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PV Sindhu most searched sportsperson in India; Virat Kohli fourth

The Indian Express logoThe Indian Express 04-12-2016
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When PV Sindhu became the first Indian women player to win a silver at Olympic Games, she broke another record. She became the first female player from India to reach the final of the singles event of badminton at the Games. And three months after her record feat, Sindhu has been the top searched sportsperson of 2016 in India, according to a review by Yahoo.

The Olympic medallist overtook the likes MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli and even Sachin Tendulkar to emerge at the top of the list. Ever since her medal winning effort at the Rio Games, Sindhu has become the most sought after sportperson in the country.

Apart from Sindhu, gymnast Dipa Karmakar was the second most searched sportsperson in India. The gymnast, who put India on the world map in gymnastics, finished fourth at the Rio Olympics, missing the bronze medal by just 0.150 points. She pulled off the deadly Prudonova vault but even that could not get her the medal. She has not competed internationally after the Olympics in August.

The list of top searched then has the regulars with the likes of India limited overs captain MS Dhoni at number three and India Test captain Virat Kohli at number four.

The former, who last played for India in the New Zealand ODI series in October, continued to be one of the top searched sportperson in India. The search for Dhoni also increased due to the release of the movie MS Dhoni: The Untold Story. In the past as well, Dhoni has dominated this list and has been the top searched sportsperson in India in the past years.

Kohli also featured in the list at number four. The India Test captain has been in news for various reason from on and off the field. While he had a record breaking season in the Indian Premier League, where he scored 973 runs, he was spotted with Bollywood actress Anushka Sharma. This was after they split last year. Kohli also scored two double centuries in Test cricket in 2016 and also has another century. He is currently leading the Indian Test team against England in the ongoing five-match series.

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Next in the list is the Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik. She is the third women to feature on this list and only the second Olympic medallist from Rio. The Haryana girl won the medal in the 58kg category at the Games. She became the first female wrestler from India to win a medal and only the fourth from the coutry ever. Sakshi, who is yet to return to the mat after her bronze medal winning effort, will get married to Satyawart Kadian, one of India’s top wrestler in the 97kg category.

In the only foreign player to feature on this list in Argetina and Barcelona football star Lionel Messi. The Barcelona player is one of the most popular player in India. Earlier this year, he had annoucned retirement from international football after Argetina lost the Copa America final to Chile for the second time in a row. Messi was so disappointment after the loss that he decided to announce his retirement just after the match. But he later came back from retirement and played for Argentina. For Barcelona, Messia won the Spanish La Liga and the Copa del Rey. This season, Messi has been hurt by a couple of injuries but he is back for Barcelona and also Argentina, who are having a difficult time in the World Cup qualifiers.

Photos: India's greatest sportspersons

Greatest Indian sportspersons India's greatest sportspersons

In another surprise entry to this list, wrestler Narsingh Yadav takes the seventh spot in India. The 74kg category wrestler was supposed to represent India at the Rio Olympics but lost his place after he failed a dope test. In a dramatic series of event, Narsingh had to first fight a court case against Sushil Kumar, India’s two-time Olympic medallist, for a chance to be on the plane to Rio. Months later, to everyone’s shock, he failed to dope test. He later alleged conspiracy and demanded a probe into the matter. His appeal was heard by National Anit-Doping Agency. After the two-day hearing, NADA cleared Narsingh and made him eligible to board the flight to Rio. But the tail had one more twist. World Anti-Doping Agency reviewed the case a day before the men’s freestyle wrestling event in Rio and Narisngh was found guilty of dope. He was barred from participating in the Olympics. After the Games, the matter was transferred to the CBI.

At number eight is the cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar. The batting mastero has been in news even after three years of retirement. The Mumbaikar is also a member of the Rajya Sabha. He remains the top run scorer in international cricket in both the Test and ODIs. He is also the leading century getter in both these formats. Tendulkar is also the only cricketer to score 100 international centuries. In one of the many records, he is also the first cricketer in the world to score a double century in ODIs. Post retirement, Tendulkar has been busy in the Legends T20 league, his promotional events and sponspor commitments and many other events. He was also the brand ambassador of the Indian contiingent for the Rio Olympics.

India’s top tennis star Sania Mirza also made it to the list at number nine. She became the first Indian player to become the top ranked player in women’s doubles and she retained the rank at the year for the second conseutive year. At the Rio Olympics, Sania was just a win away from winning a medal. The mixed doubles pair of Rohan Bopanna and Sania Mirza finished fourth in Rio after suffering two consecutive losses that cost them the medal.

The last name in the top ten sportspersons of India is badminton player Saina Nehwal. Saina, who had disastrous Rio Olympics, had a disappointing 2016. The Indian ace star suffered a number of injuries before the Games but went on represent India in Rio. But there she suffered a shocking defeat only in her second match. That forced her exited from the tournament. Saina had earlier won the bronze medal at the London Olympics.

Top 10 Most Searched Sportsperson:

PV Sindhu

Dipa Karmakar

MS Dhoni

Virat Kohli

Sakshi Malik

Lionel Messi

Narsingh Yadav

Sachin Tendulkar

Sania Mirza

Saina Nehwal

Watch: PV Sindhu confident of Premier Badminton League's success

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