Comeback of the Year nominees: Super Mom Mary, Prannoy's incredible Indonesia Open run and more

ESPN.in Awards: Comeback Of The Year (1:54)

Nominees for the Comeback Of 2017 (1:54)

From HS Prannoy's wins against Lee Chong Wei and Chen Long to Mary Kom and Sushil Kumar's gold medal-winning efforts, our comeback of the year nominations are not short on big names.

Sushil Kumar

What they did in 2017

Sushil Kumar's bid to win a third Olympic medal ended in controversial acrimony after he failed to make the team for the 2016 Olympics. After a period spent away from the mat, the two-time Olympic medallist would look to reclaim his legacy. He returned to compete at the National Championships after a gap of nine years and won gold. While that medal was tarnished by the fact that three opponents conceded a walkover, Sushil would legitimately claim the 2017 Commonwealth Championships later in the year.

In their own words

"Whenever I am fit, I try to compete. I tried to make a comeback for the 2016 Olympics, but that did not happen. I keep short targets, so I am not thinking too far ahead."

- Sushil after winning the National Championships.

Shiv Kapur

What they did in 2017

Shiv Kapur had a near perfect start to his professional golf career, winning a title in his rookie year on the Asian Tour. Success would dry up entirely for the next 11 years. It was part of a dismal stretch of failure and injuries, which even saw him considering his future in the sport. All that changed in April, when he won the Yeangder Heritage in Taiwan. His win was quickly followed by another at the Panasonic Open on his home course in New Delhi as Kapur quickly found his long lost form.

In their own words

"In the last two years I tried to make changes that I didn't need too. I just needed a bit of patience. I just have to try to make sure I am not reinventing the wheel. I've gone through a stage where I was second-guessing myself. It's good to put those doubts to rest."

- Kapur, on rediscovering his mojo at the Yeangder Heritage tournament.

MC Mary Kom

What they did in 2017

Mary Kom has made comebacks before. Her latest one, after the disappointment of failing to qualify for the Rio Olympics, was perhaps her most challenging. She was, at 34, very old for a boxer. There were distractions too, Mary balanced motherhood, her role as a Rajya Sabha MP and governmental observer. She also had commitments to her own boxing academy and as a member of the athletes commission. None of this stopped her from going on to win her fifth Asian Championship gold medal, proving it's too early to count her out just yet.

In their own words

"I hope people realise how tough it is. I have been juggling so many roles. I am a mother, I have three sons to take care of. I don't even know how I manage to pull it off sometimes."

- Mary Kom on her balancing act.

Vinesh Phogat

What they did in 2017

Eight months after her horrific injury at the Rio Olympics, Vinesh Phogat returned to win a silver medal at the Asian Wrestling Championships. The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medalist lost to Japan's Sae Nanjo 4-8 in the 55 kg final. Vinesh, representing Railways, also finished with a gold medal in the Nationals after a win over Haryana's Manisha.

In their own words

"For a couple of months, I felt that I had lost everything. That even if I returned to wrestling, I wouldn't be at my best and that I would forget all my movements."

- Vinesh on the injury layoff post Rio Olympics.

Viswanathan Anand

What they did in 2017

Until the closing days of last year, Viswanathan Anand hadn't had particularly splendid results. He had even knocked himself out of contention for the Candidates line-up and a possible World Championship berth. But a last minute sign-up for the World Rapid and Blitz Championships in Riyadh, a tournament and a format he wasn't backing himself to win, changed all of that. A quick win over reigning world champion Magnus Carlsen got his hopes soaring and the five-time world champion soon moved into a three-way tie. Beating Vladimir Fedoseev in a two-game tie break and celebrating with a rare fist-pump, Anand, after five years, once again was a world champion at the age of 48 .

What they said

"It's an absolutely unbelievable feeling and just so unexpected after all the disappointments in rapid chess. Becoming world champion again is the most amazing feeling".

- Anand after winning the world rapid title.

HS Prannoy

What they did in 2017

Prannoy became the first Indian to register wins over the famed triumvirate of Lin Dan, Chen Long and Lee Chong Wei when he defeated Lee and Chen in consecutive rounds at the Indonesia Open. What made the feat even more special was that Prannoy had been out of action for three months before the tournament after a spate of injuries. By the end of the year, he broke into the top 10 in the world rankings and also defeated Kidambi Srikanth in the final of the national championships.

In their own words

"With all these injuries and layoffs and disappointments in the last so many years, I am pretty happy to get to this position but there is a long way to go."

- Prannoy on his achievements in 2017.