The Commonwealth Games 2022 (CWG) will kick off on July 28 in Birmingham, United Kingdom. India is one of 72 nations that are set to compete in the quadrennial event.
India first took part in the Games in 1934 and has competed in all but four editions (1930, 1950, 1962, 1986) since, with shooting being the most successful sport for the country. The subcontinent nation has won a total of 503 medals over the years, putting it fourth on the all-time list.
However, only once did the country cross the triple-digit mark for medals won at one event - the 2010 Games, which was also the only time India (New Delhi) hosted the Games. After shooting (135 medals), Weightlifting (125 medals) and Wrestling (102 medals) are the only sports that have seen India cross the 100-medal mark; with Swimming (1 medal) being the nation’s least successful sport.
Here are five Indian athletes who have a strong chance of bringing home medals from Birmingham:
#1) Neeraj Chopra
An athlete known to Indian fans who kept an eye on athletics, Neeraj Chopra shot to international fame when he won gold at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. He is in good form this year, having registered a new national record on two different occasions.
In the run-up to the Commonwealth Games 2022, the 24-year-old won silver at the 2022 World Athletics Championships in Oregon. Having bagged gold at the previous CWG, he’s slated to repeat those heroics in England.
#2) Mirabai Chanu
Like Neeraj Chopra, Mirabai Chanu was one of the highlights for India in Tokyo, winning silver in the 49kg category at the 2020 Olympics. She has already bagged two medals at the Commonwealth Games - silver in Glasgow 2014 and gold at Gold Coast 2018.
With a personal best of 207kg in the 49kg category, she is primed to win gold. Her biggest rival in Birmingham will be Nigeria's Stella Kingsley, who has a personal best of 168kg.
#3) PV Sindhu
PV Sindhu will enter the Commonwealth Games 2022 on a high after winning the Singapore Open 2022 title recently, which she bagged by dominating China's Zhi Yi Wang in the final. It was her third title of the year and will be one of India's biggest medal hopes at the showpiece event in Birmingham.
The double Olympic medallist, who has multiple records to her name, will be looking to win the elusive CWG gold medal in England. She went close to winning one in 2018, before settling for silver after Saina Nehwal took top honours.
Ravi Kumar Dahiya will be aiming for gold after winning a silver medal in the 57kg men's freestyle category at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. He won the national trials to qualify in the same category for the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The 24-year-old will head to Birmingham on the back of an impressive win at the Asian Wrestling Championships in Mongolia.
#5) Manika Batra
Manika Batra has already set the CWG stage alight by bagging the women’s singles gold, women’s team event gold, women’s doubles silver (with Mouma Das) and a mixed doubles bronze (with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran) at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
In the process, she became the first Indian woman to clinch a table tennis gold medal at the CWG. She is in a strong position to defend her title in Birmingham and repeat her heroics from the last edition.