The Commonwealth Games is an international sports event which brings together different countries to compete in various sports, every four years. The countries that are part of the Commonwealth Nations get to send in teams for the sports of their liking and hope to win one of the prestigious medals. The Commonwealth Games Federation is the organization that oversees the Games and presides over any conflict occurring during the games.
It is interesting to know that there are almost 71 teams participating every year from over 53 different countries. All the athletes from these countries gather to the host city pre-decided by the Federation to compete in one of the twenty-two different sports like archery, table tennis, swimming or basketball. The winning athletes have the honour of bagging one of the three medals for the top three positions- gold, silver, and bronze- along with gaining international fame.
For athletes traditionally it’s such a fantastic stepping stone to greater things down the track and in the future. Don’t undermine the Commonwealth Games!
This year the Games are being held in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia between 4th and 15th of April. The CWG 2018 is officially known as the XXI CWG and unofficially as Gold Coast 2018. There was an opening ceremony with the parade of nations following the tradition we all know. The previous host country enters first followed by all European countries. Then countries from other regions enter in alphabetical order followed by the host country for this time, Australia.
According to the Commonwealth governing bodies, 10 core sports and maximum 17 sports need to be chosen from the 26 approved sports which also include disabled and paraplegic competitions. This year the ten core sports chosen are:
- Lawn bowls
- Rugby sevens
The 2018 CWG has a remarkable first-time occurrence in history where the men’s and women’s events are equal in number and such a famed international event is showing equality. More than 270 events have been organized for 18 sports, where beach volleyball was opted in 2016 as the last 18th sport.
Our country has participated in fourteen of the eighteen games held till date and except the second Games held in 1934, which was indeed the first ever for our country, we have managed to secure a position in one of the top 10 in the international rankings. The last 2014 Games saw our athletes bringing in 64 medals and securing a rank of the 5th place. We have seen many great athletes successfully bag medals for our country in the Games.
India hosted the 2010 Commonwealth Games which was pleasantly the most successful year for our country in the Games. Our athletes brought home
- 38 gold medals
- 27 silver
- 36 bronze
for that year, which amounted to a whopping 101 medals and placed our country in the 2nd position in the overall international tally ranking. All in all, India has won a little over 450 medals in the Games and is one of the top contenders.
This year the recent tally for India, in the Games, is a total of 21 medals with 11 gold, 4 silver and 6 bronze putting India in the 3rd position. England has bagged 74 medals as of the most recent update and stands at 2nd position, preceded by the host country at no. 1 position with a whopping total of 130 medals. It is yet to see who will manage the rank 1 position though Australia is giving all the countries a tough competition.
India has not backed out either, with weightlifters Sanjita Chanu, Mirabai Chanu, Venkar Rahul, Punam Yadav and Satish Kumar bringing in 5 of the 11 gold medals till now in various categories respectively. Heena Sidhu bagged gold in 25m pistol event in shooting and brought India its 11th gold medal. In table tennis, both the men’s and the women’s team won gold in the finals. This was the first ever Commonwealth gold for India in women’s table tennis. In the 10m air pistol sport, India’s Jitu Rai and Manu Bhaker have bagged gold in the men’s and the women’s events respectively.
In my opinion, India has done well for itself in past CWGs and has played its best when it was the host country. This might be a motivating factor for the sportspeople and hence we must try to bag the winning bid the next CWG. That doesn’t mean we need to completely focus on this factor, as without well-performing athletes the premise of the Games is hardly a concern.
We have done well for ourselves in the weightlifting events, bagging medals in half of the events conducted in the sport till now. Though India is giving tough competition to the countries trailing behind it, it is also very far from Australia and England, CWG superpowers and all-rounder in their own manners. India has also done well for itself in the shooting, winning medals in various air pistol and air rifle events.
India was ranked 2nd in 2010 when we were the host country and this came down to the 5th position last CWG in 2014. This year we are in the 3rd position internationally with 66 medals in total.Out of this 26 gold,20 silver and 20 bronze medals are won by India.