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Commonwealth Games, Asian Games, the football and hockey World Cups — we have seen some brilliant sporting action across 2018. Here’s ESPN India’s top content of the year.

A fledgling football club breaks barriers and unites people to bring hope in a region battered by years of violence.

A sport once played exclusively by the British rulers is giving women in India, especially those from the most disadvantaged communities, a sense of empowerment and self-belief.

Manika Batra’s win over three-time Olympic medallist Tianwei Feng set India on the path to the table tennis women’s team gold at the Commonwealth Games. And it was a mysterious, difficult sleight of hand that helped her pull off that crucial win.

Venkat Rahul Ragala took up weightlifting because his father couldn’t fulfill his own dream in the sport. He paid tribute to his father’s efforts to support him and his mother, who passed away two years ago, after winning gold at Gold Coast.

Armymen Sawarn Singh and Dattu Bhokanal found energy in the unknown crevices of their body to lead India to only its second gold medal in rowing at the Asian Games.

Uzbekistan’s Hasanboy Dusmatov is the meanest boxer of the lot, and the stuff nightmares are made of. Thankfully for India, Amit Panghal doesn’t believe in monsters.

Born with six toes, pain has been Swapna Barman’s constant companion ever since she could walk. It makes her victory in the heptathlon that much more impressive.

Shiva Keshavan heads for his sixth Winter Olympics, and towards the finishing line of a career whose greatness is measured in his grit.

After last season’s ‘great escape’, Chennai are leading the I-League table and scoring for fun. This is the story behind their improbable success.

Already a grandmaster at the age of 12, it is no wonder the chess world is doing its best to get R Praggnanandhaa’s name right.

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