Even as the commonwealth games hosted down under in Gold Coast reached its seventh day, India seems to be maintaining its favourite hunting ground. India has always enjoyed a prolific record at the commonwealth games. In fact, Indian athletes have won a whopping 101 medals in the 2010 Commonwealth games hosted in New Delhi. In the subsequent 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth games India won 64 medals, there was a reduction in the total number of medals but India still managed to attain the 5th position in the overall medals list.
In the current commonwealth games, Indian athletes have already won 24 medals, including 12 gold medals, 4 silver medals and 8 bronze medals. In the course of winning these medals, India has further strengthened some of its existing stronghold areas such as shooting and weightlifting. In fact, India has also gained prominence in several other sports.
One of the major victories for India in the Gold Coast games has been India’s first mixed doubles badminton gold. India’s badminton contingent combined to deliver this great victory. India defeated Malaysia 3-1 on the back of an amazing performance by Ashwini Ponnappa, Satwik Rankireddy, Kidambi Srikanth and ace shuttler Saina Nehwal. While Ashwini Ponnappa and Srikanth gave India a flying start and Saina Nehwal along with Srikanth wrapped it up beautifully for India. India’s chief national badminton chief, P. Gopichand commented that “A few years ago, it was unimaginable that we could beat Malaysia in team events. I’m glad that our depth is now showing.” This shows how Gold Coast games might be a stepping stone for India’s dominance over the traditionally strong badminton national contingents in this sport.
Similarly, Indian athletes continued their golden run in shooting events as Jitu Ram won a gold medal in the men’s 10m air pistol in a dominating manner. Mehuli Ghosh won silver in women’s 10m air rifle event whereas Om Mitharval won a bronze medal.
The men’s and women’s table tennis teams also put up a flabbergasting performance in their respective events. Both the teams made huge strides and won gold medals. This was for the first time that India won a gold medal in women’s table tennis team event. This is path-breaking and goes on to show how India is on the way of becoming a superpower in table tennis.
In yet another noteworthy performance, weightlifter Punam Yadav pulled off a personal best of 222 kg (110 kg+112 kg) in the 69 kg and India won yet another gold medal in the process. Pradeep Singh also won silver yesterday in weightlifting bringing India its ninth medal in weightlifting. He lifted a total weight of 352 kg in men’s 105 kg category. Earlier, Sathish Kumar Sivalingam had won the gold medal in the men’s 77kg weightlifting category.
Meanwhile MC Mary Kom, who is participating in her last Commonwealth Games, has also advanced to the medals stage. The Indian hockey teams (both men’s and women’s) have also reached the semi-finals. The shuttlers have continued to impress as P.V. Sindhu, Srikanth and Saina Nehwal have all started on a positive note in the individual events, having reached the Round of 16 easily by securing thumping wins over their opponents.
It can be expected that Indian athletes will make further strides and that more medals are in line for India. Hockey teams are showing great promise along with the shuttlers who seem to be in the form of their life. Our athletes have made us proud time and again in the course of the Gold Coast games. It filled our hearts with pride whenever an athlete won a gold medal or for that any other medal and his/ her eyes lit up even as the Tricolour went up. Our athletes deserve all the praise in the world for making us proud at such a crucial international platform. We can expect to only go up from here and probably end up with a better tally than 2014 Glasgow commonwealth games.