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How many medals will these Indians win at the CWG?

Last updated on: April 04, 2018 09:12 IST

India has huge expectations from these champions.
Rediff.com's Laxmi Negi and Norma Godinho glance at their chances at the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

At the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi, India won 101 medals, the most it has won at a CWG.

Four years later, at the CWG in Glasgow, Indian athletes won 64 medals.

If India has to better its Delhi and Glasgow records, its hopes rest on the champions you will meet in this feature.

 

Track and Field

Neeraj Chopra
IMAGE: Neeraj Chopra is a medal prospect for India. Photograph: Joosep Martinson/Getty Images for IAAF

One discipline where India has under-performed.

India won just 3 track and field medals in Glasgow four years ago.

While veteran discus thrower Seema Punia will hope to do one better than her silver medal-winning effort of 2014, hopes are high from Neeraj Chopra, the young javelin thrower who makes his CWG debut.

Neeraj is the the Junior World Champion, winning the title in Poland in 2016 with a 86.48m throw.

He bettered his personal record at the Federation Cup Senior National Athletics Championships last month.

India's other track and field medal prospect are the 4x400m relay teams.

Triple jumper Arpinder Singh, who won bronze in Glasgow, is expected to make another podium finish at the Gold Coast.

 

Hockey

Manpreet Singh
IMAGE: Indian hockey Captain Manpreet Singh. Photograph: Hockey India/Facebook

Australia are the clear favourites for the men's hockey gold, but Indian Captain Manpreet Singh expects nothing less than a gold medal for his boys.

The men's team is grouped in Pool B along with Pakistan, Malaysia, Wales and England.

Coach Sjoerd Marijne has picked a decent mix of experience and youth.

Star players Sardar Singh and Ramandeep Singh were dropped while the fit-again P R Sreejesh is back as goal-keeper.

With the likes of S V Sunil, Rupinderpal and Kothajit Singh, India's medal prospects look good.

Under Manpreet's captaincy in 2017, India won the Asia Cup after ten years.

In addition, it took home bronze medals at the Hockey World League Final in Bhubaneshwar.

What lies ahead of the elusive gold medal is a possible final against Australia.

In the last two editions of the Games, India made it to the final only to fall at that hurdle to the Aussies.

The team faces Pakistan in its opening clash and if recent encounters between the neighbours are any indication, this shouldn't be a tough match for India.

That former India coach Roelant Oltmans is in charge of Pakistan adds more spice to the contest.

The women's team, led by Rani Rampal, are on a high after the recent 3-1 victory over South Korea.

China, Japan, Korea are ranked higher, but India have beaten all of them.

India is grouped in Pool A along with Wales, Malaysia, England and South Africa.

Ranked 10th in the world, India are expected to win all its group matches, except the one against World No 2 England and could face the hosts in the semis.

Like the men's team, the women have a mix of experience and youth.

The onus is on Rani, Savita, Deepika, Sushila, Namita, Vandana and Poonam to deliver and repeat the good showing of 2002 when India won gold, followed by silver in 2006.

 

Boxing

Mary Kom
IMAGE: M C Mary Kom is never too old to win a medal. Photograph: Danish Siddiqui/Reuters

Olympic medallist, five-time World champion, Asian Games champion, you name it -- Mary Kom has won it all.

The one elusive medal in her trophy cabinet is a Commonwealth Games medal.

At age 35 this is Mary's debut Commonwealth Games (women's boxing was included in the Games only at Glasgow in 2014).

Along with Mary, Asian Championship bronze medallist Vikas Krishan also makes his Games debut.

Eight male and four female pugilists represent India and don't be surprised if they return from Down Under with their richest medal haul.

Hopes are also pinned on the experience of Manoj Kumar, Sarita Devi and Pinki Rani, who would like to change the hue of the metal they bagged in previous Games.

Other medal prospects are Manish Kaushik, in the 60kg class, and Amit Phangal, in the 49kg.

 

Badminton

PV Sindhu
IMAGE: P V Sindhu, the likely star of the Gold Coast Games. Photograph: Russell Cheyne/Reuters

India can win the most number of medals from badminton.

With Olympic silver medallist P V Sindhu, Saina Nehwal, Kidambi Srikanth, H S Prannoy, Chirag Shetty, Satwiksairaj Rankireddy, Pranaav Jerry Chopra, Ashwini Ponnappa, Sikki Reddy and Ruthvika Shivani Gadde, India has the strongest team at the Games.

Sindhu won the bronze in Glasgow four years ago and will be keen to make it gold this year.

Saina, who will participate in her third Commonwealth Games, should also do well.

In the men's singles, Srikanth and Prannoy are expected to give the legendary Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia a tough time.

India can expect at least four medals in the individual format from Sindhu, Saina, Prannoy and Srikanth. Anything less will be a disappointment.

In the mixed team event, India are strong favourites to win gold.

The team has never won a medal in the men's doubles at the Games and the in-form pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy could change that this time.

 

Wrestling

Sakshi Malik
IMAGE: Sakshi Malik. Photograph: Lars Baron/Getty Images

After her historic bronze medal in the Rio Olympics, Sakshi Malik will head to the Gold Coast as a strong medal hope.

A new defensive technique added to her repertoire, Sakshi is confident of winning her maiden Commonwealth Games gold medal.

She has tweaked her leg defence, something that won her gold in the Commonwealth championships in December.

Vinesh Phogat will look to win her second Games gold medal. This event assumes much importance for the wrestler who was out of action for almost nine months due to injury.

Besides Vinesh and Sakshi, Babita Kumari is another medal contender.

And let's not forget Sushil Kumar.

After spending two years away from the mat, the two-time Olympic medallist returned to compete at the national championship last year. He won gold after three of his opponents conceded a walkover.

The 34-year-old strongman is hoping for a hat-trick of gold medals at the Games, having emerged triumphant in 2010 and 2014.

 

Table tennis

Achanta Sharath Kamal
IMAGE: Achanta Sharath Kamal. Photograph: Robertus Pudyanto/Getty Images

India is sending one of its strongest TT teams to the Games and stands a chance of winning a medal in all categories -- men's singles, doubles and mixed doubles.

The doubles pairing of Sathiyan Gnanasekaran and Achanta Sharath Kamal looks strong on paper.

Sharath won the individual and team gold medal in the 2006 Melbourne CWG and guided the country to five medals (1 gold, 1 silver, 3 bronze) at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

In the women's category, Manika Batra is raring to go and adamant about bagging gold.

Laxmi Negi, Norma Godinho