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India’s Splendid Performances at Commonwealth Games

Gold Coast 2018 officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games, an international multi-sport event involving athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations, were held between 4 and 15 April 2018 in the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia; in which some of the world’s best athletes from 71 nations and territories competed in 275 events in 19 sports and 7 Para-sports; with its main venue at Carrara Stadium. The event was first held in 1930, and has taken place every four years since then.

Australian flag bearer of the XXI Commonwealth Games (CWG) closing ceremony Kurt Fearnley the 13-time Paralympic medallist who had earlier praised organisers for integrating the para-sports programme into the wider Games event, said it was time for Australia to embrace inclusion of people with disabilities.

Australia finishing on top with 168 medals including 80 Gold 59 Silver and 59 Bronze is followed by England with 136 medals including 45 Gold 45 Silver and 46 Bronze and India finished third with 66 medals including 26 Gold 20 Silver and 20 Bronze, it was a successful CWG for India. India bettered its showing in Glasgow Games 2014, where it finished fifth overall, by just two medals. In Glasgow, India had claimed 15 Gold 30 Silver and 19 Bronze. Importantly, the number of Gold rose from 15 to 26 at the Gold Coast.

India’s best remains 101 in New Delhi in 2010, followed by 69 in Manchester in 2002. Host nation India had finished Second for the very first time in Commonwealth Games history with a tally of 101 medals including 38 Gold 27 Silver and 36 Bronze at the XIX Commonwealth Games held in Delhi, India from 3 to 14 October 2010. It was the first time that India hosted the Commonwealth Games and the second time it was held in Asia after Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1998.

At the Gold Coast 2018 there were world-class efforts from Indians. India got maximum medals in shooting winning 16 medals with splendid performances of Indian teen shooting sensations Manu Bhaker and Anish Bhanwala to clinch Gold and Anish Bhanwala, aged 15, creating history by becoming the country’s youngest ever Gold medal winner in the Commonwealth Games, in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol.

India won 9 medals in Weightlifting with world champion weightlifter Mirabai Chanu claiming India’s first Gold, in the Women’s 48 kg, broke three Games records in the ‘snatch’ section, the ‘clean and jerk’ and the overall Games record. Teenager Deepak Lather from Haryana became the youngest Indian weightlifter to claim a medal at the CWG, clinching a Bronze in the men’s 69kg category.

India’s most valuable player Manika Batra 22-year-old from Delhi whose performance was par excellence and made history as she became the first Indian woman to win an individual Table Tennis Gold at the Games and she picked up medals in all events she competed: Singles Gold, Women’s Doubles Gold, Women’s Team Gold and rounding off the Games with Mixed Doubles Bronze. The 10-member Indian Table Tennis team secured 8 medals that include 3 Gold, 2 Silver and 3 Bronze, which turned out to be their best-ever medal haul in the history of the Games.

Saina Nehwal became the first Indian to win two singles Gold after defeating PV Sindhu who won Silver at the much-anticipated women’s final, both trained at Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy. Saina had also won the title in 2010 in New Delhi. The unexpected Gold in the mixed team event and the emergence of some doubles combinations were the high points. Indian Badminton contingent’s total of 7 medals that include 2 Gold, 3 Silver and 2 Bronze turned out to be the best performance by any Indian badminton team at the Games.

Neeraj Chopra 2016 world junior javelin champion from Haryana became the first Indian Javelin thrower to claim Gold at the Games in 2018. His medal is only the fifth track-and-field Gold for India at the Commonwealth Games, the other four being Milkha Singh in 1958, Discus thrower Krishna Poonia in 2010, the women’s 4x400m Relay Quartet of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Akkunji and Mandeep Kaur in 2010 and Shot-putter Vikas Gowda in 2014.

Mary Kom won India’s first Gold medal in Boxing when she won the women’s 48 kg final at the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast in addition to Gaurav Solanki and Vikas Krishan being the other two Indian boxers to win Gold medals

Wrestler Sushil Kumar clinched his third CWG Gold and stood proudly on the podium for the third time in eight years that he has made his own. Wrestlers Sumit Malik and Vinesh Phogat also won Gold in wrestling.

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