The year 2021 has been momentous in many ways. With the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hitting early in the year, it looked like it would be another year of setbacks and the long struggle against disease like in 2020. And yet, as the year progressed, we saw the resilience people across the world have built at work. Despite obstacles and COVID-19 protocols, many sporting events which were postponed due to the pandemic were held again, giving people in sports another shot at winning glory for themselves and their countries.Like all women athletes and sportspersons from around the world, Indian women in sports also got their chance to shine internationallyand they utilised every chance they got and swept us off our feet with their incredible performances. Here are a few Indian women in sports who made 2021 the brilliant year it was.Indian Womens Hockey TeamLed by captain Rani Rampal, the Indian Womens Hockey team made history this year at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The dream team of 16 women from across states of India defeated three-time champions, team Australia, to qualify for the semi-finals for the first time in Indias womens hockey history. The win by one goal was secured by Gurjit Kaur, and came just a day after the Indian Mens Hockey team entered the Olympics semi-finals after 49 years.At the semi-finals, the Indian womens team fought valiantly against Germany, but was finally ousted with a score of 0-2. The team then went head-to-head with Great Britain to get the Bronze medal, but after a gruelling match, was defeated 4-3. Even though they couldnt bag a medal, their grit and performance managed to bring glory to us all.Indian Womens Cricket TeamIn June-July 2021, the Indian womens Cricket team toured England to make their grand re-entry into the world of Test Cricket. Though the one-off Test match ended in a draw, the Indian team made a huge mark during the Twenty20 International (T20I) matches. The team lost the first match, partly due to bad weather, getting a score of 54 runs for three wickets against Englands 177 for seven wickets. In the second match, India won, finishing at 148 runs for four wickets, while England managed only 140 runs for eight wickets.The Indian team then lost out in the third match, and yet there were many moments that stood out during this tour. Harleen Kaur Deols brilliant, gravity-defying catch went viral on social media, while Sneh Rana became the first Indian woman all-rounder and fourth overall player from India to have both a 50+ score and a four-plus wicket haul during the one-off Test match. Captain Mithali Raj became the leading run-scorer in womens international cricket by the end of the tour, beating Charlotte Edwards record. Even as the team prepares to continue their preparation for the World Cup 2022, their performance in 2021 was momentous enough to bring us all pride.Avani LekharaThis rifle shooter charted history at the Tokyo Paralympic games by winning a Gold medal in the 10m air rifle event, and a Bronze medal in the 50m rifle eventthus becoming the first Indian woman to win multiple medals in a single Paralympic game. Lekharawho hails from Rajasthan, and became a paraplegic after a car accident in 2012is currently World No 2 in the Womens 10m Air Rifle rankings. She also competed in the 2018 Asian Para Games. She was recently appointed as the Assistant Conservator of Forest by the Government of Rajasthan.Saikhom Mirabai ChanuThis Indian weightlifter won the Silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics 49kg category, becoming one of the medal winners this year at the prestigious event. Chanu, who hails from Manipur, has also won the Silver at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. In 2017, she won the Gold medal at the World Weightlifting Championships held in California. For her contributions to sports, she was awarded the Padma Shri and the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna award by the government of India.Bhavina PatelBhavina Hasmukhbhai Patel, a para-athlete and table tennis player from Gujarat, won the Silver medal in the Class 4 table tennis event at the Tokyo Paralympics. Apart from her stellar performance this year, Patel has also won other accolades. She earned the ranking of World No 2 after winning the Silver for India at the PTT Thailand Open in 2011. She also won a Silver at the Asian Para Table Tennis Championships in Beijing in 2013.Lovlina BorgohainThis brilliant boxer from Assam became the first Indian amateur boxer to win a Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics during the womens welterweight event. This win helped her become the third Indian boxer, man or woman, to win a medal at the Olympics. Borgohain has not only brought pride and glory to the country, but also to her home state of Assam. She is the first woman athlete and the second boxer from the state to represent the state at the Olympics. In 2020, Borgohain was also given the Arjuna Award for her contributions.C.A Bhavani DeviChadalavada Anandha Bhavani Devi, who goes by the name of C.A Bhavani Devi, became the first Indian fencer, ever, to qualify for the Olympics. Though she could not win a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, the eight-time national champions performance was noteworthy. Thanks to her feat this year, Devi was given the Arjuna Award.PV SindhuPusarla Venkata Sindhu, or PV Sindhu, won the Bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics womens singles badminton eventbecoming the only Indian woman to win two Olympic medals. She had also won the Silver at the Rio Olympics in 2016. For her immense contribution to the sport of badminton, she was awarded the Padma Shri this year. Sindhu also won the Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna and the Padma Bhushan. Recently, she also won the Silver medal at the BWF World Championship 2021.Aruna Singh TanwarHailing from Haryana, Tanwar became the first Indian Taekwondo athlete to qualify for the Tokyo Paralympics. This was the first time Taekwondo was featured for the Paralympics, making her feat even more noteworthy. Though Tanwar did not win a medal, her very presence at the Games was inspiring. Tanwar is currently ranked World No 4 in the World Para-Taekwondo Events list.Nethra KumananKumanan, a sailor from Chennai, first grabbed headline in 2020, when she became the first Indian woman to win a Bronze medal at the Sailing World Cup. This year, she made headlines once again when she became the first Indian woman sailor to qualify for the Olympics. Though she couldnt bag a medal, Kumanan is still a pioneer among Indian women in a field where women have barely made an entry yet.