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India-Sports: Milestones 2008


New Delhi : Timeline of India’s sporting achievements in 2008:

Jan 19: India beat Australia in the Perth Test by 72 runs to stop the World Champions from bettering their record of 16 consecutive Test wins.

Jan 25: Indian Premier League (IPL) auctions eight cricket teams to different franchises.

Feb 10: Indian golfer Shiv Shankar Prasad Chowrasia wins the $2.5 million EMAAR-MGF Indian Masters. Chowrasia won $416,660, the biggest pay cheque received by any player on Indian soil.

Feb 20: Players auction takes place in IPL. Chennai Super Kings, owned by India Cements, bags Mahendra Singh Dhoni for $1.5 million, the costliest catch. Andrew Symonds was the costliest overseas player at $1.35 million for Deccan Chargers.

Feb 23: Dempo win the inaugural I-League football tournament.

March 9: Eight time gold medal winner India failed to qualify for men’s hockey at the Olympics for the first time in 80 years. They lost 0-2 to Great Britain in the final of a qualifying tournament in Santiago, Chile.

March 4: India win the Commonwealth Bank tri-series in Australia. The victory was India’s first tri-series win on Australia soil.

April 12: India qualifies for the Davis Cup World Group play-off by beating Japan.

April 14: Indian shooter Gagan Narang wins the bronze medal in the 10-metre Air Rifle event at the International Sports Shooting Federation (ISSF) World Cup in Beijing.

April 18: Inaugural Indian Premier League (IPL) starts with eight teams.

April 24: India’s women hockey team also fails to qualify for the Olympics.

April 28: The Indian Hockey Federation (IHF) suspended by the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) after a sting operation showed secretary general K. Jothikumaran accepting a bribe for a place in the national team.

May 27: Legendary German goalkeeper Oliver Kahn gets a grand farewell at a packed Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata.

June 1: Shane Warne leads Rajasthan Royal to the inaugural IPL title.

June 8: Jeev Milkha Singh ends his 18-month drought by winning the Bank Austria Golf Open. It was his third title on the European Tour.

June 15: Badminton player Saina Nehwal becomes the first Indian to reach the semi-final of a Super Series event at the Singapore Open Super Series.

June 18: Indian shooter Ronjan Sodhi wins the gold in the double trap event at World Cup in Belgrade. He also equalled two world records en route to the gold.

July 12: India football captain Bhaichung Bhutia features alongside top international stars like Kaka, Steven Gerrad, Gianluigi Buffon, Rud van Nistelroy and Didier Drogba in a friendly match at the Allianz Arena in Munich for the Goal4Africa Project. Bhutia also scores a goal in the match.

July 18: India staged a dramatic fight-back to beat South Korea 3-2 and retain the Junior Asia Cup hockey crown in Hyderabad.

July 27: Jeev Milkha Singh wins Nagashima Shigeo Invitational Sega-Sammy Cup at the North Country GC in Hokkaido, Japan.

Aug 10: Jeev creates history by finishing tied 9th at the US PGA Championships at the Oakland Hills Country Club in Michigan. Jeev’s tied ninth finish is the best performance by an Indian at a Major so far.

Aug 11: Shooter Abhinav Bindra wins gold in the 10-metre air rifle event at the Beijing Olympics. He becomes the first Indian to win an individual gold medal. India bags a gold medal after 28 years.

Aug 13: India win the AFC Challenge Cup football tournament by defeating defending champions Tajikistan 4-1 at the Ambedkar Stadium in Delhi. They qualified for the 2011 Asian Cup after a gap of 24 years.

Aug 13: Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal loses in the quarterfinals at the Beijing Games. She was also the first Indian woman to enter the Olympic quarterfinals.

Aug 20: Wrestler Sushil Kumar bags a bronze at the Olympics. The medal came 56 years after wrestler Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav gave the country its maiden individual Olympic medal.

Aug 20: Boxer Vijender Singh wins the bronze at the Olympics after losing his semi-final bout to Cuban Emilio Correa. Vijender becomes the first Indian boxer to win an Olympic medal.

Sep 6: India’s Pankaj Advani beats mentor Geet Sethi to win the 42nd IBF World Billiard Championship title in Bangalore.

Sep 14: Saina wins Chinese Taipei Grand Prix badminton tournament.

Sep 23: Dempo becomes the first Indian football club to enter the semi-final of the AFC Cup

Sep 26: Badminton player Chetan Anand wins Yonex Czech International.

Oct 21: Dempo becomes the first Indian club to qualify for the semi-final of the AFC Cup.

Oct 29: India’s Viswanathan Anand draws the 11th game of the 12-game World Chess Championship final in Bonn against Vladimir Kramnik to take an unbeatable 6.5-4.5 lead and retain his world title.

Oct 5: Chetan Anand wins Bitburger Open Grand Prix.

Nov 2: India’s Test captain Anil Kumble announces his retirement from cricket.

Nov 10: India defeat Australia by 172 runs in the Nagpur cricket Test to seal a 2-0 series victory and win back the much-coveted Border-Gavaskar Trophy. It was the first time Australia had lost a Test series by more than one match since they were trounced by the West Indies in 1988-89.

Nov 10: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly retires from international cricket.

Nov 16: Jeev Milkha Singh wins the $5 million Barclay’s Singapore Open Golf tournament and also seals the Asian Order of Merit title.

Nov 29: MC Mary Kom wins her fourth consecutive World Championship women’s boxing title in China.

Dec 4: Saina breaks into top-10 of world badminton at No.10.

Dec 6: Argentine soccer legend Diego Maradona arrives in Kolkata amidst huge fanfare to inaugurate a football academy.

Dec 13: Inaugural Twenty20 Champion League cancelled in the wake of Mumbai terror attacks.