Team India had a memorable run at Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast this year. Finishing third with an overall tally of 66 medals consisting 26 golds, 20 silvers and 20 bronzes, the Indian side saw many fresh faces bagging top Honors.
The biggest surprise though came from table tennis where the 10-member Indian team won 8 medals including 3 golds. This is the best-ever performance by an Indian team at the games. Manika Batra won a million hearts securing medals at every event she participated in picking up 2 Golds, 1 Silver and a Bronze.
With 16 medals, Shooters fetched the highest number of medals for India. The shooting events saw many young achievers with 15-year old Anish Bhanwala creating history by becoming the youngest Indian to win a Commonwealth gold in men’s 25 m rapid fire pistol. Sixteen-year-old Manu Bhaker was not far behind as she won a gold in 10m air pistol by a humongous margin of 6.9 points.
12 medals came from the wrestling arena. Sushil Kumar clinched his third Commonwealth gold without conceding a single point in the Games! The Indian shuttlers too continued their dominance winning their first ever Commonwealth Gold in Team Event. Weightlifters brought home 5 golds and Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian javelin thrower to claim a gold medal at the Commonwealth Games.
While Team India put up an impressive overall show finishing 3rd only behind Australia and England, it will be interesting to see how the Indian athletes fare in the Asian Games scheduled for later this year in Jakarta where they will be up against much better prepared contingents from China, Japan, South Korea etc.
While we must recognise and celebrate our heroes from the Commonwealth Games, we must also understand that the beauty of sports is that it presents different challenges at different times and only the best and bravest survive. With such strong performances behind them, one can only hope that more such victorious snapshots by Indian sportsperson will continue to inspire an entire generation of young Indians and help us in becoming a true sporting giant.