becoming the first Indian woman to be placed in the top 10, she has also won numerous medals at competitions including the World Championships, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games.
Kabir and Zian, twin sons, were born to her and her husband, Indian cricketer Dinesh Karthik, in October 2021. Dipika returned to the squash court a few months later and won the bronze medal in mixed doubles at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Dipika’s swan song is likely to be the Hangzhou Asian Games, when she will play in the mixed doubles event.
Koneru Humpy (Chess)
One of India’s best chess players is the Grandmaster. At 15 years, 1 month, 27 days old, she achieved the Grandmaster title in 2002, making history as the youngest woman to do so. She was also the second woman to have an Elo rating higher than 2600.
In 2017, she gave birth to her daughter Ahana, and then she took a maternity leave.
When Humpy came back two years later, she finished second in the FIDE Women’s Grand Prix 2019–21 and went on to win the women’s World Rapid title in 2019.
In Hangzhou, the 36-year-old will take part in both the singles and team competitions.
Harika Dronavalli (Chess)
Three World Championship medals have been won by the Indian Grandmaster.
Women all across the world look up to the 32-year-old. Last year, in the ninth month of her pregnancy, Harika competed in a stressful Chess Olympiad.
During the training camps, she would connect online with her teammates to practise for the competition.
Harika won the first-ever women’s team bronze medal for India in the Chess Olympiad along with Koneru Humpy, R Vaishali, Tania Sachdev, and Bhakti Kulkarni.
A few days later, she gave birth to a daughter named Hanvika.
Having won the bronze medal in the individual category at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, she will be aiming to add another medal to her collection.
Manpreet Kaur (Shot put)
The women’s shot put competition is where Manpreet Kaur will compete. Kaur, a national record holder, is a native of Patiala’s Sahauli village. at 2010, she has competed for India at the Delhi Commonwealth Games. After her marriage and the birth of her daughter, Jasnoor, she subsequently took a three-year hiatus.
In 2016, she entered the ring of competition once more, becoming the lone Indian woman to do so in her sport.
In July 2017, Kaur received a four-year doping suspension. However, she came back strongly the following year, throwing the iron ball 18.06 metres, breaking both her own personal record and the record for the first Indian woman to cross the 18-meter mark in shot put.