The gritty boxer from Manipur gave India its first Asian Championship gold in 15 years. A Mike Tyson fan, the 22-year-old flyweight pugilist, however, could not repeat his success in the World Championships at Milan, where he made a first round exit.
Suranjoy worked on his game and returned to win gold at the prestigious AIBA President's Cup in December. The win has only added to his hunger to win medals for India.
8. Saina Nehwal (Badminton):
After a stupendous 2008, wherein she reached the quarterfinals of the Olympics and also won the most 'Promising Player of the Year' award, Saina carried on from where she left last year.
The 19-year-old Indian created history in June when she became the first Indian to win a Super Series title with the Indonesian Open in Djakrata.
She touched her career-high ranking of six in July. Saina was also awarded the Arjuna Award this year for her achievements.
Sports Year-ender 2009