It was a classic clash of Indian Titans at the badminton singles finals at the Commonwealth Games: two of India best players went up against each other. The most joyful part of this was the fact that this was a contest that India could not lose! India ended up a respectable No 3 in the final medal tally; with a clutch of 66 medals. We look at some of the chief takeaways of the 2018 Commonwealth Games at Gold Coast, Australia:
India finished behind host Australia (with 198 medals) and England (136 medals) with 26 gold medals, 20 silver medals and 20 bronze medals; 66 medals in all. India ranked above Canada, New Zealand, and South Africa.
Not quite up to par this time Atul Khatri, but the sentiment is much appreciated. The medal haul mollified many of us who had to make do with the solitary silver and single bronze at the last Olympics.
Badminton star Kidambi Srikanth became World No 1 and displaced Viktor Axelsen of Denmark. This was because Axelsen failed to defend his Malaysian Open opponent. Srikanth gladdened the hearts of millions of Indians by winning the mixed team gold and the individual silver medal.
Indian wrestlers bagged five gold medals, three silvers and four bronze medals, brining the tally to 12 medals in all. While gold medals for Shushil Kumar (74 kg) and Vinesh Phogat (50 kg) were expected, Rahul Aware (57 kg), Bajrang Punia (65 kg) and Sumit Malik (125 kg) made it a total of 5 gold medals. Amazingly, each of the 12 member team bagged a medal!
The indefatigable Mary Kom won gold in the women's light flyweight category, Gaurav Solanki won gold in the men's flyweight segment and Vikas Krishan Yadav won gold in the men's middleweight category. India finished off with 9 boxing medals, including three silvers and three bronze medals.
Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian to win the javelin event at the CWG. At just 20 years of age, he is the reigning junior world champion, gold medal winner at the Federation Cup. He set a new record on Indian soil earlier this year; clearly a talent to watch out for in the times to come!
The badminton women's final was the clash every Indian enjoyed watching; it was an event that India was going to win; regardless of who lost the match!
It was the hugely experienced Saina Nehwal who won in the end; she said this gold medal was as special as the Olympic Bronze for her. Perhaps for P V Sindhu this silver medal was less disappointing than the Olympic Silver as well!
…that speaks for itself: the tireless Pullela Gopichand with two of his most famous protégées.
Overtaking the number of medals (64) Indians won at Glasgow in the 2014 CWG event, this is the third best ever performance of India at the commonwealth games. India’s best ever medal haul was in the 2010 Delhi CWG with 101 medals, followed by the 2002 Manchester event when Indian athletes grabbed 69 medals.
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