India shines at the CWG 2022

The past week has been stunning for the Indian contingent at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Our athletes shone at the event that was held in Birmingham, England. The Indian team consisted of 106 male athletes and 102 female athletes, competing in over 16 sports.

India ended its campaign at the CWG, 2022 on a high note with a total of 61 medals (22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze) and was placed 4th in the medals tally. Not only did we earn medals from stronghold sports like Badminton, Wrestling, etc but also from unexpectedly exceeding performances in Athletics and Lawn Bowls.

The Indian contingent at the CWG 2022(right)

 PV Sindhu and Manpreet Singh were the flag bearers for India(left) 

The CWG 2022 were held between 28th July and 8th August. Despite the removal of sports like shooting and archery which were dominated by Indian athletes, it is fair to say that India has performed phenomenally at the games! 

India opened its medal tally on 30th July after Sanket Sargar won a silver medal in the Men’s 55kg category in Weightlifting. The stream of wins in this sport seemed to be never-ending after Sargar’s initial win. Mirabai Chanu, Jeremy Lalrinnunga, and Achinta Sheuli made the country proud by winning gold in their respective weight categories. Bindyarani Devi and Vikas Thakur won silver medals alongside Sanket Sargar. Gururaja Poojary, Harjinder Kaur, Lovepreet Singh, and Gurpreet Singh also shone by winning bronze medals. The highlight of this event though was our Para Powerlifter Sudhir who also won a gold medal. India in fact bagged the highest number of medals(10) in weightlifting amongst all the other competing countries.

 Sanket Mahadev Sargar in action during medal contention in Men’s 55kg category.

Another sport where India dominated the games was Wrestling, our wrestlers outdid themselves by fetching India all 12 out of the 12 medals we could bag in the sport. Vinesh Phogat, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Naveen Malik, and Deepak Punia were all contenders for the gold medal in their respective categories and none of them disappointed us. Anshu Malik won the silver medal and Deepak Nehra, Pooja Sihag, Pooja Gehlot, Mohit Grewal, and Divya Kakran put up a fierce fight for their well-deserved bronze medals.

 Olympic Bronze medallist Sakshi Malik celebrating her maiden CWG gold medal

Further, India’s campaign in racket sports was also not something one would want to miss. Our quick paddlers won India 7 medals (4 gold, 2 bronze, and 1 silver) in the sport of Table Tennis. As the reigning champions in the men’s team event, we defended the gold medal with our tact and brilliance. A better performance was expected from the women’s team who, unfortunately, crashed out of medal contention. Regardless, the overall performance of the paddlers was certainly commendable! 

Sharath Kamal, Harmeet Desai, Sanil Shetty and Saathiyan Gunasekaran defended the gold medal at CWG 2022.

Indian shuttlers also fought hard to defend the mixed team gold medal but went down after fighting tooth and nail against another badminton superhub Malaysia in the finals, and had to settle for silver. Our star shuttlers, PV Sindhu, Lakshya Sen, Chirag Shetty, Kidambi Srikant, Satwik Rankireddy, Jolly Treesa and Gayatri Pullela most certainly gave their best performances to bring medals back home. 

Indian shuttlers after winning the silver medal in the mixed team event.

Lastly, no one will forget the historical feat Saurav Ghosal achieved in the Men’s singles in Squash. He became the first Indian to win a singles medal in Squash at the CWG after winning a Bronze medal against his best friend, James Willstrop from England. Saurav Ghosal once again alongside Dipika Pallikal made us proud as they won the bronze medal in the mixed doubles category.

Saurav Ghosal cried tears of happiness after winning the historic Bronze medal.

Coming to all the team events, India participated in Field Hockey, Cricket and Lawn Bowls this year at the CWG. Our men and women of hockey most certainly did surprise us with their performance at the Olympics and it was no less in the CWG too. Our men in blue grabbed the silver medal whereas our women in blue won a thriller shootout to grab the bronze medal. Female cricket was introduced at this year’s CWG, and the Indian team missed out on gold by just 9 runs. Nevertheless, we hold nothing but pride in our hearts for our women in blue!

Another one of the biggest highlights in CWG 2022, was the Lawn Bowls medals. The women’s team of four won a historic gold medal. Winning their very first medal for the country, the men’s team of four too managed to reach the finals but had to settle for the silver medal.

Women in Blue after winning the gold medal in Lawn Bowls at the CWG 2022.

Indian boxers too made a name for themselves at the CWG 2022. Our boxers brought back 7 medals (3 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze). World Champions Nikhat Zareen, Nitu Ghangas, and Amit Panghal won their bouts and performed magnificently, winning  the gold medal. 

Nikhat Zareen after winning her maiden CWG gold medal

Lastly, coming to sports that stunned us again. Our medal stint in Athletics was filled with some very pleasantly unexpected performances. Whether it was triple jump, 10,000 m walk, 3000 m steeplechase or javelin throw, Indian athletes sought historical feats and made the country proud by bringing home 8 medals.

Our Judokas followed by bagging 3 medals in the sport. Shushila Devi, Tulika Mann, and Vijay Yadav won silver medals and a bronze medal respectively for their commendable performances in their sport.

 Murali Sreeshankar after winning the silver medal in long jump

The show put up by our athletes at the Commonwealth Games was certainly thrilling and a treat to watch. Each medal and performance made us proud and proved that Indians should never be underestimated. The feeling of watching our flag on the podium was nothing short of beautifully surreal and hearing our national anthem echo in the stadium, undoubtedly sent shivers down our spines. Whether it be Boxing, Athletics, Squash, Cricket or Swimming our athletes did not disappoint. The Indian contingent now has its  stage set for the Paris Olympics 2024, their hard work coupled with the unwavering support of the citizens of the nation is bound to bring marvelous results. The future of sports in India, thus, seems extremely bright at the moment and I hope it shines this radiantly forever. 

-Rukmini Salodkar

SY.Bsc Economics

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