Sports in 2018: India gear up for Tokyo 2020 in style with superb Asiad, CWG shows - Watch
The year 2018 was a mega season for Indian sports. The two big quadrennial events - Commonwealth and Asian Games took place this year. India recorded their third best performance at the Commonwealth Games with 66 medals. The shooting contingent was the best with 16 medals, while wrestlers clinched 12 medals.
It was a year for the rise of India’s teenage shooters. Anish Bhanwala and Manu Bhaker, who were aged 15 and 16 respectively, won golds for the country.
But the breakthrough sport for India at the CWG was table tennis. The table tennis team brought back 8 medals from the competition. Manika Batra became the first Indian woman to win an individual CWG gold in the sport.
Saina Nehwal was in top form during the Commonwealth Games, winning the team gold and individual gold. She took down PV Sindhu in the final.
The Indian contingent continued their form in the Asian Games. They recorded their best ever performance with 69 medals. The track and field team delivered the most medals with 7 golds. Shot putter Tejinder Pal Singh Toor won the gold with a record-breaking throw of 20.75 metre and Swapna Barman was the first Indian heptathlete to win a gold at the Games.
On expected lines, Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win a gold in javelin throw. By recording a throw of 88.06 metre, he broke his own national record.
Boxer Amit Panghal won the gold after beating Rio Olympics champion Hasanboy Dusmatov from Uzbekistan.
Wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat won golds in their respective categories but Olympic medallists Sushil Kumar and Sakshi Malik failed to step up to the plate. Bajrang Punia won a medal in every major championship this year.
However, India suffered their biggest disappointment in Kabaddi at the Games. For the first time, both, men’s and women’s teams returned home without gold medals. While the women’s team clinched a silver, the men’s team settled for bronze. Both teams were knocked out by Iran.
PV Sindhu fought against the final jinx throughout the year. The Indian ace lost in five finals, including the Asian Games and World Championships in 2018. However, she finally managed to beat her demons when she won the World Tour Finals in December
It was a disappointing season for the men’s badminton players. The star of 2017, Kidambi Srikanth failed to win a title this year along with HS Prannoy. Sameer Verma was the only highlight with three titles this year.
Mary Kom made history at the World Boxing Championships by winning the most number of gold medals. The boxer took down Hanna Okhota to win her sixth yellow metal.
In a not-so-good year for Indian tennis, Leander Paes broke the record for the most doubles wins in Davis Cup by winning his 43rd match this season. Divij Sharan and Rohan Bopanna clinched a gold medal at the Asian Games.
Indian football may not be at par with European football, but for any sport to grow, support is the most important thing. Therefore, the Indian captain Sunil Chettri decided to make an emotional plea to the football fans during the Intercontinental Cup in June. The skipper’s video recorded the most retweets of the year with 60,000. Chettri played his 100th international match this year.
The Indian hockey team had their best chance to have a glorious year, but they failed miserably. They returned without a medal from the Commonwealth Games, finished fifth in the Sultan Azlan Shah tournament and only managed a bronze in the Asian Games.
They were well and truly on their way to the final in the Asian Games when they were leading 2-1 against Malaysia in the semi-final. But they allowed their opponents to make it 2-2 in the last minute before losing in the 7-6 in the shoot-out. They beat Pakistan in the third place match.
India could have closed off the year with a strong performance in the World Cup, but they were knocked out by Netherlands in the quarter-finals.
Indian hockey team’s best result in 2018 was the second place finish at the Champions Trophy in July.
Well, there you are, that’s India’s performance in 2018. Hopefully, we’ll have a better year in 2019.
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- ‘India Unleashed’, an event sanctioned by the Indian Boxing Commission (IBC), Goraya wants to rope in changes with USA styled boxing format and help ring in the changes for professional boxing in India.
- With the advent of the Pro Kabaddi League in 2014, the indigenous sport has witnessed a major transition – from one that was closely followed in rural areas to a topic that was discussed over dinner in metro cities.