2022 was a remarkable year for Indian sports. While there were countless historic achievements on the field, there were an equally impressive amount of controversies off the field.
If quite a few athletes rose to fame and shone bright in the year, quite a few others failed to perform up to the mark. Here, we look at those athletes who left Indian sports fans wanting for more in 2022.
Tajinderpal Singh Toor
After a disappointing campaign at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, Tajinderpal Singh Toor was expected to put Indian shot-put on the World Athletics map. But, the 28-year-old once again flattered to deceive mainly due to injuries.
Toor failed to produce a single valid throw in the 2022 World Indoor Championships, before pulling out of the World Championships in Oregon without a single throw due to a groin injury. This injury also meant that Toor missed out on the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games which followed shortly after.
Weightlifter Punam Yadav – a two-time Commonwealth Games medallist, was expected to complete a hat-trick of podium finishes in the quadrennial event in Birmingham. However, a horror show in the clean and jerk section with no valid lifts meant that the 27-year-old had to return emptyhanded.
Considered to be one of India’s brightest prospects in tennis, Sumit Nagal had a forgettable season in 2022. While a career threatening hip injury played its part, Nagal has also slipped below 500 in the world rankings. The 25-year-old would hope for a much better showing and an injury free 2023 season which he starts as a wildcard at the Tata Open Maharashtra ATP 250 event.
The Indian badminton great Saina Nehwal endured a terrible 2022 season. As a result, the Olympic bronze medallist also slipped down as the third best Indian women’s singles shuttler behind PV Sindhu and the young Malvika Bansod.
Injuries did not help Nehwal’s cause either, with her best outing being a Quarterfinal exit at the Singapore Open Super 500 in July. In the 13 other tournaments she competed in Saina Nehwal crashed out in R32 seven times, and R16 six times.
Leg-spinner Poonam Yadav, who was considered to be an invaluable asset for the Indian women’s cricket team till the start of this year, now finds herself out of the national setup. The 31-year-old played only a total of 5 out of the 43 matches played by India across the format in 22, and scalped only 4 wickets.
Yadav played only a solitary match at the 2022 ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup and was ignored in the Indian team for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.