India in Commonwealth Games
As compared to other events, India’s performance in the Commonwealth Games has been
good. Wrestlers, weightlifters and shooters have won the maximum number of medals
for India. Here is a brief look at India’s participation and performance in the
1934 British Empire Games:
India first participated in the second edition of the Games in 1934, as a British
colony. It won its first medal when Rashid Anwar won a bronze in the welterweight
category of wrestling.
1938 British Empire Games:
India failed to win a single medal in this edition.
1950 British Empire Games:
The British Empire Games returned in 1950 after the second World War. India, who
had gained freedom in 1947 after much struggle, gave this edition a miss.
1954 British Empire Games:
This was the first Empire Games in which India participated as a free country. However,
India failed to make it to the medal tally.
1958 British Empire Games:
The sixth edition of the Empire Games was held in Cardiff, Wales. Here India won
three medals- 2 Gold and 1 Silver. ‘Flying Sikh’ Milkha Singh won India the first
Gold in the 440 Yards track event. Grappler Lila Ram Sangwan won a Gold in heavyweight, while Lachmi Kant Pandey won Silver in welterweight category.
1962 British Empire Games:
A month after the India-China war ended, the seventh Empire Games began in Perth,
Australia. India did not participate in these Games.
1966 British Empire Games:
India finished ninth in these Games with 10 medals – 3 Gold, 4 Silver and 3 Bronze.
Indian wrestlers performed brilliantly and won three gold medals, two silver and
two bronze medals in various categories. The winners were: Gold – Bishambhar Singh
(bantamweight), Mukhtiar Singh (lightweight) and Bhim Singh (heavyweight); Silver
– Shamrao Sable (flyweight), Randhawa Singh (featherweight), Praveen Kumar (Hammer
throw), Mahon Ghosh (Weightlifting - featherweight); Bronze - Dinesh Khanna (Badminton),
Hukum Singh (welterweight – wrestling), Bishwanath Singh (light heavyweight -wrestling).
1970 British Commonwealth Games:
India finished sixth with 12 medals, nine of which were won by the wrestlers in
various categories. Ved Prakash, Sudesh Kumar, Udey Chand, Mukhtiar Singh and Harish
Rajindra won five gold medals; Sajjan Singh, Bishwanath Singh and Maruti Mane won
silver, and Randhawa Singh clinched bronze. Alexander Navis got bronze in featherweight
category of weightlifting. Pugilist Shivaji Bhonsle won a bronze in welterweight.
1974 British Commonwealth Games:
Wrestlers continued with their ‘Gold’en touch in New Zealand. Sudesh Kumar, Prem
Nath, Jagrup Singh and Raghunath Pawar won four gold medals in various categories.
Shivaji Chingle, Satpal Singh, Netra Pal Singh, Dada Chaugule and Bishwanath Singh
won silver, while Radhey Shyam bronze. Anil Mandal won Silver in weightlifting.
In boxing, Chandra Narayan clinched silver while Muniswami Venu won bronze.
1978 Commonwealth Games: From
this edition onwards, the British Commonwealth Games became Commonwealth Games.
India clinched 15 medals in Canada that included 5 Gold medals. Wrestlers won most
of the medals – nine – that included 3 Gold from Ashok Kumar, Satbir Singh, Rajinder
Singh. Shuttler Prakash Padukone and weightlifter Ekambaram Karunakaran won the
other two gold medals for India.
1982 Commonwealth Games: India
won 16 medals in total, out of which five were gold, eight silver and three bronze
medals. India finished sixth in Brisbane Games.
1986 Commonwealth Games: A
large number of African, Asian and Caribbean countries boycotted these Games due
to British Prime Minister Margret Thatcher’s stand on country’s sporting relations
with South Africa, which was struggling with the problem of apartheid. India too
stayed away from the Games.
1990 Commonwealth Games: India
had bid to host this edition but lost to New Zealand. However, India bettered its
performance and finished with 32 medals. Out of 13 gold medals, 12 were won in weightlifting.
Ashok Pandit won the thirteenth Gold for India in shooting (centre-fire pistol).
India won eight silver and eleven bronze medals.
1994 Commonwealth Games: In
the 1994 edition, India shooters and weightlifters won six gold medals. Jaspal Rana
won two of them in Pistol events. Mansher Singh clinched the Gold in shotgun trap
event. Weightlifter Badathala Adisekhar got two gold medals in various events while
Murgesan Veerasamy won the sixth gold for India. In total, India had won 25 medals,
including 12 Silver and 7 Bronze.
1998 Commonwealth Games: India
won 25 medals and finished seventh at the Kuala Lumpur Games with Indian shooters
and weightlifters gathering most of the medals. Jaspal Rana, Ashok Pandit, Mansher
Singh and Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Roopa Unnikrishnan won 4 gold medals for India
in various shooting events. Lifters Dharamraj Wilson, Arumugam K. Pandian and Satheesha
Rai won the remaing three gold medals. India won other medals in boxing, badminton,
shooting and weightlifting.
2002 Commonwealth Games: These
Games have been the best for India in terms of medal tally. India finished fourth
with 69 medals, out of which 30 were gold. Held in Manchester, India won medals
in various events of sports, ranging from athletics to judo, boxing to cycling,
shooting to hockey, weightlifting to wrestling. However, once again it was India’s
shooters, wrestlers and lifters who stole the thunder. Shooters won 14 gold medals,
weightlifters 11 and wrestlers 3. Pugilist Ali Qamar won gold and women’s hockey
team clinched gold medals in their respective events.
2006 Commonwealth Games: Though
it was not as impressive as the 2002 edition, India still managed to win 50 medals
and finish fourth. Indian athletes won 22 gold medals with shooters leading the
table with 16. They also 7 silver and 4 bronze medals. Peddler Achanta Sharath Kamal
clinched a gold. India also won gold in men’s and bronze in women’s table tennis
team event. In weightlifting, India won 3 gold, 5 silver and a bronze. Indian boxer
Akhil Kumar succeeded in clinching a gold in the Bantamweight category while Vijender
Singh and Harpreet Singh won silver medals in Welterweight and Heavyweight categories.
Two bronze medals were won by Jitender Kumar and Varghese Johnson.