Our country is not yet a force to reckon with in the Olympics, but they have always done decently in Commonwealth games.
The Commonwealth games don’t enjoy the same reputation as the Olympics, but every four years, they provide a platform for a large number of Indian athletes to make a name for themselves.
Starting from April 4, 225 Indian athletes across 15 disciplines will start their struggles for tiny pieces of metal at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.
India’s best performance in the games came in 2010 when the games were held in the national capital New Delhi. Our country managed 101 medals and finished second in the overall tally. In the next edition, we could manage only 64 medals in Glasgow.
This time we have a bigger contingent and we expect an improvement on our overall performance in the last edition. Here’s our take on major medal hopes for India at Commonwealth Games 2018:
India will have a strong presence in mixed team event as well as men and women singles events. We expect India to claim gold medals in the team event and women singles. We might even witness a Sindhu-Saina showdown in the final. The likes of Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy will have to overcome the challenge from Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia in men’s singles event.
Twelve boxers, eight male and four female, will represent the Tricolour in Australia. Olympic medal winner Mary Kom will be the most famous name in the Indian squad. Besides the experienced Manipuri boxer, Vikas Krishnan, Manoj Kumar, Sarita Devi and Pinki Rani are another major medal hopes for us. In the last edition, we failed to win a gold, but managed five medals in total in boxing. We expect a much better return this time.
We will have a strong representation in weightlifting. In 2014, we claimed 14 awards in this sport, and we expect to see similar numbers this time around. The likes of Saikhom Chanu, Sathish Shivalingam and Sanjita Khumukchan are prime candidates to claim the gold in their respective weight categories.
We have regularly done well in Wrestling in international tournaments, and this Commonwealth games shouldn’t be an exception. In Scotland, we claimed 13 medals, including five gold medals, in the sport. Olympic medal winners Sakshi Malik and Sushil Kumar will spearhead our medal hopes in wrestling. Besides these two, Vinesh and Babita Phogat, Bajrang Punia and Rahul Aware will be favourites claim the gold in their respective weight categories.
In 2014, we were the best-performing nation in Shooting with 17 medals. The decision to drop team events from this Commonwealth games is likely to result in a lower medal return this time. However, we should still reach double figures in the sport. Experienced shooters like Gagan Narang, Sanjeev Rajput, Chain Singh, Jitu Rai, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Heena Sindhu will be favourites to end up on the podium. Manu Bhaker, Mehuli Ghosh, Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar will also vie for medals in their respective events.