When the pre-event predictions were happening for Commonwealth Games 2022, there was one concern regarding the Indian contingent. What will the impact be on the medal tally of missing out on 16 medals from one sport? At 2018 Gold Coast, India had won seven gold, four silver and five bronze from shooting events alone in the total of 66 medals overall. But at the end of Birmingham 2022, despite shooting’s absence, India reached a tally of 61 medals to finish with a solid showing.
Here’s a recap of the medals won by India sport by sport, with special moments highlighted.
(Note: The images are in a carousel, use arrows left and right to view all)
|Saikom Mirabai Chanu||Women's 49kg||GOLD|
|Jeremy Lalrinnunga||Men's 67kg||GOLD|
|Achinta Sheuli||Men's 73kg||GOLD|
|Sanket Sargar||Men's 55kg||SILVER|
|Bindyarani Devi||Women's 55kg||SILVER|
|Vikas Thakur||Men's 96kg||SILVER|
|Gururaja Poojary||Men's 61kg||BRONZE|
|Harjinder Kaur||Women's 71kg||BRONZE|
|Lovepreet Singh||Men's 109kg||BRONZE|
|Gurdeep Singh||Men's 109+kg||BRONZE|
There is only one place to start this recap: the sport that gave India the first medal of the Games as well as the first gold medal. The weightlifters, like in 2018, opened the account for India and delivered on expectations that they typically carry at CWG.
For Mirabai Chanu, the biggest competitor was herself at the Commonwealth Games. It was Mirabai vs Mirabai as we had written on these pages in the preview and she delivered in style.
Sanket Sargar clinched India’s first medal of the games and it has been quite the journey for him from Sangli to Birmingham. The sight of him finishing the event with an elbow injury was bittersweet but he seemed determined to bring home the gold and took a risk.
Jeremy Lalrinnunga had made history at the Youth Olympic Games by becoming the first individual gold medallist from India but the ride hasn’t been smooth since with injury worries. The gold in Birmingham was hard-earned and hopefully the start of better things on the senior circuit
India’s third gold medal in weightlifting came from Achinta Sheuli. He has been weaving his own path to gold in Birmingham. And, as he said after his gold, he doesn’t want to stop here.
Vikas Thakur kept up his fine record at the Commonwealth Games, winning a third medal in his career, this time silver in men’s 96kg. His celebration was memorable too with the thigh-five on stage.
There was bronze medals for P Gururaja, Harjinder Kaur, Lovepreet Singh and Gurdeep Singh that saw India finish top of the weightlifting standings with 10 medals overall.
And before we move on, a wonderful gesture by Samoa’s veteran Vaipava Nevo Ioane to put the garland around Jeremy Lalrinnunga’s neck as a mark of friendship.
It came really late in the night in India, but it was a special medal as Sudhir created history in Para Powerlifting for India at CWG.
Rupa Rani Tirkey. Pinki Nayanmoni Saikia. Lovely Choubey
How special was that? A group of women made us learn a sport when they created history by reaching the final. And then they then went one step further to win gold.
After the women, the men’s fours team too reached the final as Sunil Bahadur, Navneet Singh, Chandan Kumar Singh and Dinesh Kumar bagged silver
Judoka Shushila Devi Likmabam added Birmingham 2022 silver to her Glasgow 2014 silver.
Then came Tulika Maan, who really wanted that gold medal. You could see how devastated she was at the end of her final. It was a tough journey for her to Birmingham. And she finished with a silver medal she can be proud of.
Vijay Kumar Yadav overcame defeat to win bronze medal through repechage as Indian judokas added three medals to India’s tally.
Before CWG began, Saurav Ghosal spoke to Scroll.in about how driven he was to add some golden gloss to his collection. The place on top of the podium was not to be but he created history when he became the first singles medallist ever from India at CWG in squash. The emotions at the end showed what it meant to him
Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal Karthik then combined to win the mixed doubles bronze, reiterating their status as two of the best squash players India has produced. For Dipika, the medal was another feather in her cap after returning to the sport from a maternity break.
Plenty of medals to speak about throughout this article buthow exciting was it to see Anahat Singh in action? A great talent for the future as the 14-year-old impressed on her debut.
Towards the end of her final, the commentator said Nikhat Zareen is “very, very special”. Indeed so. Across five bouts at World Championships and the four at CWG, she won every bout by either unanimous 5-0 or referee stopped contest (one). Sheer dominance by the world champion.
After what he had gone through in Tokyo and since, only gold medal would have satisfied Amit Panghal at CWG. He was a favourite and he lived up to it with clinical, dominant wins. One more step in his comeback trail.
