New stars emerge, favourites shine as India finish 4th on Commonwealth Games 2022 medal table
Wrestlers and badminton stars, who were expected to bring India medals, lived up to their billing while track and field athletes broke new ground at the Birmingham Commonwealth Games.
Weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu defended her Commonwealth Games title to win India's first gold medal at Birmingham 2022 and since then, there have been a number of established stars who lived up to their billing while some other athletes ended up establishing historic first for India. In the end, the country finished fourth on the Commonwealth Games table, having won 22 golds and a total of 61 medals.
It is one place below India's finish at the 2018 Gold Coast CWG, where India had finished third with 26 golds and 66 medals, with the lack of the shooting medals making a difference in the gold tally. However, that difference would be a misleading to a certain extent, considering the number of sports different in which India broke barriers to perform extraordinary firsts.
In athletics, India won a whopping eight medals, which included one gold for Eldhose Paul in triple jump. Fellow Indian jumper Abdulla Abobacker ended up winning silver, thus making them the first male Indian pair to finish in the top two positions of a track and field event in the Commonwealth Games. Annu Rani became the first Indian woman to win a javelin medal as she took bronze. The indomitable Avinash Sable broke the age-old dominance of the Kenyans in the men's 3000m steeplechase. Kenyans have taken all three podium positions all along but Sable broke that run by winning silver.
Lovely Chaubey, Rupa Rani Tirkey, Pinki and Nayanmoni Saika ended up introduced much of the country to a sport named lawn bowls by extraordinarily winning the gold medal in the women's fours event. This was followed by the men's fours team of Chandan Kumar Singh, Dinesh Kumar, Navneet Singh and Sunil Bahadur winning silver.
Apart from that, India's table tennis stalwart Achanta Sharath Kamal continued his love story with the Commonwealth Games, taking his career gold medal tally to seven. Boxer Amit Panghal partially made up for his disappointment at the Tokyo Olympics by winning gold but he is anything but happy even with this achievement.
India's wrestlers were utterly dominant throughout the two-day event. Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman to win three consecutive CWG gold medals and the first Indian woman to hold both the Asian Games and CWG golds. Ravi Kumar Dahiya, Bajrang Punia and Deepak Punia all lived up to their top billing while 2016 Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik gave a timely reminder of what she is capable of after the disappointment of Gold Coast 2018.
Badminton superstar PV Sindhu finally won her first CWG gold, batting an injury in the semi-finals and the finals. She has now completed the full set, having won bronze in 2014, silver in 2018 and now gold in Birmingham. Satwiksairak Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won the men's doubles title while Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikanth with the men's singles gold and bronze medals around their necks. India couldn't defend their badminton mixed team title though, finishing with a silver medal.