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India Currents gave me a voice in days I was very lost. Having my articles selected for publishing was very validating – Shailaja Dixit, Executive Director, Narika, Fremont

India’s Medal Tally

Commonwealth Games Medal Table (source: Facebook)

India had a successful run at the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England, earning fourth place with 22 golds. This is an impressive outcome given that half the gold medal winners were making their debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.

In 2022, India earned fourth place in the Commonwealth Games, with 22 gold medals, 16 silver medals, and 23 bronze medals for a total of 61 medals. India has had two fourth-place performances before, in 2002 and 2006. They’ve ranked higher in 2010 and 2018, earning second and third place respectively. 

This multi-sport event has been around since 1930, occurring every four years. India has competed in nearly all Commonwealth Games, with their best performance being back in 2010, where the Games were held in New Delhi. That year, India took home second place, earning 38 gold medals, 27 silver medals, and 36 bronze medals for a total of 101 medals. 

Athlete Spotlight

Many well-known athletes cemented their place among the greatest while a few young athletes made made a name for themselves.. 

PV Sindhu adds another Commonwealth Games gold medal to her tally in the women’s badminton singles! (source: Facebook)

In badminton, 27-year-old PV Sindhu finished at the top of women’s singles, earning gold. The elite shuttler began competing in international competitions at 14 and earned silver in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. She also has won medals in prestigious events such as the Asian Games, and the 2016 and 2020 Olympics. Indian badminton legend Pullela Gopichand said “the most striking feature in Sindhu’s game is her attitude and the never-say-die spirit.”

Nikhat Zareen brought home gold in women’s 48-50kg boxing. At s only 26, Zareen has had a successful boxing career and earned gold at the 2022 IBA Women’s World Boxing Championships. Outside the boxing ring, Zareen is pursuing a B.A. at AV College in Hyderabad, and works at the Bank of India at AC Guards as a staff officer.

Sudhir Overcomes A Disability To Win Gold

Another gold medal winner Sudhir contracted polio at age four. He began powerlifting at 18, and continued to hone his skills while working as a farmer in Sonipat. In 2018 during the 17th Senior National Para Powerlifting Championships, he was given the title “Strong Man of India.”

After his success in the Games, Prime Minister Narendra Modi praised him in a tweet: “Sudhir wins a prestigious Gold and shows yet again his dedication and determination. He has been consistently performing well on the field. Congratulations and best wishes to him for all upcoming endeavours.”

Sudhir himself had some inspirational words at an interview after his victory: “I absolutely thought I would win gold. My preparation was very good and I thank Birmingham for this. Apart from the preparation, the weather was good and the crowd was fantastic.”

Young Athletes Shine

At only 20 years old, Lakshya Sen won gold in men’s singles badminton. Sen is a young star, winning the India International Series in 2016 and 2017. With this medal, Sen becomes only the fourth Indian to win gold in men’s singles at the Games. Sen attributes his success to his relaxed attitude: “It was my first experience at the Commonwealth Games, and it feels good to do well. The break I gave myself by taking time off from tournaments before the CWG helped me do well.”

Indian athlete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (source: Facebook)

Gold Medal Haul 

India’s medal tally included six golds in wrestling, and three golds in each of the following events: weightlifting, table tennis, badminton, and boxing. India dominated the wrestling events, winning six gold medals and 12 medals total. India had an impressive showing in weightlifting as well, earning 10 medals with three being gold. India also won six gold medals between table tennis and badminton, contributing to their fourth place overall finish.

Removal of Events Could Hurt India’s Chances

The bad news is that wrestling–India’s most successful event–may not be part of the 2026 Commonwealth Games. In recent years, the Commonwealth Games have removed several events like shooting and archery, at which Indians excel . This could impact India’s performance and medal tally at the Games. In 2022, India could have had a better medal overhaul, if shooting (India’s best event medal-wise) had been included. 

India has an impressive 133 medals won in shooting. It includes 61 gold medals, 44 silver medals, and 28 bronze medals. India had its best performance at the 2010 Game where it ranked second, winning 30 of its 101 medals for shooting and 19 for wrestling. 

Overall, the removal of events like wrestling, archery, and shooting negatively affect the results of countries that excel at these events, such as India. Even with these removals, India has been able to continue to perform at a high level, but this may change in coming decades. 

Taking everything into account, the 2022 Commonwealth Games were successful for India. Their fourth place finish matches all but their two best performances.

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Avyay Sriperumbudur

Avyay Sriperumbudur is a senior at Gunn High School. He is passionate about political science, the environment, and the law. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball and reading.