And remember the name: Nitu Ghanghas. Everyone who saw her fight, could say this could be the start of something special. Winning gold at CWG is one thing, but winning the way she did... you have to sit up and take notice.
Sagar Ahlawat is a showman and he thrilled on his way to the final. Another boxer who left his mark with how he fought his bouts more than just the results.
With bronze medals for Rohit Tokas, Mohammed Hussamuddin and Jaismine Lamboria, India finished as the second best contingent in boxing at the Games, behind only Northern Ireland
|Nikhat Zareen||Women's 50kg||GOLD|
|Nitu Ghanghas||Women's 48kg||GOLD|
|Amit Panghal||Men's 51kg||GOLD|
|Sagar Ahlawat||Men’s +92kg||SILVER|
|Rohit Tokas||Men's 67kg||BRONZE|
|Mohammed Hussamuddin||Men's 57kg||BRONZE|
When wrestlers entered the fray, medal rush was guaranteed for India.
On Day 1, Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia delivered gold as expected. And the highlight was the superb Sakshi Malik comeback. Not just on the mat in the final when she came back from 0-4 down to win by fall, but also a comeback after her recent struggles in the sport.
Day 1 also saw young Anshu Malik continue to impress at the international stage as she won silver. Divya Kakran and Mohit Grewal kept up India’s hope for 12/12 once again, winning bronze.
Day 2 of wrestling saw two more Indian superstars live up to their billing. Ravi Kumar Dahiya was at his dominant best and Vinesh Phogat received a boost to her confidence after a tough time in Tokyo and since.
While Ravi and Vinesh delivered gold as expected, one name to look forward to in the future is Naveen. The youngster dominated his way to India’s 6th wrestling gold medal
And then it was a question of whether India will finish with a 100% strike rate. Pooja Gehlot, Pooja Sihag and Deepak Nehra won bronze as India repeated their GC-2018 feat. Both India and Canada had 12/12, but India took top spot on account of more gold medals.
|Bajrang Punia||Men's 65kg||GOLD|
|Sakshi Malik||Women's 62kg||GOLD|
|Deepak Punia||Men's 86kg||GOLD|
|Ravi Kumar Dahiya||Men's 57kg||GOLD|
|Vinesh Phogat||Women's 53kg||GOLD|
|Anshu Malik||Women's 57kg||SILVER|
|Divya Kakran||Women's 68kg||BRONZE|
|Mohit Grewal||Men's 125kg||BRONZE|
|Pooja Gehlot||Women's 50kg||BRONZE|
|Pooja Sihag||Women's 76kg||BRONZE|
|Deepak Nehra||Men's 97kg||BRONZE|
Cricket made a return to CWG after 1998 and there were some fantastic matches at Edgbaston, including a thrilling (albeit heartbreaking from India’s perspective) final. A silver medal to build on for Harmanpreet Kaur and Co while Australia continued their all-conquering dominance under Meg Lanning. From India’s perspective, Smriti Mandhana and Renuka Singh Thakur were the players who stood out with some sensational performances.
Table tennis and Para Table Tennis
Tokyo Paralympics silver medallist Bhavina Patel delivered on pre-event expectations by winning women’s singles Para Table Tennis. She dropped just one game in total, the first one she played at the event. It was a dominant performance from thereon for the top seed. Women’s singles Classes 3-5 produced one of those memorable podium scenes with two Indians present as Sonal Patel won bronze.
The first of many Table Tennis medals came from the men’s team. Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty came together to defend their title. As Sharath said later, it was even more impressive how dominant they were.
After silver in 2018 it was another silver in 2022 as in a repeat of the Gold Coast thriller, Sharath Kamal and Sathiyan capped off a good doubles run with another thriller against the same English pair of Paul Drinkhall and Liam Pitchford. (But the Indians will have their time soon against the Englishmen).
Most of us can agree that one of India’s most memorable gold medals at the Games came from Sharath Kamal and Sreeja Akula’s superb run in mixed doubles. India’s first ever mixed doubles TT gold in CWG was a rollercoaster ride as Sharath picked up Sreeja, literally and metaphorically, on a few occasions on their way to the title. Sreeja had a breakthrough-plus-heartbreaking campaign and it was fitting that she finished with a gold medal around her neck and smiles on her face.
And then came the thrilling climax. Men’s singles. First up, Sathiyan. He had told Scroll.in in an interview that winning a singles medal was one of main goals at CWG. He delivered with a nerve-wracking, emotional win in the bronze medal match. From 3-0 to 3-3 and then from 8-9 down... it brought out tears.
Finally, the star of the show for India. After gold in 2006 Melbourne, it was gold again in 2022 for Sharath Kamal. 16 years after he became the men’s singles champion in Melbourne, the veteran was back on top of the podium. He saved the best for last, defeating world No 20 Liam Pitchford with a super performance.
