The dice has been cast: the country’s 215-strong contingent participating in the 11-day long Commonwealth Games at Glasgow would pull their socks up to put India in the third rank, if not the second in the list of medal winning nations. Currently at the fourth place behind the host Scotland in the medal winning nations’ list, India is virtually rampaging through the events in the Games. Indian officials seem optimistic enough to win sufficient gold medals in weightlifting, wrestling and other events of the total 14 sports the country is participating at Glasgow. Officials of the Indian Olympic Association, the body which is responsible for selecting athletes for Olympic Games, Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games, maintain that had sports like Greco-Roman wresting, archery and tennis not been removed from Glasgow Games, India would have been in a position to repeat the 2010 Commonwealth Games’ feat.
In 2010, the country had won seven medals ( four gold, one silver and two bronze) in the Greco-Roman wrestling category, while it had clinched a combined 12 medals from archery and tennis. Also, there were as many as 21 sports played at the 2010 Games, this time around, the number of sports has been reduced to 18 at Glasgow. Nevertheless, the freestyle contingent looks very strong and is expected to win a significant number of medals to India’s overall tally. Even women wrestlers are showing promises.
In the last edition of the Commonwealth Games, they had clinched three gold, two silver and a bronze medal. Next to wrestling, it is shooting which is expected to contribute to the tally. Out of 101 medals India had won in the last edition of the Commonwealth Games, 30 had come from shooting alone.
True to its fame, at the 20th edition of Games also, Indian shooters have shown that they have mettle to win medals. As per a few results at the time of writing, Jitu Rai broke the past Commonwealth Games record to march into the 50-men’s pistol finals as he amassed 562 points and finished top of the standings at the Barry Buddon Shooting Centre on July 28. While he won gold his teammates Gurpal Singh and Gagan Narang won silver in the 50-metre men’s pistol category and 50-metre rifle prone category. In the shooting double trap event, Shrevasi Singh won silver medal among women, while Asab Mohammad gave Indian fans another moment of pride by winning the bronze medal in the men’s double trap event.
Buoyant Mood in the Indian camp at Glasgow Games
In any case, the mood is buoyant in the Indian camp which is represented by its largest ever contingent at the Games. After India, it is Canada which has sent a 265-strong team to Scotland, its largest ever for the Commonwealth Games in which a total 4,500 athletes from 71 nations of the former British empire are competing for the top honours. For the first time, the highest number of para-sporting events with 22 gold medals is also up for grabs. Amid this brouhaha for excellence, what India is missing desperately at Glasgow is – golden feet in athletics. In the New Delhi held Games, the country had won 12 medals, including two gold medals in athletics. But this time, chances of repeat of the 2010 feat are in the realm of speculation. Lack of preparation ahead of the Games and struggle for form among players has weakened the prospect of emphatic win in athletics.
However, hopes are pinned on defending women’s discus throw champion Krishna Poonia and Vikas Gowda in men’s discus throw category and Arpinder Singh in men’s triple jump category. Trained under 1972 Olympics gold medalist Mac Wilkins at Chula Vista in the United States for two-and-a-half month prior to the Glasgow games, Krishna Poonia has claimed that she would defend her Commonwealth Games gold medal in Scotland. Thus going by her claim, she is not going to leave any chance for any oops moment at the Games.
In the weightlifting category, meanwhile, Satish Sivalingam has given his fans a fantastic moment of joy. In the 77 kg category he won gold and his team mate Ravi Katulu got the silver medal. Punam Yadav has also brought a moment of pride for India by winning a bronze medal in the 63 kg women’s weightlifting category. Nonetheless, eyes are trained on Indian boxers. In the 2010 Games, they had won seven medals, including three gold. But this time around they are able to repeat the same performance at Glasgow, has to be watched.
Interestingly, for the first time in the Commonwealth Games history, women’s boxing has been introduced in three weight categories—51kg, 60 kg and 75 kg. Indian women boxers like L Saritha Devi, the former Asian champion are also participating the Games. Besides, sports like hockey and badminton are what supposed to spike India’s tally at the Games, opened by Queen Elizabeth II at the iconic Celtic Park at Glasgow amid much fanfare on July 23.
Indian Players Winning gold medals in CWG 2014
|Sanjita Khumukchan||women’s 48 kg weightlifting|
|Sukhen Dey||men’s 56 kg weightlifting|
|Abhinav Bindra||men’s 10 metre air rifle shooting|
|Apurvi Chandela||women’s 10 metre air rifle shooting|
|Rahi Sarnobat||women’s 25 metre pistol shooting|
|Satish Sivalingam||men’s 77 kg weightlifting|
|Jitu Rai||men’s 50 metre pistol shooting|
|Amit Kumar||men’s freestyle 57 kg wrestling|
|Vinesh Phogat||women’s freestyle 48 kg wrestling|
|Sushil Kumar||men’s freestyle 74 kg wrestling|
Medals Tally of CWG 2014 at Glasgow
|16||Papua New Guinea||2||0||0||2|
|23||Trinidad and Tobago||0||2||3||5|
|27||Isle of Man||0||1||0||1|