Despite the lack of sports disciplines such as shooting, tennis, archery and Greco-Roman wrestling, India recorded a fabulous campaign at the 2022 Commonwealth Games as the athletes returned home with an impressive 61 medals. India dominated the wrestling and weightlifting games, winning a total of 12 and 10 medals respectively in two sports disciplines.
It was a year of some historic firsts for the Indian contingent at the Games as the country won a medal in lawn bowls for the first time. India also won its first medals at the Commonwealth Games in Steeplechase and Race Walk in Birmingham, making it a memorable affair for the nation.
India’s best-ever performance at the Commonwealth Games was in New Delhi in 2010 as host country. However, the country’s impressive show at Birmingham may be a close second, although the medal tally is less than the 69 medals won in 2002 or 66 medals bagged in 2018.
In 2010, India had won a total of 49 medals in the sporting disciplines missing from the Birmingham Games that year. If these medals are removed from the 101 total, we are left with 52 medals, including 17 gold medals, well short of India’s tally this year.
India debuted at the Commonwealth Games in 1934 and since then has competed in every edition of the flagship event except in 1950, 1962 and 1986. The country has won a total of 564 medals to date, including a staggering 134 medals in shooting. India recorded its best result at the 2010 Games when the country finished second in the medals table.
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Here’s a look at India’s appearances at the Commonwealth Games over the years:
1934 – 12
India debuted at the Commonwealth Games in 1934 after missing the inaugural edition of the competition in 1930. Rashid Anwar won India’s first medal at the 1934 Commonwealth Games when he won a bronze in wrestling.
1958 – 8
India failed to win any medals at the 1938 Games in Sydney, Australia and the 1954 Games in Vancouver, Canada. Their medal drought ended in 1958 when India won two golds and one silver, finishing 8th with a total of three medals. The legendary Milkha Singh won a gold medal in athletics while Lila Ram won gold in wrestling at the 1958 games.
1966 – 8
India again finished 8th at the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Kingston, Jamaica. However, the country achieved a double-digit medal table for the first time. India won ten medals including 3 gold medals at the 1966 Games.
1970 – 6
India continued to improve their placings at the 1970 Commonwealth Games as the Indian athletes put on a better show in Edinburgh, Scotland. Indian athletes returned home with a total of 12 medals including 5 gold medals as the country finished 6th in the medals table.
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1974 – 6th
India again finished sixth in the medals table at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, New Zealand, with 15 medals. Indian athletes won four gold medals and eight silver medals in the competition.
1978 – 6th
At the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, India again finished 6th with a total of 15 medals at this flagship event. Indian athletes won 5 gold medals, 5 silver and 5 bronze medals at the Games.
1982 – 6th
India’s love affair with a sixth-place finish at the Commonwealth Games continued in 1982 when the country again failed to finish in the top five in Brisbane, Australia. Indian athletes returned home with a total of 16 medals, one more than at the 1978 Games, including five gold medals.
1990 – 5
India made it into the top five for the first time at the 1990 Commonwealth Games when the country won an impressive 32 medals at the Games, including 13 gold medals. It was the first time India had surpassed 30 medals in Commonwealth Games history. India dominated the weightlifting and shooting games.
1994 – 6th
At the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Victoria, Canada, India again fell back to sixth place in the medal table. India won a total of 24 medals in the competition, including 6 gold medals – less than half of its gold medal tally at the 1990 Games.
1998 – 7th
India’s performance did not improve much at the 1994 Commonwealth Games in Malaysia as the contingent returned home with just 25 medals total. India continued to sip on the medal tally, finishing 7th at the Games.
2002 – 4th
The likes of Abhinav Bindra, Jaspal Rana, Kunjarani Devi and the Indian women’s ice hockey team won gold medals in their respective sports disciplines while India finished 4th at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Manchester, England with a total of 69 medals. It was India’s best finish in Commonwealth Games history at the time.
2006 – 4th
The Indian contingent continued their great run at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, again reaching half a century mark in medal tally. India won a total of 50 medals including 22 gold medals at the flagship event.
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2010 – 2nd
India’s inspirational run continued at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi. As hosts, India delivered their best performance in Commonwealth Games history by breaking 100 medals for the first time and finishing 2nd. India won a total of 101 medals at the Games, including a whopping 38 gold medals. India has never managed to reach 100 medals at the Games since 2010.
2014 – 5th
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland, India fell to 5th place with a total of 64 medals. India only managed to win 15 gold medals at the 2014 games.
2018 – 3rd
Indian athletes once again impressed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. India finished 3rd in the medal table with 66 medals including 22 gold medals in the multi-sport event. The likes of Mirabai Chanu, Neeraj Chopra, Sushil Kumar and Manika Batra won gold medals in their respective categories at the 2018 Games, among others.
2022 – 4th
India finished 4th at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham this year with a total of 61 medals including 22 gold medals. It was a commendable performance by the Indian contingent as a number of sports such as shooting, tennis and archery were not part of the games. Gold medal winners at the 2022 Games included players such as PV Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu, Nikhat Zareen, and Bajrang Punia.