Who was the First Indian to Win an Individual Medal in Olympics?

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 9th, 2023

Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav was the first Indian to win an individual medal in Olympics. Khashaba, or K. D. Jadhav, was the first individual athlete from independent India to take home an Olympic medal after Norman Pritchard, who won two silver medals in the sport in 1900 while competing for colonial India. He participated in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and won the wrestling bronze medal. He is the only Olympic medal winner who never received a Padma award.

First Indian to Win an Individual Medal in the Olympics

The first sportsperson from India to receive an Olympic medal in an individual sport was Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav. Khashaba distinguished himself from other wrestlers of his era by being incredibly quick on his feet. Rees Gardner, an English coach, noticed this quality in him and worked with him before the 1948 Olympics. He was from Goleshwar, a village close to Karad. In 2000, he received the Arjuna Award posthumously in recognition of his contributions to wrestling.

Here are a few quick facts about the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in free India:

  • K D Jadhav’s full name is Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav
  • He was born on 15 January 1926 in Goleshwar, Maharashtra.
  • He is the first Indian who got anindividual Olympic medal in wrestling after India gained independence. (Helsinki Olympics 1952)
  • He served as an officer in the Maharashtra Police department.
  • Sanjay Dudhane wrote the autobiography of K D Jadhav.
  • Jadhav was posthumously awarded one of the most prestigious awards in India, the Arjuna award, in 2000.
  • K D Jadhav passed away on 14 August 1984.

India has been taking part in the Olympic games for a long time. Our players have won several medals in different games and made the country proud.

  • Norman Prichard was the first to get two Olympic silver medals in British India.
  • India won 8 Olympic gold medals in Hockey.
  • Abhinav Bindra was the first Indian who got an Olympic gold medal in an individual event (shooting) in Beijing Olympics 2008.
  • Neeraj Chopra is the first Indian athlete who won an Olympic gold medal in an individual athletic event (Javelin Throw).


Who was the First Indian to Win an Individual Medal in Olympics?

The first Indian wrestler to win an Olympic medal in free India was Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav. Wrestling is the only sport in which India has won at least one Olympic award at each of the last four Olympics (2021, 2016, 2012, 2008).

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