The Indian athletics contingent signed off with eight medals, including one gold, four silver and three bronze medals in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games 2022 (CWG 2022) in Birmingham.
Despite the absence of India's poster boy Neeraj Chopra, the track and field contingent pulled off remarkable results at the quadrennial showpiece event. The athletes bettered their performance from the previous edition, as they only bagged three medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Games.
Eldhose Paul, CWG 2022's triple jump champion, credited Olympic gold medalist Neeraj Chopra for inculcating a winning mentality in the other Indian athletes.
Neeraj could not make it to Birmingham due to a groin injury that he sustained during last month's World Athletics Championships in Oregon. The javelin ace bagged the elusive silver medal at the biennal event with a best throw of 88.13m.
During an interview with ANI, Eldhose Paul said:
"Neeraj Chopra's gold (in Tokyo 2020 Olympics) changed our mentality. Earlier we had set some limitations for us. But now, Indians are capable of doing something magical. We will have to keep working hard and breaking limits set by us."
Paul produced a personal best effort of 17.03m to win the coveted gold medal at CWG 2022 on August 7. He further added:
"I am happy that the national anthem was playing and the first two athletes were from India. I felt proud. We were already preparing for CWG and Asian Games. The World Championships gave us an experience that benefitted us."
Indian track and field CWG 2022 results:
Eldhose Paul: Paul bagged a gold medal by producing a personal best effort of 17.03m in the men's triple jump finals.
N Abdulla Aboobacker: Aboobacker finished behind compatriot Eldhose Paul to win a silver medaL with a distance of 17.02m in men’s triple jump at the Alexander Stadium.
Murali Sreeshankar: Murali Sreeshankar bagged a historic silver medal in the men's long jump event, with a best attempt of 8.08m.
He became the first ever Indian athlete to win a medal in the men's Long Jump event at the Commonwealth Games.
Avinash Sable: Avinash Sable clinched a silver medal in the men's 3000m steeplechase at the multi-sporting event. The 27-year-old clocked 8:11.20s to better his earlier national record of 8:12.48.
Priyanka Goswami: Goswami won a silver medal for the country after finishing in second position in the women's 10,000m racewalk finals. She finished the race in 43:38.00s to attain a podium finish and also achieved her personal best timings.
Tejaswin Shankar: Indian high jumper Tejaswin Shankar clinched a historic Commonwealth Games bronze medal on August 3. It was the nation's first-ever medal in the high jump discipline in the history of the Games.
The youngster finished third on the podium by clearing a jump of 2.22m in the CWG 2022 men's high jump final.
Annu Rani: Rani sent the spear to a distance of 60m in her fourth attempt to finish third in the women's javelin throw event. She became the first female javelin thrower to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.
Sandeep Kumar: India’s Sandeep Kumar won bronze in the men’s 10,000m racewalk with a personal best time of 38:49.21m.