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In Numbers: Shooting’s absence hurts India as Commonwealth Games medal tally drops four years on-Sports News , Firstpost

India accounted for 16 medals at 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast. With the sport missing in Birmingham, India saw fewer medals at 2022 CWG.

Team India parade during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games 2022 at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, England. AP

New Delhi: With the 2022 Commonwealth Games concluding on Monday, not so surprisingly, India have accounted for fewer medals than the 2018 edition in Gold Coast, Australia. The magnitude isn’t massive but it has caused a blip to India’s growth at the quadrennial event.

The biggest difference between 2018 and 2022 has been driven by shooting’s absence (more on that later) from the programme.

Commonwealth Games: India ResultsMedals tally

Overall, India won 22 golds, 16 silvers and 23 bronzes for a combined 61 medals. In the previous edition, India won four more golds, four more silvers but three fewer bronzes to post 66 medals.

They are still marginally smaller than the 2010 Commonwealth Games at home when India accounted for 101 medals – 38 golds, 27 silvers and 36 bronzes.

India have continued to make giant strides in this millennium at the Commonwealth Games. None have been more successful, away, than the 2022 edition in Manchester. Then India won 30 golds, 22 silvers and 17 bronzes for a collective 69 medals.

Saket Sargar got India’s medals tally going with a silver in weightlifting with Gururaja Poojary adding a bronze not long after. The first gold came courtesy Tokyo Olympics silver medallist Mirabai Chanu in the Women’s 49 kg weightlifting category.

For India, wrestling and weightlifting were the most fruitful sports at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Wrestling saw India send in 12 athletes and win 12 medals with weightlifters next at 10 medals. The surprise came in Lawn Bowls where India won two medals – a gold and a silver – with the Women’s and Men’s Fours teams triumphing.

Equally superlative performances came from track and field with Eldhose Paul and Abdulla Aboobacker standing on the podium in men’s triple jump; Avinash Sable broke Kenya’s dominance in Men’s 3000m steeplechase to win the silver.

On the second-last and third-last day of the CWG in Birmingham, India won 14 and 15 medals respectively to bloaten their tally.  Medal matches in athletics, boxing and wrestling played a crucial role in this surge on the weekend.

The final day saw further flourish with six medals, including four golds, to cap India’s tally at 61 medals from the edition.

India feels shooting’s absence in medals tally

When shooting was dropped from the Commonwealth Games programme for the 2022 edition in Birmingham, Indian Olympic Association protested. The IOA threatened to pull out of the Games altogether even as authorities claimed it was due to lack of suitable facilities. The frustration was based on India’s historic record in shooting at the Commonwealth Games.

In 2018, India won 16 of their 66 medals, including seven golds, in the sport. Overall, shooting has been India’s most successful sport at CWG with 135 medals – 63 golds, 44 silvers and 28 bronzes.

When comparing the two editions, lack of shooting’s 16 medals is clearly visible. The question before the game was which sports could try and bridge that deficit. Athletics did with five more medals, two came from Lawn Bowls, two from hockey, three from judo, two from para table tennis.

But there were also some drops. Boxing won two lesser medals than the 2018 edition. Table Tennis, despite Achanta Sharath Kamal’s maiden singles gold medal in 16 years, also reported three fewer medals.

India eventually posted one lesser gold, four silvers and three more bronzes when compared to 2018.

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