India has fielded over 200 athletes to compete at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games (CWG) in what would be the nation's 18th appearance at the colossal event.
India bagged a whopping 66 medals at CWG 2018, including 26 gold, 20 silver, and 20 bronze medals. India finished third, behind powerhouses Australia and England.
The contingent will be looking to improve on that record in the upcoming edition. However, this time around, the Indian contingent has suffered some massive jolts, with the biggest names missing from the squad.
Defending champion and India's biggest bet Neeraj Chopra, six-time World Champion Mary Kom and former World No. 1 Saina Nehwal, among others, will not be a part of the 2022 CWG. The entire shooting delegation will miss out as the discipline has been excluded altogether in this edition of the Games.
Who are the missing athletes from the Commonwealth Games 2022?
#1 Neeraj Chopra: Defending Champion Neeraj Chopra will miss the 2022 Commonwealth Games following an injury setback.
The 2020 Olympic champion has been ruled out of the quadrennial showpiece event after being advised to rest for 20 days due to an injury during the 2022 World Athletics Championships (WAC), where he bagged a historic silver medal.
Neeraj Chopra bagged a gold medal at the 2018 CWG in Gold Coast with a season-best effort of 86.47m.
#2 Mary Kom: Veteran Indian boxer MC Mary Kom's bid to compete at the Commonwealth Games 2022 in Birmingham shattered as she was forced to withdraw due to a knee injury. She sustained an injury during the selection trials in New Delhi.
The 39-year-old boxer bagged a gold medal in the previous edition of the Games.
#3 Saina Nehwal: Five-time Commonwealth Games medalist Saina Nehwal will not be defending her title at CWG. She was not included in the badminton squad after deciding to skip the CWG selection trials event. She was unhappy and expressed displeasure stating that is not ready to stress her body by taking part in the trials as she has just returned from tournaments in Europe.
#4 Vikas Krishnan: The 2018 gold medallist will not participate in 2022 CWG after missing the boxing trials held earlier this year. He humbled Cameroon’s Wilfried Ntsengue in the men’s 75kg final by unanimous decision in 2018 becoming India's first male boxer to win gold medals at both the Asian and Commonwealth Games.
#5 HS Prannoy: The 29-year-old HS Prannoy, who was a part of the Thomas Cup winning team, was not included in India’s 10-member badminton squad.
As per the rules, every participating nation can only field two players for each of the categories. Prannoy is the third-ranked Indian shuttler behind Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikkanth for Men's singles and was forced to sit out despite his fine form.
#6 Tajinderpal Singh Toor: Indian shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor will not be a part of the upcoming CWG Games due to a groin injury. He complained of the injury and also skipped the recently concluded World Athletics Championships in Eugene.
#7 Aishwarya Babu: Indian triple jumper Aishwarya Babu was dropped from the Indian athletics squad after testing positive for a banned substance.
#8 S Dhanalakshmi: Another athlete, sprinter Dhanalakshmi, has been ruled out of the upcoming Commonwealth Games after failing a dope test. She tested positive for a banned steroid in a dope test conducted abroad by the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU). She was supposed to compete in the 100m and 4x100m relay team events.
#9 Kamalpreet Kaur: Discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur, in an out-of-competition test conducted by AIU in India, returned positive for Stanzolol in March earlier this year.
#10 Rani Rampal: Indian women’s hockey team striker failed to make it to the 18-member women's hockey team due to fitness concerns.
#11 Jeswin Aldrin: He failed to remain consistent to maintain the 8m mark in Long Jump. In the final qualifying event for the CWG- the Inter-State championship, his best effort was 7.71m, while he could only manage 7.51m in the finals. Eventually losing his CWG spot.
#12 Shooting: Shooting, India's most successful sport in the Commonwealth Games (CWG), won't be a part of the 18th edition of the Games. Shooting was excluded due to infrastructure and logistics issues. Indian shooters bagged 16 medals from the Gold Coast Games, including seven gold, four silver and 5 bronze.
#13 Archery: Archery has also been excluded from the 2022 CWG.