India’s Prospects For Gold At The Birmingham Commonwealth Games

Jul 27, 2022, 15:40 IST

Games

Image: Instagram

India’s medal record in the Commonwealth Games has increased considerably over time. In the 2010 edition, when the Games were held in New Delhi, it won the most medals ever. More than 1.3 billion people’s aspirations are resting on the shoulders of the more than 200 athletes that have qualified for the quadrennial finale in Birmingham, England, in 2022.

India won a total of 66 medals at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, including 26 Golds. Major sports including shooting (seven), weightlifting (five), wrestling (five), boxing (three), table tennis (three), badminton (two), and athletics (one) all earned gold medals.

The list of sports in this edition, though, no longer includes shooting. India’s medal total hence might not be as high as in the previous competition. The athletes and groups listed below might win gold medals in the upcoming competition, which officially begins on July 28, 2022.

Athletics
Javelin thrower Annu Rani who advanced to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics final would be vying for gold. She would face tough competition from Jamaican and Australian athletes, though, and has been preparing for it.

Badminton
Badminton
Lakshya Sen; Image: Instagram

India has a tremendous potential to take home at least four gold medals in badminton. Loh Kean Yew, the reigning world champion from Singapore, and Lee Zii Jia, a Malaysian, would compete fiercely against Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth. Since Michelle Lee of Canada, who is rated as her top rival but has never defeated PV Sindhu, there is less competition for Sindhu.
India chance of taking home the gold in men’s doubles rests on Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty, who are in top form. In the BWF World Rankings, their main rivals, who are from Malaysia, are just positioned one spot above them. The mixed team gold, which is decided by a best-of-five series of matches between two nations in the five categories of men’s singles, women’s singles, men’s doubles, women’s doubles, and mixed doubles, may thus be won by India if they excel in these three disciplines.

Boxing
Boxing
Nikhat Zareen; Image: Instagram

The current world champion Nikhat Zareen, together with Amit Panghal, who won silver at the World Championships, and Lovlina Borgohain, who won bronze at the Olympics, will serve as the face of the Indian boxing team. These three athletes have a good chance of winning gold for India, although Mohammad Hussamuddin and Shiva Thapa might stun everyone with their willpower as well.

Cricket
Cricket
Image: Twitter

India might have a difficult time winning gold in the women’s T20 category, which will be played in cricket at the CWG in 2022. In all likelihood, it would have to compete against favourites England from home in the semi-finals. If they were to defeat England, they would have to defeat Australia in the championship match, which is quite difficult in itself, yet Indian women have accomplished it in the past. If they manage to win the gold, it may be a huge surprise, but we cannot write them out.

Hockey
Hockey
Image: Twitter

Australia, the current silver medalist from Tokyo Olympics, will face a fierce challenge from the Indian men’s team in their battle for gold. India defeated Germany to win the bronze in the same competition, giving them the capabilities to compete with and even defeat the Australians.
The Indian women’s hockey team put on a fantastic performance even though they were unable to go past the round of eight in the recently held Women’s Hockey World Cup 2022. At the group stage, they drew with China and England then fell 3-4 to New Zealand after giving up a very late goal. They lost 0–1 even in the cross-over match against Spain due to a goal in the 57th minute. Therefore, while not a gold medal contender outright, the Indian women’s hockey squad has the ability to surprise everyone occasionally.

Table Tennis
Table Tennis
Manika Batra; Image: Twitter

India made history in the most recent Commonwealth Games by winning three gold medals in table tennis, with the men’s team, women’s team, and Manika Batra taking first place in the women’s singles.

India once again has the strongest shot at taking home the gold in both the men’s and women’s team events if the current global TT rankings are used as the standard of comparison. India might win individual gold if Batra in the women’s singles and Sathiyan Ganasekaran or Sharath Kamal in the men’s singles could maintain their composure.

Weightlifting
Weightlifting
Mirabai Chanu, Image: Twitter

Wrestling and weightlifting were India’s two main gold mines at Gold Coast, following shooting. Indian weightlifters Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, Bindyarani Devi, and Gururaja Poojary, who have all lately put up outstanding performances, are carrying the aspirations for their country this year as well.

While Bindyarani won gold at the 2021 World Championships, Chanu earned silver at the Olympics. In December 2021, Gururaja took ninth place in the world championships and took home a silver medal at the Commonwealth Championships. Punam Yadav, who took home the gold in the 76 kg division in the 2018 CWG, is also a gold medal prospect this time.

Wrestling
Wrestling
Ravi Kumar Dahiya Image: Instagram

Ravi Kumar Dahiya and Bajrang Poonia brought home significant silver and bronze medals for India in the Olympics in 2020. If not for a few of little errors, Deepak Punia and Vinesh Phogat may also have received medals. These four, together with Rio 2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and 2021 Asian Championships champion Divya Kakran, are India’s top gold medal chances.

Also read: Olympian Neeraj Chopra Misses Out On CWG Due To Injury, Feels Disappointed