70 Commonwealth Nations, 275 medal events in 18 sports, and 12 days of exhilarating action; The Commonwealth Games 2018, popularly known as Gold Coast 2018 is only a month away. The city of Queensland, Australia is set to host the games, which are officially known as the XXI Commonwealth Games, between April 4 and April 15, 2018. The program will be largely similar to that of the 2014 Glasgow Games. The 2014 Commonwealth Games had 17 sports and 261 medal events. In this edition, however, only a couple of significant changes have been made. Judo has been dropped and the basketball has been reintroduced in addition to the introduction of women’s rugby and beach volleyball.
It is interesting to note that with the introduction of 7 new events for women, Gold Coast 2018 will become the first major multi-sport even to have an equal number of events for men and women.
Most of the events will take place in the host city’s main stadium, the Carrara Stadium. Only track cycling will take place outside the Gold Coast City in Brisbane and the preliminary rounds of Basketball will take place in Townsville. Shooting is another sport which will take place outside the city in neighboring Belmont. “Share the Dream” is the official motto for the 2018 Commonwealth games. The mascot of Gold Coast 2018 is Barobi, a blue koala with indigenous markings on its body. The term “borobi” is an Aboriginal term for the koala.
Commonwealth Games 2018 – A quick look at the Powerhouse performers of the game
The Commonwealth Games event is a multi-sport event where athletes from the Commonwealth of Nations (former British Colonies) come together to compete in a series of events. Governed and overseen by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the event was first held in 1930 and takes places every four years since then. The Games were canceled in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II.
Having topped the medal tally in 4 out of the 5 Games held in the past two decades, Australia has maintained their supremacy over the fellow Commonwealth Nations. They have successfully outdone other nations in all departments, and this year at their home turf, they are expected to do even better and continue reigning at the top. England follows Australia when it comes to topping the medal tally in the past two decades. The Brits have stood second in 4 editions of the Games and topped the table in the last edition in 2014. They have been the toughest competition for Australian, and they are expected to raise the bar even higher. The next best performers have been athletes from Canada. Canada has been incredibly consistent as well. In the previous editions, the North American nation has always secured a top-5 finish, inclusive of four 3rd place finishes.
Let’s have a look at the medal tally of the 43 of the best performers in the past 20 years, i.e., in the previous five editions of the Games.
Clearly, Australia is in a different league altogether. A whopping 979 medals in 5 editions is par excellence. They are way ahead of their main competitors who are sitting at 727 and 458 medals respectively. It is fascinating to note a pattern here. In the past five editions, all the three countries have been remarkably consistent.
- Australia has finished on top apart from one edition (Glasgow 2014- they finished 2nd)
- England has always finished 2nd apart from one edition. (Glasgow 2014- they topped the medal tally)
- Canada has 3rd consistently apart from the 2010 Delhi Games.
While these top performers have always been feared by other participating nations, Australia’s domination in the Games has always been a hot topic for discussion. With the Games on home soil now, these three countries are the ones to watch out for.
India at Commonwealth Games:
Believe it or not, India has been the 4th best performer in previous five editions of the Commonwealth Games in the past two decades. They are then followed by South Africa and New Zealand, who have won 191 medals each. Taking consistency into consideration, the Indian athletes have always secured a top 10 finish.
In the 1998 Malaysian Games, the Indian contingent finished 8th. In the following edition in 2002 in Manchester, the nation finished 4th. They also secured a 4th place finish in the subsequent edition that took place in Australia in 2006. The country’s most successful campaign was back at home in 2010 when they finished second in the medal tally, after the mighty Aussies. In the same edition, the hosts won a total of 101 medals, which included 38 gold medals, 27 silver medals, and 36 bronze medals. At the 2014 Glasgow Games, India placed 5th.
Interestingly, in 2014, India had sent the then 2nd largest ever contingent comprising of 215 members. Until 2018, India’s largest unit of 270 members was sent to the 2006 Melbourne Games.
Overall, however, India has been the 4th best performer from the last five editions of the Commonwealth Games in the past two decades. The nation will only be sending a total 225 athletes.
While we are at it, let’s have a look at their medal tally in the past five editions in detail:
A total of 112 Golds, 106 Silvers, and 91 Bronzes is a testament to the hard work put in by our athletes. After reading these stats, if you tell me you are not pleasantly surprised by India’s past performances (unless you already), I would not believe you. The Indians have continued to perform well at the Commonwealth Games, and as they say, consistency is the key.
Commonwealth Games 2018 – Is it India’s Forte?
You are better at a few things than the others. That’s natural. It happens to everyone. Similarly, each player/ team has strengths and weaknesses. In tennis, Roger Federer’s forte is his backhand whereas Nadal’s strongest shot is his forehand. For the longest time, the Indian cricket team was only known for their strong batting line-up. Fortunately enough, they are now improving in all departments. On the other hand, teams like South Africa and New Zealand are known for their fielding prowess.
Similarly, at every edition of the Commonwealth Games, certain sports have always assured us medals. Here’s a breakdown of India’s strengths in the past five editions(1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014) of the Commonwealth Games:
As the table suggests, India has performed the best in Shooting events where athletes have won 97 medals over the course of five editions of Commonwealth Games. Our shooters’ best performance came in the 2010 edition at home where they bagged a total of 30 medals (14xG, 11xS, 5xB).
The second strongest sport has been Weightlifting. Our lifters have bagged a total of 52 medals in the past two decades, and once again, their most successful campaign was at the Delhi 2010 Games where they bagged 14 medals (3xG, 5xS, 6xB)
Wrestling at number 3 in India’s most rewarding sports is no surprise. The legacy of quality wrestling has been passed on to world-class wrestlers by legendary wrestlers, and they are expected to bag a handful at Gold Coast 2018 as well. By now, you would have guessed that our wrestling contingent’s most stellar performance came in 2010 where they clinched 19 medals. (10xG, 5xS, 4xB).
Commonwealth Games 2018 – Indian Athletes to watch out for
India’s hopes will be dependent on the Kidambi Srikanth and P.V. Sindhu who will lead the charge at Gold Coast 2018. Besides them, Saina Nehwal and H.S. Prannoy would also look to make it big and clinch medals for the country.
Yogeshwar Dutt and Sushil Kumar will lead the charge at the 2018 Commonwealth Games for India.And how can we forget the Phogat sisters.
Jitu Rai and Heena Sidhu have been in sublime form, and the onus is on their shoulders to fetch a few medals for the country.
India’s chances at the Commonwealth Games 2018 – KreedOn Opines
Yes, we all talk about how India is a cricket-frenzy country where the cricketers enjoy the same status as God, but it is important to acknowledge their credible performances in the past. Despite sub-par training facilities, our athletes have been able to achieve a lot more than anyone would have ever imagined.
From underdogs to dark horses to a force to reckon with, the Indian contingent and its athletes have come a long way in the past 20 years to give the powerhouses a run for their money. They are capable of defeating the strongest opponents and underestimating them would be a mistake that other nations would be making. While they work hard day in and day out as we speak, I urge you, the powerful readers, to glue yourselves to the T.V. sets from 4th April to 15th April and support our players and give them the attention they deserve.
You and I together will cheer for India and see the nation soar new heights.