India has always put up a decent performance at the Asian Games over the years. Although the country could finish among the top three in the medal tally only twice in 17th occasions, India has recently improved their medal counts in Asia’s biggest multi-sporting event.
India at the Asian Games
At the inaugural Asian Games in 1951, India finished second on the medal tally with 15 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze. Among 15 gold, Athletics itself brought 10 yellow metals for the host nation along with two gold in Diving and one each in Football, Swimming and Water Polo. It was India’s best-ever finish at the Asian Games.
After that India finished fifth and seventh in 1954 and 1958 respectively before finishing third on the medal tally with 10 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze in the 1962 games.
Following which, India hovered between fifth to seventh position till 1974 and India’s gold medal tally, as well as total medal counts, dropped significantly. In 1978 and 1982, India rejuvenated its performance winning 11 gold in Thailand and 13 gold in New Delhi. However, they still finished at sixth and fifth in 1978 and 1982 respectively.
Although India won 37 medals in 1986, the gold count was only five. India’s worst performance came in 1990 when its only gold came in Kabaddi and India settled for 12th position winning 8 silver and 14 bronze.
In 1994 and 1998, India performed decently winning 11 gold in two games and finished at eighth and ninth position respectively. India’s gold medal tally went past 10 after it won 11 gold, 12 silver and 13 bronze in the 2002 games. However, it finished seventh again.
The 2002 games marked a new beginning in India’s sports as India rejuvenated itself after a series of disappointing performances. In 2006, India finished eighth with 10 gold, 17 silver and 26 bronze.
Despite India finished sixth in the medal tally, India staged its best performances in terms of winning medals in the 2010 games. India captured a record 14 gold which is India’s highest so far. Also, India won 17 silver and 34 bronze in the Guangzhou games.
In 2014, India could not live it to the expectation and missed the final punch as India collected 11 gold, nine silver and 37 bronze.
India’s Medal Tally in Asian Games
So far, India has won 139 gold, 178 silver and 299 bronze at the Asian Games which is 10 times less than leader China in terms of winning gold medals.
In the first ten Asian Games, India’s most of the medal came from Athletics. Indian athletes took 53 gold medals from the Asian Games till 1986. Since 1990, India lost its way in Athletics before winning two gold medals in 1998. So far, India has won 72 gold, 77 silver and 84 bronze in the track-and-field events.
India's second most successful sports in terms of medals in Asian Games is Wrestling with nine gold, 14 silver and 33 bronze. In Hockey, India won four gold, 10 silver and five bronze with their last gold coming in the 2014 Incheon Asian Games.
Earlier, India did not have a great record in both Shooting and Badminton but in recent games, India has been highly successful in both these sports. In total, Shooting brought seven gold,17 silver and 25 bronze compared to Badminton's one gold, one silver and 10 bronze.
Boxing fetched 8 gold, 16 silver and 31 bronze while Tennis gave India six gold, five silver and 13 bronze. Since Kabaddi's inclusion at the Asian Games, India has won all nine gold medals in the game.
India bagged 15 medals in Billiards and Snooker including five gold, four silver and six bronze. India also won 17 medals in Sailing including one gold, six silver and 10 bronze along with winning one gold, five silver and 14 bronze in Rowing. Although Weightlifting could not bring any gold medal for India, the sports has given the country five silver and nine bronze medals.