Sania Mirza will be the Indian woman to have the highest number of Olympics participation
While it is well documented that Leander Paes holds the record of highest Olympic appearances by an Indian who has so far competed in a total of seven different Olympics, which Indian woman do you think leads the list?
Every sportsperson dreams of competing at the Olympics when they start playing any sport. Considered to be the pinnacle of sports, being able to compete in the Olympics is usually the highlight of their career for many talented sportspersons.
While many athletes wander into relative obscurity after competing in one single edition of the Olympics, many others go on to create a legacy by qualifying and competing at multiple Olympics. The record for the highest number of Olympic appearances is currently held by Ian Millar of Canada, who has competed in 10 different editions of the Games. The same for women is led by Josefa Idem of Italy, Canada's Lesley Thompson and Nino Salukvadze of Georgia, all of whom have participated in eight different Olympics. In fact, Salukvadze might become the sole leader among women with a total of nine Olympic appearances when she takes the field in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
While it is well documented that Leander Paes holds the record of highest Olympic appearances by an Indian who has so far competed in a total of seven different Olympics, which Indian woman do you think leads the list? Sania Mirza? Well, not really.
Instead, the record for highest Olympic appearances by an Indian woman is currently held by track athlete Shiny Abraham Wilson. Hailing from the southern state of Kerala, Shiny competed in a total of four Olympics – 1984 Los Angeles, 1988 Seoul, 1992 Barcelona and the 1996 Atlanta Games.
In fact, she is also the first-ever Indian woman to reach the semifinal of an Olympic event – a feat which she achieved during her debut Olympics at Los Angeles in 1984.
Now, as the 2020 Tokyo Olympics looks increasingly likely to be conducted, tennis star Sania Mirza looks set to equal this record. The 34-year-old has so far competed in three Olympic Games – 2008 Beijing, 2012 London and 2016 Rio de Janeiro.
Since Sania Mirza's qualification to the Tokyo Olympics is almost confirmed, thanks to her protected rankings, it can be safely said that she will now hold the record for highest Olympic appearance by an Indian woman along with Shiny Wilson.
The next in the list for highest Olympic appearances by an Indian woman are PT Usha, shuttler Saina Nehwal and archer Bombayla Devi, all of whom have competed in three different editions of the Olympics. Deepika Kumari, who has participated in two Olympics, is expected to join this list when she takes the field at Tokyo.
Besides, the likes of Anjali Bhagwat, Heena Sidhu, Karman Malleswari, Anju Bobby George and others have competed at two different Olympics. Joining this list after their appearance at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be the likes of PV Sindhu, Vinesh Phogat, Aprurvi Chandela, Rahi Sarnobat and Mary Kom.