With less than ten days to go for the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, the Indian Olympic Association has decided to field 224 athletes for 14 disciplines. Out of the 17 events available at the Games, India won’t be fielding athletes in three events which includes Netball, Rugby Sevens and Triathlon. India finished the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games as runners with a total of 101 medals (38 Gold, 27 Silver and 36 Bronze) and will look to go a step ahead in this edition. India are set to tough competition from Australia, England and Canada. Here are the few disciplines in which India have more chances of clinching Gold in the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
With women’s boxing World Champions and India’s best bet for a gold medal in the Commonwealth Games M.C. Mary Kom failed to make it to Glasgow, more hopes rely on the broad shoulders of men pugilists which is led by experienced Vijender Singh. Vijender, who will fight it out in the 75 kg category is one of the brightest Gold Medal prospects for India in the Commonwealth Games. He is an integral part of the Indian men’s boxing contingent which also has Praveen More (91+kg), Dinesh Kumar (91kg), Sumit Sangwan (81kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg), Manoj Kumar (64kg), Shiva Thapa (52kg) and Devendro Singh (49kg).
India’s best chances for a gold in the Commonwealth Games come from the Badminton women’s singles. India, led by their prolific Badminton stars Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu are red hot favourites for clinching gold in the event. Chinese absence in the commonwealth games makes the case easier for Saina and co. in the Games. A medal can be expected from the Indian women’s badminton doubles duo of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponappa as well. Jwala and Ashwini are one of the finest doubles players in the circuit. Even in the men’s singles category, P. Kashyap and K. Srikanth has the ability to go all the way for a gold.
Out of the 30 Gold medals India won in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, the shooters accounted for as many as 18 medals. Even in the 2006 Games at Melbourne, India won more medals in shooting and adding to that, Air Pistol shooter Samaresh Jung won the award for the “Athlete of the Commonwealth Games”. With a rich haul of history, Indian shooters led by Olympic Gold Medal winner Abhinav Bindra will look to better the performances of the previous editions. Apart from Bindra, the Shooting contingent includes Manjavit Singh Sindhu, Vijay Kumar, Gagan Narang in the men’s category and the likes of Heena Sindhu, Malaika Goel in the Women’s category.
India is known to have some of the best wrestlers in the world. After proving their worth in the previous editions of the Olympics, Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games, the wrestlers will look to dictate terms in the 2014 Commonwealth Games as well. The strong Indian wrestling contingent has the likes of Olympic medalists Sushil Kumar and Yogeshwar Dutt apart from youngsters Amit Sharma, Bhajrang Poonia and Satyawart Kadiyan. Amit and Bhajrang are Bronze medallists form the 2013 World Championships in Hungary. Kadiyan won bronze in the Junior World Championships in Bulgaria last year.
Squash is one of the sports in which India have a pretty decent track record. In the 2014 Commonwealth Games, the Indian squash contingent has Saurav Goshal and Harinder Pal Singh in the men’s category and Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinnappa for the women’s events. Goshal is seeded fourth in the men’s draw and Dipika is seeded sixth in the women’s draw. In the men’s doubles, Goshal will partner Harinder whereas Dipika and Joshna will team up for women’s doubles. Goshal and Dipika will represent India in the mixed doubles which can be considered a best chance to strike gold.
Apart from these, India’s chance for a gold medal comes from Ravi Kumar in weightlifting, Tintu Luka in 800 metres, women’s 4*400 metre relay team, Vikas Gowda, Seema Antil and Krishna Poonia in discuss throw, Arpinder Singh and Ranjith Maheshwari in men’s triple jump. It will be very difficult for the Indian Hockey team (both men and women) to end up with a medal but the coaches have expressed confidence of a positive return from the games.