India's First Grandmaster

India's First Grandmaster

Viswanathan Anand is India's first Grandmaster. He became Grandmaster (GM) in 1988 at the age of eighteen. Viswanathan Anand was born on December 11, 1969. He won the National Sub-Junior Chess Championship with a score of 9/9 in 1983 at the age of fourteen. Anand became the youngest Indian to win the International Master Title at the age of fifteen, in 1984. He won National Championship at the age of sixteen. In 1987, Anand became the first Indian to win the World Junior Chess Championship. Anand won the FIDE World Chess Championship in 2000 after defeating Alexei Shirov 3.5 - 0.5 in the finals at Teheran, and became the first Indian to do so. He is one of only four players in history to break the 2800 mark on the FIDE rating list.

Viswanathan Anand has won many awards and honours. He won Arjuna Award in 1985, Padma Shri in 1987, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award in 1991, and Padma Bhushan in the year 2000.

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First Olympic Gold Medal Won by India

First Olympic Gold Medal Won by India was in 1928 Olympics in hockey. India defeated the host country Holland 3-0 in the finals. Legendary Dhyan Chand scored two goals in the final. Indian goalkeeper Richard Allen had the unique distinction of not conceding a single goal throughout the tournament. The gold medal won by the Indian hockey team in 1928 was the first Olympic gold medal won by Asia in the modern Olympics. India has won a total of eight gold medals in hockey at Olympics. From 1928 Amsterdam Olympics to 1956 Melbourne Olympics India won six consecutive gold medals at hockey. The two other gold medals for India came in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

First Indian Woman to Reach Olympic Finals

P.T. Usha was the first Indian woman to reach Olympic finals. She reached the finals of the 400 metres hurdles in the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Usha lost the bronze by 1/100th of a second.

P.T. Usha was born on May 20, 1964 in the village of Payyoli, in Kozhikode District in Kerala. Nicknamed as Payyoli Express, P.T. Usha passed out from the Sports School for Women started by Kerala Government. Renowned coach O.M. Nambiar noticed Usha's talent during the National School Games in 1979 and took her under his wings. She made her debut in 1980 Moscow Olympics. In 1982, Delhi Asian Games, P.T. Usha won silver medals in 100 m and 200 m. Usha came into her own at the Asian Track and Field Championship at Kuwait in 1983, where she took gold in the 400 m and set a new Asian record. In 1986 Seoul Asian Games, P.T. Usha won 4 gold and 1 silver medal in the track and field events and created new Asian Games records in all the events she participated. For her achievements, P.T. Usha was conferred with the Padma Shri and the Arjuna Award in the year 1985.

First Indian to Win Wimbledon Junior Singles Title

Ramanathan Krishnan, one of the legends of Indian tennis, is the first Indian to win Wimbledon Junior Singles title. Ramanathan Krishnan achieved this feat in 1954 by beating Ashley Cooper in the finals. In the process, he also became the first Asian to do so.

Ramanathan Krishnan was born on April 11, 1937. He honed his tennis skills under the watchful eyes of his father T.K. Ramanathan. Krishnan won the national senior title for eight consecutive years. Ramanathan Krishnan established himself as an international tennis star and was rated among the top ten in the world on five different occasions. He was seeded 4 in the Wimbledon of 1962. In 1960, Krishnan reached the semifinals of the Wimbledon but lost to the eventual champion Fraser. He again reached the semifinals next year, but champion Rod Laver got the better of him. He was also a member of the Indian team which reached the final of the Davis Cup in the year 1966.

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