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India at CWG | India’s Glorious Years in Commonwealth Games – From Past to Present

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The Commonwealth Games 2022 is going to kick start on July 28, 2022. India has been fairly regular at the quadrennial event, featuring in all except four editions (1930, 1950, 1962, and 1986). The Commonwealth Games involving the Commonwealth Nations was first held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada.

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Indian made its debut at the second edition of the Commonwealth Games in 1934. Back then it was known as the British Empire Games, back in 1934. 

India’s rich history in CWG’s

Six Indian athletes featured at London 1934 CWG and competed in 10 track and field events and one in wrestling. India’s first medal was won by Rashid Anwar. Wrestler Rashid Anwar clinched a bronze medal in the men’s 74kg freestyle wrestling event and became the first Indian to win a medal at the Commonwealth Games.

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Image Source- bbc.com

After independence, India’s medal tally was lagging until legendary sprinter Milkha stepped on the field in 1958 and opened a new chapter for Indian athletics. The Flying Sikh of India, Milkha Singh became the first Indian to win an individual gold medal at the Commonwealth Games in the men’s 440-yard event at Cardiff in 1958. Heavyweight wrestler Lila Ram from Haryana clinched another gold in the same edition of the commonwealth games.

Stephanie D'Souza and Elizabeth Davenport CWG- KreedOn
Stephanie D’Souza and Elizabeth Davenport at CWG 1958, Image Source- Scroll.in

The monumental moment when Indian women athletes participated for the first time in the CWG. Stephanie D’Souza and Elizabeth Davenport became the first Indian women to compete at CWG in 1958. Dsouza participated in the 100 yards and 220 yards sprints in the 1958 Games.

India has won a total of 503 medals since its debut in 1934. Overall 181 gold, 173 silver, and 149 bronze were claimed by Indian athletes at the Commonwealth Games.

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Indian weightlifter Raghavan Chandrasekaran is the real gemstone of the Commonwealth Games. Two-time Olympian weightlifter Raghavan earned many accolades for India. He clinched three gold medals, including snatch, clean and jerk event in the flyweight division at Commonwealth Games 1990. He further followed his triumphant journey with three silvers in bantamweight at the 1994 edition in Victoria, Canada.

List of medals won by Indians in Commonwealth Game

Edition Gold Silver Bronze Total medals Position
London 1934 0 0 1 1 12th
Sydney 1938 0 0 0 0
Vancouver 1954 0 0 0 0
Cardiff 1958 2 1 0 3 8th
Kingston 1966 3 4 3 10 6th
Edinburgh 1970 5 3 4 12 6th
Christchurch 1974 4 8 3 15 6th
Edmonton 1978 5 4 6 15 6th
Brisbane 1982 5 8 3 16 6th
Auckland 1990 13 8 11 32 5th
Victoria 1994 6 11 7 24 6th
Kuala Lumpur 1998 7 10 8 25 7th
Manchester 2002 30 22 17 69 4th
Melbourne 2006 22 17 11 50 4th
New Delhi 2010 38 27 36 101 2nd
Glasgow 2014 15 30 19 64 5th
Gold Coast 2018 26 20 20 66 3rd
TOTAL 181 173 149 503

The 2010 edition of the Commonwealth Games was India’s most successful appearance. India managed to pull off 101 medals across various disciplines and secured the second spot in the medals tally for the first and only time so far.

In which sports India has won the most medals in CWG?

India won the most medal in shooting events with 135 podium finishes.

Most successful Indian Athlete in CWG?

Raghavan Chandrasekaran- commonwealth games- KreedOn
Jaspal Rana is the real gemstone of the Commonwealth Games, Image Source- Olympics.com

Pistol shooter Jaspal Rana with 15 medals is the most successful Indian athlete at the Commonwealth Games. He won a total of nine golds, four silvers, and two bronze.

Manika Batra and her glorious journey at the 2018 edition of the Commonwealth Games exceeded all expectations when she bagged four medals in that edition.

A total of 215 athletes will be representing India at CWG 2022, Birmingham.

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Nidhi Singh
Nidhi Singh
As quoted by M K Gandhi “learn as if you were to live forever”. This is the philosophy that she tries to live by. Learning new things is a passion that leads you to a school of upskills. Given her interest in writing, she pursued her dreams by taking a bachelor's degree in Journalism & Mass Communications from GGSIPU and received several accolades in academics. She is working as Senior Editor at KreedOn and loves challenges and completing multiple tasks within a stipulated timeline. She loves watching football and the credit goes to Lionel Messi. In her leisure time, she loves to paint her imagination.


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