With numerous achievements, 2022 has been a successful year for Indian sports in general. However, with such high levels of performance and high expectations comes the possibility of heartbreak.
Here is a look at the top 7 such heartbreaking moments for stars and fans alike in the sports arena:
Women’s Football: India forfeit from AFC Asian Cup due to COVID-19 outbreak
COVID-hit India exited the AFC Women’s Asian Cup 2022 when they were unable to name the minimum required squad of 13. India had previously finished second in 1979 and 1983, and third in 1981. This was supposed to be the Indian team’s first appearance at the Asian Cup since 2003. What should have given a flying start to this year’s sporting achievements ended up breaking the hearts of football fans. China PR went on to win the tournament in February this year.
Women’s WC 2022 Heartbreak
The Indian women’s team exited the World Cup after a series of close matches. A crucial no-ball call in the final over put an end to the dreams of the women in blue. South Africa beat India in a last-ball thriller to end India’s campaign at the WC 2022—making it another case of so near, yet so far.
Legends like Virender Sehwag took to social media to indicate how “it wasn’t just a no-ball that cost India the game, but sometimes an inch costs moments that take decades to achieve and are possibly once-in-a-lifetime achievements for many players.”
This also meant that Mithali Raj and Jhulan Goswami’s era ends on a low note. Mithali retired after the WC while Jhulan followed suit a few months later.
Tennis: Sania crashing out in the first round of potentially her last Wimbledon
Sania Mirza and her partner Lucie Hradecka were eliminated in the first round by the Polish-Brazilian combination of Magdalena Frech and Beatriz Haddad Maia. Although not confirmed, it looks like her final Wimbledon appearance has ended in disappointment.
Indian Men’s Hockey Team loses to Netherlands, exiting the FIH Pro League Title Race
The match was tied at 2-2 after a hard-fought match against the table-topping Netherlands. The match progressed to shootouts, where the men in blue went down 1-4, virtually crashing out of the title race of the FIH Pro League. India finished third after the Netherlands and Belgium.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team lose to Australia in the Semis at CWG 2022
The Indian women’s team entered the match without having conceded a single goal in the tournament. They made an attacking start but drew 1-1 at the end of regulation time.
They went on to lose 0-3 in a shootout to four-time champions Australia, infuriating Indian hockey fans around the world. Further down the tournament, they took on New Zealand in the bronze medal match and won it, earning them a well-deserved podium finish.
Lakshya Sen loses in All England Open Final and HS Prannoy crashing out of BWF Tour Finals
Despite an eventful year on the international circuit for our badminton stars, Lakshya Sen’s straight game loss against Denmark’s Viktor Axelson, ending a dream run at the All England Championships, and HS Prannoy crashing out of the BWF Tour Finals knockout stage despite a win over the same Olympic champion Axelson, are definitely on the list of the most heartbreaking moments this year.
Murali Sreeshankar missing out on Gold at the CWG 2022
This year’s Commonwealth Games saw some extraordinary performances and thrilling competitions. The long jump silver medalist, Murali Sreeshankar, missed out on his gold when his fourth jump was ruled a foul under the new laser-based technology.
Despite jumping an identical 8.08 meters as Bahamas’ Laquan Nairn, he was denied gold when their second-best jumps were considered. Nairn had a second-best distance of 7.98 m, while Sreeshankar jumped 7.84 m. He further missed out on the Gold at the National Games in October, after Tamil Nadu’s Jeswin Aldrin beat him to it.