The quadrennial event had numerous memorable highlights that will stay fresh in the hearts of the fans for years.

The 2022 Commonwealth Games finally came to a sensational end in Birmingham. For the past few days, the multi-sport event saw high-profile athletes from multiple countries take part in various disciplines, with the sole aim to win a maximum number of medals. India sent a 210-member team to the event and they gave the fans back home 61-medal reasons to be happy.

The Indian contingent won 61 total medals at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Out of the 61 medals, 22 were golds, 16 were silvers and 23 were bronze medals. Overall, it was a very successful campaign by the Indian athletes, one which they can be proud of.

There were several disappointing results as well during the 2022 CWG. However, Indian athletes come home with a lot of education and experience. Here is a review of Indian athletes’ performance and their memorable moments from the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham:

The Golden Stars

Indian athletes won 22 gold medals at the multi-sport event. There were several individuals who were expected to come home with gold around their necks, while many were surprise winners. P.V. Sindhu and Lakshya Sen were unstoppable on their way to gold in badminton singles. Mirabai Chanu was in a league of her own in weightlifting.

Sharath Kamal showed that age is just a number after winning multiple medals at the games. He won three golds and a silver to reaffirm his status as a champion and an inspiration.

Sharath Kamal Commonwealth Games
Young at heart Sharath Kamal clinched 3 gold and 1 silver medal at Commonwealth Games 2022 (Courtesy: Twitter/@sharathkamal1)

There was complete dominance in wrestling as Vinesh Phogat, Ravi Kumar, Sakshi Malik, Naveen, Deepak Punia and Bajrang Punia all winning golds. Infact, each wrestler that was part of the Indian squad is returning with a medal. An iconic gold medal, the first-ever for India in Lawn Bowls by the women’s team won millions of hearts back home.

Boxing saw dominance by Nikhat Zareen, Amit Panghal and Nitu Ghanghas who all won gold in their respective categories. Eldhose Paul won gold in the men’s triple-jump, which was one of the highest moments for the country at the games.

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Iconic Moments

Some athletes broke the ceiling and surprised everyone in attendance and even perhaps themselves with their performances. Avinash Sable delivered his personal best and set a new national record to break Kenya’s hegemony in the men’s 3000m steeplechase event.

He won an iconic silver for his efforts. Sharath Kamal won four medals in table tennis across multiple categories, proving to be the most successful individual for India.

Lakshya Sen
Lakshya Sen celebrating with hands in the air after his singles gold medal win was one of the most iconic moments of CWG 2022 (Courtesy: Twitter/@BengaluruBulls)

There were three occasions where there were two Indians on the podium. First, Eldhose Paul took gold and Abdulla Aboobacker won silver in the men’s triple jump event. Then, in men’s singles in table tennis, Sharath Kamal won gold while Sathiyan Gnanasekaran won bronze. In badminton, Lakshya Sen picked up gold while Kidambi Srikanth won bronze in the men’s singles. 

The Firsts

Many Indian athletes wrote their names in history by becoming first-ever winners in many disciplines. The Indian women’s team won the first-ever gold in lawn bowls. India managed to win a men’s doubles gold at the Commonwealth Games badminton event with Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty doing the business. Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula won the first-ever gold in the mixed doubles category in table tennis for India.

Lawn Bowls
India clinched its first-ever medal at Lawn Bowls courtesy these four women (Courtesy: Twitter)

Saurav Ghoshal won India’s first-ever medal in singles squash category by securing the bronze. Tejaswin Shankar won bronze, which was the country’s first-ever medal in the high-jump event at a CWG. Eldhose Paul won India’s first-ever gold in the men’s triple jump event.

Murali Sreeshankar became the first Indian to win a silver medal in the men’s long jump. Annu Rani also made history, as she became the first Indian female javelin thrower to win a medal, a bronze, at the Commonwealth Games as well.

The Disappointments

There were a few setbacks that definitely played spoilsport in an otherwise very successful campaign. Olympic medalist and favourite for a medal in boxing, Lovlina Borgohain returned home empty-handed from the 2022 CWG. The Indian men’s hockey team reached the final, but were decimated 7-0 by Australia and had to settle for silver.

Indian women's cricket team Commonwealth Games
Indian women’s cricket team returns with silver after being agonisingly close to winning the gold medal (Courtesy: Twitter/@WeAreTeamIndia)

Defending champions in women’s team table tennis, India were knocked out by Malaysia. Manika Batra had a campaign to forget, as she failed to win any medals. The Indian women’s cricket team were mighty close to winning the first-ever gold in cricket, but lost the final to Australia in a nail-biter. 

Comparison to 2018 Commonwealth Games 

In contrast, a few Indian athletes lifted their performance as a whole from the 2018 edition which took place on the Gold Coast, Australia. Despite the absence of shooting, which delivered seven gold medals four years ago, India came close to matching the 26 golds they won in 2018. Indian wrestlers won six golds as compared to five last time around.

Indian men & women's hockey teams
Both Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams return with medals from CWG 2022 (Courtesy: Hockey India)

P.V. Sindhu went one step better and secured gold while she had to settle for silver in 2018. India won three golds in table tennis on the Gold Coast, but will take home four golds medals from the sport this time. Medals in lawn bowls and hockey were not won in 2018, but India return with medals in both disciplines from Birmingham.

Clearly, there was an improvement across the board by the Indian contingent. India’s medal tally could have surpassed the total count from 2018, if shooting was part of the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

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