She was born on the 11th of December 1969 at Debagram, a small town in the Nadia district of West Bengal. Jyotirmoyee had Athletics and sports spirit running in her veins as her father had himself been a former Pole Vaulter. She made her tryst with Athletics at a very young age, and Satyaram Roy, her mentor spotted her immense talent quite soon.
Sikdar first came into limelight when she debuted with a bang in the National Athletics in the year 1992 at the All India Open Meet. In her first ever national level athletics meet she managed to grab a Silver Medal in the 800m race. The very next year, Jyotirmoyee won a Gold Medal at the Open National Athletics Meet 1993. In the year 1994, she created a new National Record and won the Gold Medal in the 1500m race event at the National Athletics Meet. She also created a new National Record in the 800m race in 1995.
Jyotirmoyee made her International debut with the Dhaka South Asian Federation (SAF) Games 1993 wherein she won a Silver Medal in the 1500m event. Further, she clinched a Gold Medal in the same event at the Singapore Open Athletics Championship 1993. She even outclassed Shiny Abraham’s timing in 800m event at the Trials for Asiad Games, and at the Hiroshima Asian Games 1994 she managed to finish at 4th place in the 1,500m event.
Further, Jyotirmoyee participated in 4×400 relay race at the World Railway Meet 1994 held at London, and won a Gold Medal in the event. She underwent a short training in Germany while she was participating in a tournament over there, and improved her performance in the middle distance races. Apart from participating in the World Athletics Championship held at Sweden, she grabbed a Gold Medal in 800m and a Silver Medal in 4x400m relay race at the Asian Track & Field Meet 1995 held at Jakarta. In the year 1996 she participated in 4×400 relay race event at the Atlanta Olympics and won a Gold Medal in 400m race at Taipei. She was named the Indian Railways Best Sportsperson of the year 1996. Sikdar participated in the International ITC Athletics Meet twice, and won a Bronze Medal in the year 1994 and a Gold & Silver Medal in 1997.
In the year 1997, she participated at the Asian Track & Field Meet held at Fukoka (Japan), and won Bronze Medals in both 800m and 1500m events, coupled with a Silver Medal in the 4x400m relay event. The best performance of Jyotirmoyee’s career was delivered by her at the Bangkok Asian Games 1998, when she gave the best timing of her career in 800m with 2:01.00 seconds and in 1500m with 4:12.82 seconds. She won a Gold Medal in both of these events, while she grabbed a Silver Medal in the 4×400 relay event too.
After playing a long successful innings as an accomplished Athlete for India, Jyotirmoyee Sikdar jumped into the Political arena joining hands with the Communist Party of India (Marxist) (CPI-M) in the year 2004. In the 14th Lok Sabha Elections 2004, she contested from the Krishnagar Lok Sabha Constituency of West Bengal upon a ticket issued by the CPI-M, and emerged successful in the Political field as well, grabbing 3,97,561 votes and beating her rival candidate Satyabrata Mookherjee from BJP.
Awards & Honors
To commemorate her outstanding performance as a sportsperson at the National and International levels, and to recognize the contribution made by her to the nation bringing laurels to the nation in various events, the Government of India honored Jyotirmoyee Sikdar with an Arjuna Award in the year 1995. Further, in the year 1998 she was bestowed upon the greatest Indian sports award, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna. Sikdar was the first Athlete ever to be honored with this prestigious award.
- Gold in the 800 meters in the 1995 Asian Track and Field Meet in Jakarta
- Gold medals in 800 m and 1500 m events in the 1998 Asian Games
- Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna for 1998-99