Playing match after match, the veteran delivered in some style. As he put it, his best ever CWG campaign. Age, after all, is just a number for him.
Sharath Kamal (via Twitter): Filled with gratitude and happiness on another Commonwealth Games, and also my best one. Having won a Gold Medal in the team event, followed it with a Silver Medal in the Men’s Doubles, Gold Medal in the Mixed Doubles and finally a Gold Medal in the Singles. The old adage that age is just a number hasn’t been any truer. The rich experience and the ability to handle pressure well, and all the experience gathered over my career has helped me achieve this feat. I would like to thank my family, friends and supporters who have showed such faith in me and showered me with their love, blessings and wishes. Thank you to my team for being here with me, running things smoothly despite the time constraints and stress. This one’s for the country, a tribute to our mighty nation in all its golden glory, a true celebration of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav! Jai Hind
Badminton mixed team event saw India register a fine win against Singapore in semifinal. The final was a series of high-quality contests that Malaysia won to reclaim gold. It was a fine silver for India but there was more to come...
Playing a bronze medal match on the same day after semifinal defeats is not easy, but Srikanth Kidambi and Treesa-Gayatri bounced back to finish on the podium. For Srikanth, it wasn’t the colour of medal he would have wanted but he made it back-to-back podium finishes at the Games and just couldn’t find a way past an inspired Ng Tze Yong (who had stunned world champion Loh Kean Yew too in the earlier round). For the pair of 19-year-olds, the draw was such that bronze would have been a minimum expectation but they shouldered responsibilities well and showed signs of the promise they have held.
And then came the gold rush...
PV Sindhu added the elusive CWG women’s singles gold medal to her glittering collection. Evidently not 100% fit, she fought through three straight tough knockout matches to finish top of podium. She then spoke about she had waited a long time for this gold medal and she has now completed the CWG Set.
“I’m so super happy, I’ve been waiting for this Commonwealth Games gold for a long time now and I’ve finally done it,” Sindhu told BWF said after closing out a 21-15 21-13 win in the final.
“I think it was very important to be very focussed and to stay in rhythm. We know each other’s game. There are no easy points so even though I was leading I just made sure I was very focussed.”
What a season Lakshya Sen is having. India Open title. All England runner-up. Thomas Cup champion. And now CWG men’s singles gold medallist. He too had to fight hard against Tze Yong in the final but produced a stirring comeback to take the match in three games.
And finally, not for the first time in their careers, Satwik-Chirag went where no Indian men’s doubles pair had gone before, winning the first-ever CWG gold medal in men’s doubles badminton for India.
How about that for a CV, eh?
Reminder, if you need, that PV Sindhu turned 27 only last month.
Defeating Australia men’s hockey team in the final remains an impossible task at CWG. But a freak final apart, a campaign with positives for Manpreet Singh and Co. Indian men were back on the podium after missing out in 2018.
What a journey it has been for the Indian women’s hockey team. As great as Tokyo was, a 4th-place finish was so near yet so far. Then came a tough HWC 2022. But at CWG, Savita Punia and Co made sure they got on the podium. A superb medal especially to bounce back from the heartbreak against Australia. It was the women’s first CWG medal since 2006.
And how great was this, eh?
And finally... on to track and field.
Will he? Won’t he? Will he? After a chaotic build-up to the Games, Tejaswin Shankar found calm at Birmingham. He became the first Indian ever to win a high jump medal at CWG, clinching bronze.
In a thrilling men’s long jump final, under pressure, M Sreeshankar came up with a clutch fifth jump. He missed gold by the SMALLEST possible margin but a silver is the best ever result by a male long jumper in CWG for India.
Priyanka Goswami and Sandeep Kumar not just finished with medals, but also new Personal Bests in Women’s 10,000m Race Walk and Men’s 10,000m Race Walk
Annu Rani, the Indian national record holder, and two-time World Championships finalist, finished with India’s first ever women’s javelin throw medal at CWG.
And men’s triple jump gave us unforgettable moments. Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker produced images that Indian athletics fans will remember for a long time winning gold and silver. Praveen Chitravel, in fact, was close to making it 1-2-3.
And finally, men’s 3000m steeplechase.
From 1998, the men’s 3000m steeplechase podium at CWG was: Kenya-Kenya-Kenya.
In 2022, the men’s 3000m steeplechase podium at CWG was: Kenya-India-Kenya.
With another National Record. Avinash Mukund Sable produced arguably the single best performance by an Indian athlete at these Games.
This finish to Sable’s race is something we will not be forgetting anytime soon. (Watch with commentary on!)
This edit by Sony Sports Network, looking back at India’s campaign, is worth your time: