With 72 nations expected to participate in the Birmingham Games scheduled to start from July 28, Indian athletes, spearheaded by Tokyo Olympics gold medallist Neeraj Chopra, are expected to do well in this edition too. There is however no shooting at the Games this time and that is likely to dent India’s overall medal count.
TimesofIndia.com here looks at India’s performance at the last six Commonwealth Games from 1998-2018:
1998 Commonwealth Games, Kuala Lumpur (25 medals):
The 1998 Commonwealth Games in Kuala Lumpur were the last of the 20th century, but the first that were held in an Asian country. More team sports like cricket and hockey were included for the first time in the CWG.
India’s history at the Commonwealth Games
The Indian cricket team was led by Ajay Jadeja and had stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble and new entrants to international cricket at the time – VVS Laxman and Harbhajan Singh. India finished third in their group, failing to make the semis and Australia clashed with South Africa in the final, which the Proteas won by 4 wickets.
In men’s hockey, India reached the semifinals but lost to Malaysia and then lost to England on penalties in the bronze medal match.
Overall, India finished in the eighth position on the medal tally with 25 medals (7 gold, 10 silver and 8 bronze). The notable winners were Jaspal Rana (gold in shooting Men’s 25m Pistol), Aparna Popat (silver in badminton Women’s Singles) and Pullela Gopichand (bronze in badminton Men’s Singles).
2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester (69 medals):
The 2002 Commonwealth Games were held in Manchester and India did remarkably well winning a total of 69 medals that had 30 gold, 22 silver and 17 bronze, claiming the fourth spot on the medals tally.
The Indian women’s hockey team, led by Suraj Lata Devi, clinched their first ever Gold medal defeating hosts England 3-2 in the finals.
Apart from hockey, India won 14 gold medals in shooting, 11 gold medals in weightlifting, 3 in wrestling and 1 in boxing.
Indian weightlifters and shooters also bagged 9 and 7 silver medals respectively, 3 silver medals were won in wrestling, while athletics, judo and boxing saw India bag a silver each.
The lone bronze for India in athletics was won by Anju Bobby George, while weightlifters claimed 7 bronze, 3 were bagged by the shooters, 3 in table tennis, and 1 each in judo, boxing and badminton.
2006 Commonwealth Games, Melbourne (50 medals):
The 2006 Commonwealth Games were held in Melbourne and Indian shooter Samresh Jung won the inaugural David Dixon Award that honours the outstanding athlete at each edition of the games. Jung set three new CWG records and won 7 medals, which included 5 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze.
Overall, India again finished at the fourth spot on the medal tally with 22 gold, 17 silver and 11 bronze, for a total of 50 medals. Indian shooters won 16 gold medals, weightlifters won 3 gold medals, 2 gold medals were clinched in table tennis and 1 in boxing.
Indian shooters also won 7 silver, weightlifters won 5, 2 in athletics and boxing each and 1 in women’s hockey.
Indian shooters also claimed 4 bronze, 2 bronze medals were won in badminton and boxing each and 1 each in table tennis, weightlifting and athletics.
2010 Commonwealth Games, New Delhi (101 medals):
The 2010 edition saw the Commonwealth Games being held in India for the first time and India registered their best performance, crossing the 100-medal mark for the first time ever. The Indian contingent won 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze, taking the tally to 101 medals. India finished second spot, behind Australia and ahead of England by 1 gold for their best ever showing at the Games till date.
Indian women athletes stole the limelight from their male counterparts as Krishna Poonia bagged India’s first gold in athletics after 52 years, Geeta Phogat won India’s first ever gold medal in women’s wrestling, Ashwini Ponnappa and Jwala Gutta earned India’s first doubles gold medal in badminton and Saina Nehwal’s gold in women’s singles badminton took the India tally over the 100-mark to 101.
Saina Nehwal. (TOI Photo)
Indian shooters again shot their way to glory winning 14 gold medals, Indian wrestlers grappled their way to 10 gold medals, archers and boxers won 3 gold medals each, 2 gold medals each were won in athletics, weightlifting and badminton, 1 gold medal in table tennis and Somdev Devvarman won India’s lone tennis gold.
Indian shooters also won 11 silver medals, wrestlers won 5 silver medals, 3 silver medals were clinched in athletics, 2 silver medals were won by weightlifters, archers won 1 silver medal, Ashish Kumar won 1 silver medal in gymnastics, 1 silver medal was won in table tennis and badminton each, Sania Mirza settled for the silver in tennis and India after being crushed by Australia 8-0 in the men’s hockey final, also settled for silver.
India won 7 bronze medals in athletics, shooters won 5 bronze medals, weightlifters, wrestlers, archers and boxers won 4 bronze medals each, 3 bronze medals were won in table tennis, 2 bronze medals in tennis and 1 bronze medal was picked up in swimming, gymnastics and badminton each.
2014 Commonwealth Games, Glasgow (64 medals):
The 2014 Commonwealth Games held in Glasgow also saw quite a few Indian athletes creating history. Vikas Gowda (Men’s Discus) won India’s first gold medal in men’s athletics in 56 years. Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal won India’s first CWG gold medal in squash. Parupalli Kashyap became India’s first male shuttler in 32 years to win a gold medal in badminton singles. Dipa Karmakar’s bronze was India’s first ever medal in gymnastics at the international level.
Overall, India won 64 medals (15 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze) to finish at the fifth spot on the medal tally.
Indian wrestlers won 5 gold medals, shooters won 4 gold medals, weightlifters won 3 gold medals, and one gold medal each was picked up came in athletics, squash and badminton.
Dipa Karmakar. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Indian shooters won 9 silver medals, wrestlers won 6 silver medals, weightlifters won 5 silver medals, boxers won 4 silver medals, 2 silver medals came in judo and 1 silver medal in athletics, table tennis, men’s hockey and badminton each.
As far as the bronze medals were concerned – Indian weightlifters won 6 bronze medals, 4 bronze medals went to the shooters. The judokas, wrestlers and shuttlers won 2 bronze medals each and 1 bronze medal was won in gymnastics, boxing and athletics each.
2018 Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia (66 medals)
The 2018 Commonwealth Games were held in Gold Coast and India’s overall medal count went up by 2 medals to 66 medals, which gave them a third place finish on the medal tally. India emerged as the best performing country in weightlifting, shooting, wrestling, badminton and table tennis, and the second best in boxing.
Indian shooters won 7 gold medals, weightlifters and wrestlers won 5 gold medals each, boxers and paddlers won 3 gold medals each, 2 gold medals went to badminton players and Neeraj Chopra won India’s lone gold medal in athletics in javelin throw.
(Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
Indian shooters won 4 silver medals, wrestlers, boxers and shuttlers picked up 3 silver medals each, 2 silver medals were won in squash, table tennis and weightlifting and 1 silver medal was clinched in athletics.
The bronze medal distribution meanwhile was as follows – Indian shooters won 5 bronze medals, wrestlers won 4 bronze medals, 3 bronze medals were won in boxing and table tennis each, 2 bronze medals were won by the weightlifters and 1 bronze medal each was registered in athletics, badminton and parasports.