In contrast to the last three Commonwealth Games at Manchester (2002), Melbourne (2006), and New-Delhi (2010), India’s 15 gold medal haul reflects a rather poor performance. Despite fielding a 215 member strong contingent with participation in all events except Netball, Rugby Sevens and Triathlon, overall performance fell short of expectations. Regardless, there were at least two achievements of note in which Vikas Gowda won the gold in men’s discus and Parupalli Kashyap winning the men’s singles event in badminton. In wrestling and boxing, there were many silver medalists, who lost narrowly on the gold but such arguments do not reduce the stigma of an overall poor show. If one looked back, 12 out of 15 gold medals were won by India’s wrestlers, rifle-shooters and weightlifters, who also accounted for 20 out of 30 silvers and 12 out of 19 bronzes. Thus if these three sports were taken out in which India won 44 medals of the overall tally of 64, rest of the Indian participants put up a disappointing show in the remaining 11 events in which they competed. In swimming, Lawn Bowls and cycling, India’s sportspersons drew a complete blank and in Hockey, Squash, Gymnastics and Table Tennis, they won just one medal each; despite representations by high world ranked men’s and women’s players.
There were 7 categories each in men’s and women’s wrestling with 14 gold medals in all and Indian wrestlers participated in each of them. While Canada finished first with 7 gold medals, 2 silvers and 3 bronzes, India’s men and women wrestlers were second with 5 golds, 6 silvers and 2 bronzes. Nigeria with 2 gold medals were third and no other country could win the gold in any category. In the 97 Kg category for men, India’s Satywart Kadian looked like the winner in the gold medal match but in the final stages, Canada’s Arjun Gill scored crucial technical points and took the gold by the narrowest of margins. In weightlifting, Indian men participated in 6 categories and women in 5. In powerlifting too, there were participations from Indian men and women in 15 combined categories. But the performance of the Indians was not as noteworthy as it has been in past commonwealth games. Of the 19 gold medals on offer, Indian lifters could take only 3 golds, 5 silvers and 2 bronzes to take the second place behind Nigeria, who topped the event with 6 golds, 6 silvers and 1 bronze.
In shooting, India finished with a reasonably good performance though they won only 4 gold medals out of a possible 19. Australia with 6 golds and England with 5 were ahead of India in this sporting event. However, Indian shooters narrowly missed golds in many other categories and turned up with 9 silvers instead. Ace shooter, Gagan Narang had disappointing finishes in two 50m events in one of which he won silver and in the other, a bronze. However, Abhinav Bindra, and Jitu Rai won the two golds in men’s events while Apurvi Chandela and Rahi Sanobat took golds in women’s categories.
Much was expected from India’s boxers, badminton stars and table tennis players but they didn’t come up with credit in the Glasgow Games. Saina Nehwal’s withdrawal from women’s category deprived India of a possible gold witd PV Sindhu and RMV Gurusaidutta settling with bronzes. The only gold came from P Kashyap and the silver from women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa. The lone medal, a silver in Table Tennis was won by Sharath Kamal and Anthony Arupthara in men’s doubles. Indian pugilists turned up a poor performance despite high hopes none of men and women boxers could win a single gold medal, though they finished with 4 silvers and 1 bronze.
India’s men’s hockey team entered the final after their loss to Australia in the pool phase. They lost to Australia yet again in the gold medal match. Women’s team was unlucky to miss the semifinal, when they lost to South Africa in a tough match. In squash, Saurav Ghosal, Dipika Pallikal and Johsna Chinappa disappointed despite their high profile status in the game. While no medals were won in individual categories, Pallikal and Chinappa won the gold in women’s doubles to give India their only medal in squash. In Judo, India won silver medals in women’s 48 Kg and men’s 60 Kg events with Shushila Likmabam and Navjot Chana losing in their gold medal matches. Two other women; Kalpana Thoudam in 52 Kg and Rajwinder Kaur bagged a pair of Judo bronzes for India. The lone medal in gymnastics came from Dipa Karmakar, who bagged the bronze in women’s vault. Ashish Kumar, from whom much was expected, had a poor outing at Glasgow.
In the stellar athletic events, Vikas Gowda expectedly won the gold beating his nearest competitors by quite a distance in men’s discus. In women’s discus too, India won a medal, when Seema Antil finished second to Dani Samuels of Australia to take the silver. The only other athletics medal was a bronze won by Arpinder Singh in the triple Jump. It was a pathetic outing for the Indian athletes with just 3 medals out of a possible 151 on offer.
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