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Comeback of the Year nominees: World champ Humpy, resurgent Rupinder & more

Ritu Phogat made her MMA debut in November 2019 in the Age of Dragons event in Beijing, China. ONE Championship

From Koneru Humpy becoming world champion to Ritu Phogat making her big MMA debut, here are the nominees for the Comeback of the Year award.

ESPN India Awards 2019: Full coverage

Koneru Humpy

Humpy won her first World title in December 2019 by winning the the Women's World Rapid Chess Championships in Moscow to cap a remarkable comeback to the sport. The former junior world champion had taken a two-year maternity sabbatical between 2016 and 2018 to look after daughter Ahana and continued to juggle motherhood with the demands of the chess board when she made her return.

Related: Koneru Humpy 2.0: How motherhood helped create a new world champion


Ritu Phogat

The third sister of the Phogat wrestling family, Ritu had no shortage of success on the mat, winning medals at the national and international level - highlighted by a silver medal in the 48kg division at the U-23 World Championships in 2017. However, in 2019, she decided to reinvent herself in the world of mixed martial arts and signed with the One FC promotion. Phogat's target is a World Championship title, and she got her career off to a good start with a first-round stoppage win in Beijing.

Related: Breaking the mould - Ritu Phogat steps from the dangal to the cage


Ramandeep Singh

When Ramandeep turned out for India in the opening match of the FIH Men's Series Finals against Russia in June last year, it was his first international match in 348 days.The forward had suffered a fracture in his right knee during India's match against Pakistan at the FIH Men's Champions Trophy in June 2018 -- keeping him out of the team for the 2018 Asian Games as well as the Men's World Cup in Bhubaneswar 2018.

Related: India beat South Africa to win FIH Series Finals


Rupinder Pal Singh

Rupinder went into depression after he was dropped from the Indian hockey team following a dismal performance at the 2018 Asian Games. It was almost a year before he would be brought back to the side. Since his return though, Rupinder has made rapid strides. In the two-legged Olympic qualifying match against Russia last year, he struck twice via drag flicks in the second match as India punched their ticket for the Tokyo Olympics.

Related: How Rupinder Pal Singh got his groove back


Sushila Chanu

Midfielder Sushila Chanu is one of the mainstays of the Indian women's hockey team but suffered a long layoff due to serious knee ligament injury in 2018. The injury saw her miss missing the Women`s Hockey World Cup, Asian Games and the Women`s Champions Trophy. She eventually returned to the squad in October last year and was a part of the side that beat USA over two legs in the playoffs in November last year for a place in the Olympics.

Related: Magical Rani masterminds U.S. rout as India close in on Tokyo ticket