After a memorable run at the Tokyo Olympics last year, the Indian contingent once again roared and inspired at the recently concluded 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham. The full squad of Team India consisted of multiple medal contenders such as PV Sindhu, Indian Men’s Hockey Team led by Manpreet Singh, Indian Women’s Cricket Team led by Harmanpreet Kaur, Mirabai Chanu, Sharath Kamal, Bajrang Punia-rigid wrestling camp.
While many big names and strong medal contenders didn’t disappoint, a few relatively unknown players and sports stars also made an impression. I bet not many would have googled lawn bowls before the women’s team achieved gold while the men’s team settled for silver. So there were some positives for India as the star-studded side held the national flag high throughout the tournament. Here’s a relive of the top five team or individual performances from the games:
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1) Exceptional run of badminton team: Badminton remained one of India’s strongest disciplines at the flagship event in Birmingham. In the mixed team event, defending champions India lost 3-1 to Malaysia in the summit battle to settle for silver. Overall, however, there were many highlights.
Chirag Shetty-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy won gold in men’s doubles. Treesa Jolly-Gayatri Gopichand won bronze by defeating Australian pairing Hsuan-Yu Wendy Chen/Gronya Somerville in women’s doubles. Kidambi Srikanth took bronze in the individual while 20-year-old Lakshya Sen won gold in the same category.
Shuttle superstar PV Sindhu won her first gold at the Games, defeating Canada’s Michelle Li 21-15, 21-13 to complete a CWG (gold, silver and bronze) set.
2) Dominance of wrestlers: Among all sports, wrestling remained the most successful for Team India at CWG 2022 with up to 12 medals. For the inexperienced, all dozen wrestlers had returned with medals at Gold Coast 2018 and they managed to repeat the same this time.
The likes of Bajrang Punia, Deepak Punia, Ravi Dahiya, Vinesh Phogat and Sakshi Malik each won a gold medal, while the likes of Pooja Sihag, Mohit Grewal, Naveen Sihag and Divya Kakran also returned as CWG 2022 medalists.
3) Sharath Kamal – The veteran who has won more gold medals than 56 countries at CWG’22: Sharath Kamal, 40, ended with a rollicking campaign in CWG’22. The table tennis player took three gold medals and one silver medal for India at the recently concluded 2022 edition. Sharath won gold medals in men’s team, mixed doubles and men’s singles, while settling for silver in the men’s doubles category at Birmingham 2022.
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4) The success of the Lawn Bowls team: Not many Indians would be aware of this sport if it weren’t for the hype the men’s and women’s teams created for their performances in CWG’22. The women’s team of four – consisting of Lovely Choubey, Pinki, Nayanmoni Saikia and Rupa Rani – defeated South Africa in the final to help India win its first gold and medal at the Lawn Bowl Games.
The men’s team, which included players like Sunil Bahadur, Navneet Singh, Chandan Kumar Singh and Dinesh Kumar, took the silver medal after losing to Northern Ireland. The country had previously achieved a best-of-fourth place – in the women’s triples event in 2010 and the men’s fours event in 2014.
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5) Mirabai Chanu Rigid Weightlifter: After her resounding success at Tokyo 2020, Mirabai continued to climb the ladder, finishing with gold in her 49kg category with a total of 201kg. Not only Mirabai, but also many weightlifters amazed with their performances on the big stage. Achinta Sheuli (Gold), Jeremy Lalrinnunga (Gold), Gurdeet Singh (Bronze), Vikas Thakur (Silver), Harjinder Kaur (Bronze) etc. roared to get noticed.
India won 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze medals at the games in the 2022 edition. Out of the 61 medals total, India accounted for a staggering 12 medals in wrestling and 10 in weightlifting as the two sports disciplines were big for the Indian contingent at Birmingham 2022 stood out.