From Dipa Karmakar to Sakshi Malik, Indian female athletes were the stars at the Rio Olympics. Whether it was Karmakar pumping her fist after winning the semi-finals, Malik grinning after getting the bronze medal or Karmakar's confident vault, Indian sportswomen broke many stereotypes with their performance. Here are some female athletes whose sporting journeys you should track over the next few years and the reason why you should follow them.
When 23-year-old Malik won India's first medal at the Rio Olympics, she revealed that she took up sports so that she could get the chance to fly in an aeroplane. This endearing honesty is reflected on her social media feed as well, such as in this tweet about eating her first proper breakfast at home after returning from the Olympics.
A proper breakfast! How I have missed you! 😂😂 pic.twitter.com/UtSmF0gFQ5— Sakshi Malik (@SakshiMalik) August 22, 2016
The first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympics, Sindhu is like any other 21-year-old on Facebook and Instagram. India's newest shuttle queen reveals her personal side through goofy Snapchats with senior Jwala Gutta and selfies with friends, family and teammates.
— Pvsindhu (@Pvsindhu1) June 9, 2016
The Indian gymnast connects with her fans through photographs and videos of her daring vaults. Follow her to see photographs of her flying during somersaults, and the hard work that she puts in behind-the-scenes.
Only the second Indian woman to qualify for the 100 m event at the Olympics after PT Usha in 1980, Dutee Chand has fought an uphill battle against poverty and the practice of gender testing of athletes. Chand challenged her ban for high testosterone levels, effectively changing the global debate on gender and sport. More recently, the 20-year-old uses Twitter to capture her remarkable journey, from selfies with Sachin Tendulkar to pre-event updates.
At 18, Ashok was the youngest golf player and the only Indian contender at the Rio Olympics. Described as one of India's most promising women golfers, she is also the only Indian golfer to have played at the Asian Youth Games, the Youth Olympic Games and Asian Games.
The cousin of Commonwealth Games gold medalist Geeta Phogat, the 21-year-old is one of India's brightest prospects in women's wrestling. Phogat was eliminated from the Olympics after an accident during the 48 kg quarterfinals but she moved many with her heartbreaking tweet about her loss. She also uses Facebook to chat with fans and post pictures with close friend Sakshi Malik.
If I tel u that I m ok it wud b lying to myself n all of u. Right nw I m hurt; both physically and mentally. I ll recover soon. Thank u all🙏— Vinesh Phogat (@phogat_vinesh) August 17, 2016
Two-time Commonwealth Games gold medal winner Deepika Kumari took up archery by shooting mangoes with homemade bamboo bow and arrows. She is now considered to be an archery prodigy in India, and shares Facebook photographs with fellow archers Bombayla Devi and Laxmirani Majhi.
Born to a cart puller in the town of Shahabad in Haryana, Rampal was the youngest player to join India's national hockey team in 2010. Often described as one of India's best forward hockey players, she was part of the first women's hockey team to play in the Olympics in 36 years.
You probably already follow Mirza. Arguably India's most famous female sportswoman, she is also an author, fashion icon, Bollywood insider and the UN Women's Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia, and has millions of followers on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat.
The badminton star says she's addicted to her phone, and sends out regular updates about her whereabouts to her fans, ranging from tournaments around the world, advertisement shoots and pictures with family. Her most recent Twitter accomplishment was her response to a fan trolling her after Sindhu won a silver medal.
World number 1 😊😊😊oh my god it's a great day and really happy to be playing finals tomorrow at india open in Delhi . pic.twitter.com/zPuhTHTTIC— Saina Nehwal (@NSaina) March 28, 2015
One half of India's award-winning badminton duo with Jwala Gutta, Ponnappa tweets about her travels for international tournaments, but also reveals the close camaraderie between Indian badminton players like Sindhu, Manu Attri and Gutta.
A veteran on India's badminton circuit, Gutta is also a social media pro and documents every little detail of her training, travels and more, on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram.
To all the haters..well i dont know what to say..wish u could be more sensitive..n think before commenting on one's life..its not been easy— Gutta Jwala (@Guttajwala) August 13, 2016
The reigning National Squash Champion, Chinappa was part of the squash team that won a historic three medals at the recent World Squash Doubles Championship.Suggest a correction