8 Best Indian Athletics Books to Read

Indian Athletics
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Looking for the best books on Indian athletics and Indian athletes? You’re in the right place. Many have rued the lack of sporting culture in a nation of over a billion, and few areas show that more decisively than athletics. However, things are changing slowly but steadily, and one can’t be but hopeful. Our article today compiles some of the best Indian athletics books to read. From legendary athletes to marathon runners to Olympic champions, this selection has it all. As usual, if we missed a title, comment below and let us know. Let’s begin!

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Best Indian Athletics Books You Must Read

The Prodigal Sprinter

Title: The Prodigal Sprinter

Author: Amrith Gopinath

Publisher: Purple Pencil Project

Price:

Pages:

Blurb:

There are few sports novels in India and even fewer around Indian athletics. This exciting new book by Amrith Gopinath is an attempt to change that. The Prodigal Sprinter is the story of Sachin Thomas, whose father wants him to become a successful cricketer, even naming his son after the legend.

But when Sachin discovers a talent for sprinting, he’ll go on to break several national awards with the help of his friend Dhruv and some quirky coaches. However, with his increasing arrogance and fights with the Indian sports system, many challenges lay ahead. Set in the exciting world of athletics, this book captures the dreams, failures, and victories of Indian athletes, culminating with an action-packed race at the 2024 Olympic Games.

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Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story

Title: Fiercely Female: The Dutee Chand Story

Author: Sundeep Mishra

Publisher: Westland Sport

Price: 750

Pages: 168

Blurb:

Our first pick in the best Indian athletics books collection is the story of a modern sporting icon. From a small town in Orissa to the biggest championships, all her sporting ambitions would come to a stop, with the Athletics Federation of India dropping her from the 2014 Commonwealth Games with its “hyperandrogenism” policies. Fighting her way back and getting her ban suspended, she became the first Indian woman sprinter to win a gold at the Summer Universiade, Napoli. Also, the first Indian sportsperson to acknowledge their same-sex relationship openly, Dutee Chand is a modern icon in all aspects, creating her own path and living life the way she wants.

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The Neeraj Chopra Story

Title: The Neeraj Chopra Story

Author: Norris Pritam

Publisher: Bloomsbury India

Price: 250

Pages: 236

Blurb:

The entire country was taken aback when the javelin thrower from the small town of Khandra won an Olympic gold medal, a first for any Asian in javelin. Chopra was teased about his weight from a young age. When he was thirteen, his family launched “Operation Neeraj Fitness” and sent him to Shivaji Stadium, where he discovered his knack for javelin throwing. Pritam depicts the transformation of a village youngster into a global athlete, as well as the courage and support that propelled him to success. As Chopra remains a mainstay in Indian athletics to win a medal again and repeat history, this uplifting book will inspire many present and future athletes.

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The Girl Who Loved to Run: PT Usha

Title: The Girl Who Loved to Run: PT Usha

Author: Lavanya Karthik

Publisher: Duckbill

Price: 175

Pages: 48

Blurb:

Few individuals have taken Indian athletics forward the way PT Usha has. This is the story of a girl from the humble village of Payyoli, Kerala, who would become the first Indian woman to participate in the Olympics. The Girl Who Loved to Run, both written and gorgeously illustrated by Lavanya Karthik, is the story of India’s sprint queen, PT Usha, as a young girl. Part of the Dreamers series by Duckbill, the short biography is certain to inspire young readers and athletes.

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The Race of My Life

Title: The Race of My Life

Author: Milkha Singh

Publisher: Rupa Publications India

Price: 262

Pages: 160

Blurb:

One of India’s most heartbreaking sports stories is Milkha Singh’s Olympic loss. The Race of My Life is the tale of a remarkable athlete who survived the horrors of Partition, found meaning in running, won India’s first Commonwealth Games gold medal, and was dubbed the “Flying Sikh” in Pakistan. His perseverance in the face of adversity is remarkable, and remains a model for athletes everywhere. His writing reflects his simple but ambitious spirit, making it a must-read book on Indian athletics.

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The Day I Became a Runner: A Women's History of India through the Lens of Sport

Title: The Day I Became a Runner: A Women's History of India through the Lens of Sport

Author: Sohini Chattopadhyay

Publisher: Fourth Estate India

Price: 419

Pages: 364

Blurb:

If being a woman in a patriarchal world isn’t hard enough, being a woman in the world of sports is even more difficult. That’s why Sohini Chattopadhyay’s using the history of women in Indian athletics to chart the history of Indian women is as revelatory as it is engaging. Perhaps more than other sportswomen in team sports like cricket or tennis, running, being a solitary activity, enables women athletes like Ila Mitra, Mary D’Souza or PT Usha to challenge patriarchy more directly. These stories are more than simply sports stories; they’re also stories of breaking social barriers and chasing your dreams.

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Fuel For My Journey

Title: Fuel For My Journey

Author: Dhananjay Yellurkar

Publisher: Notion Press

Price: 466

Pages: 190

Blurb:

Our next memoir on Indian athletics is the memoir of a long-distance runner. Dhananjay Yellurkar’s story is an inspiring journey of the victory of mental strength over the physical. After he faces a heart attack and open-heart surgery, he goes on to run marathons across the world, from the South African savannahs to the Antarctic icy terrains. This Indian athletics story is filled with grit and tenacity, showing the importance of discipline and courage in anyone’s life and motivating you to go out there and perform your best!

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Faster, Stronger, Higher: A One-Stop Nutrition Framework for Indian Track and Field Athletes

Title: Faster, Stronger, Higher: A One-Stop Nutrition Framework for Indian Track and Field Athletes

Author: Mihira A R Khopkar

Publisher: Notion Press

Price: 291

Pages: 178

Blurb:

When we talk of Indian athletics, we seldom dive into the critical topic of diet. Yes, training is important; yes, infrastructure is important; yes, perseverance and tenacity are important. But those things can be futile without the right nutrition. This book by Mihira A R Khopkar is an important piece for every current and aspiring athlete who aims to make it big. Using her experience as a competitive swimmer and now a sports nutritionist, Khopkar creates a science-backed, complete nutrition framework covering everything from macronutrients to periodical nutrition strategies. The book helps improve training outcomes and ensure a successful athletic career.

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Amritesh Mukherjee

Amritesh Mukherjee

Amritesh doesn't know what to do with his life, so he writes. He also doesn't know what to write, so he reads. Gift him a book if you chance upon him and he'll love you forever.

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