India has a rich history at the Quadrennial event.
After one of the finest World Athletics Championships of all time for India, it is now time for the much-awaited Commonwealth Games 2022 which is set to begin on July 28. After 19 long years, India’s Neeraj Chopra finally bagged a medal in the World Championships for India. The previous one was won by Anju Bobby George in 2003 in the Long Jump event.
There were many athletes who qualified for the finals this time, including Murali Sreeshankar, Avinash Sable, Annu Rani, Rohit Yadav, and Eldhose Paul. They couldn’t win a medal but made history by reaching the medal event. Well, now it’s time to focus on CWG 2022. But before that, let’s take a look at some of the facts about India’s journey in the Commonwealth Games so far:
Debut in Commonwealth Games
India made its Commonwealth Games debut in 1934 which was the second edition of the Games when it used to be known as the British Empire Games. India finished 12th in that edition with a solitary bronze medal.
Maiden medal for India in CWG
In 1934, wrestler Rashid Anwar won the first medal for the country. The event took place in London and only six Indian athletes participated in that edition. Anwar was an Indian freestyle sports wrestler who also participated in the 1936 Summer Olympics.
First gold for India in the CWG
The first gold medal for India was won by none other than the ‘Flying Sikh’, Milkha Singh, who became victorious in Cardiff in the year 1958. The legendary athlete has won various medals in Asian Games history as well.
Women’s first medal in CWG history.
The duo of Ami Ghia and Kanwal Thakar Singh became the first-ever Indian women to win a CWG medal in Badminton. They won bronze in 1978 in Edmonton, Canada. But that edition is mainly remembered for Prakash Padukone’s gold medal in men’s singles.
India’s second gold medal in CWG history.
Discus Thrower Krishna Poonia gave India its second gold in the year 2010, in an event that took place in Delhi. This gold came after a long gap of 52 years. In the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she failed to qualify for the finals but wrote history in the 2010 CWG.
India was medal-less on two occasions
India returned home without any medals from the CWG only on two occasions – 1938 (Sydney) and 1954 (Vancouver). Apart from these two editions, India has always won at least a medal in CWG history.
Number of medals India won in Commonwealth history so far
So far, India has collected 503 medals to date. The numbers are mind-blowing and players would be looking to increase the tally this time. Though the current edition doesn’t include Shooting and Archery, one can expect the team to give their 100 per cent in the remaining events.
Most successful Indian athlete in the CWG to date
The most successful Indian athlete at the CWG to date is the shooter, Jaspal Rana. He has won 15 medals in the Commonwealth Games. Overall, he has earned more than 600 medals at the national and international levels. The legendary shooter had won a gold medal in the 1994 Asian Games held in Hiroshima and for that brilliant performance, he received the honour of the Arjuna Award just at the age of 18.
Number of players participating in the 2022 CWG
322 members are participating this time in Birmingham, which is a good number. The nation’s most significant contingent was during the 2010 CWG held in Delhi when a total of 495 athletes participated.
Overall performance of India in CWG history
India has never finished outside the top five in the medal tally since the 2002 CWG in Manchester. Since 2000, India’s performance graph at the Commonwealth Games has always seen growth. This time as well, athletes are confident in producing another top-notch performance with the aim of bagging more gold medals than in the previous edition.