India’s medal haul at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games amounted to 66, of which 26 were gold. India finished third, its best CWG performance since 2010.
Sportstar brings you the 10 best performances by Indians at the 2018 edition of the Games.
1. Neeraj Chopra, Javelin Throw- In his Commonwealth Games debut, Neeraj Chopra started with a monster throw of 85.50m. The world junior record holder remained on the top with 86.47m, marking the final blow and season-best, thereby winning India’s fourth individual gold medal in Commonwealth Games history in track and field. Having fouled twice in the second and last attempt, he found his best in the fourth round, which was only a centimetre shy of the winning distance of 86.48m in the 2016 world junior championships in Poland. His other valid throws of 84.78m and 83.48m were all above that of Australia’s Hamish Peacock, who had to settle for silver. The Australian’s best was 82.59m, while bronze medallist Grenada’s Anderson Peters was 82.20m.
2. Mirabai Chanu, Weightlifting: Mirabai Chanu lived up to expectations as she won India’s first gold medal in the 48kg weightlifting event in the 2018 Commonwealth Games. The Imphal-born weightlifter not only converted her silver from Glasgow 2014 to the gold medal but also secured CWG records in snatch, clean and jerk and the total. She lifted 86kg in the snatch, 110kg in clean and jerk, and a total of 196kg.
3. Sharath Kamal, Table Tennis: Veteran Indian paddler Sharath Kamal bagged the men’s singles table tennis bronze in the 2018 Commonwealth Games with an 11-7, 11-9, 9-11, 11-6, 12-10 win over England’s Samuel Walker. He had fallen short of winning a gold medal after suffering a heartbreaking loss to Nigeria’s Aruna Quadri in the semifinals. Sharath looked well-prepared and displayed a wide range of shots during his win over Walker. Along with Sathiyan, Sharath also competed in the men’s doubles, where the duo lost a five set match 5-11, 12-10, 11-9, 6-11, 8-11.
4. Manika Batra, Table Tennis: India’s first-ever gold in women’s table tennis singles event came from Manika Batra, who ended the Singaporean supremacy in the discipline. Manika defeated Mengyu Yu in straight sets, 11-7, 11-6, 11-2, 11-7 with utmost ease as she hardly gave any room for her rival to bring out her range of shots from her arsenal. Mengyu was left stunned as Manika carried on with her attacking game. In the women’s doubles event, she paired with Mouma Das but lost to Tianwei Feng and Mengyu in straight sets.
5. Badminton (Mixed team, Saina, Srikanth, Sindhu)- Saina Nehwal defeated P. V. Sindhu 21-18, 23-21 to clinch her second Commonwealth Games women’s singles title in style at the Carrara sports arena. The former World No. 1 was determined and aggressive as she overcame the challenge from compatriot Sindhu in straight games. A cherry on the top was when the Indian team bagged its maiden gold in the badminton mixed team event, beating defending champion Malaysia 3-1 in the finals. K. Srikanth, won silver with a loss to Lee Chong Wei of Malaysia 19-21, 21-14, 21-4. Lee took his chances and outplayed Srikanth with a ruthless display of strength and intelligence. India’s men’s doubles pair of Satwik Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty also finished with a silver medal, losing tamely to the English pair of Marcus Ellis and Chris Langridge 21-13, 21-16 in the final.
6. Squash (women’s doubles and mixed team)- The Indian hopes of getting the gold medal in the mixed doubles in squash failed to transpire as Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal went down fighting to Cameron Pilley and Donna Lobban of Australia 8-11, 10-11 at the Oxenford Studios. India ended its Commonwealth Games campaign in squash with two silver medals after Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa lost in the women’s doubles final. Pallikal and Chinappa, who had won a historic gold in Glasgow Games four years ago, fell short against the New Zealand duo of Joelle King and Amanda-Landers Murphy 9-11, 8-11 in the title clash.
7. Table Tennis (mixed doubles, men’s, women’s team)- The Indian women’s team table tennis team created history at the Oxenford Studios after defeating the three-time champion Singapore 3-1 for a memorable gold medal. By defeating England 3-0 in the semifinals, it was India’s best performance to date, getting to the final for the first time since New Delhi in 2010. The men’s table tennis team followed suit and coasted to a commanding 3-0 win over Nigeria to clinch the gold medal. The side came into the tie riding on the momentum from a hard-fought 3-2 win over defending champion Singapore in the semifinals earlier. It was an all Indian fight for the bronze medal as Manika and G. Sathiyan defeated Sharath Kamal and Mouma Das 11-6, 11-2, 11-4 in the mixed doubles.
8. Boxing- Boxing won India nine medals in the 2018 CWG with three medals in each colour. MC Mary Kom created history by becoming India’s first woman boxer to claim a gold medal in CWG. Her final against Kristina O’Hara of Northern Ireland in the 45-48kg category was an intense contest, but as the three rounds passed, she received a unanimous verdict from the judges. Gaurav Solanki carried on India’s good work in the men’s 52kg final against Brendan Irvine of Northern Ireland. The verdict in his favour was, however, split at 4-1 . The seasoned Vikas Krishan played a similar game against Cameroon’s Wilfried Seynitsengue in the men’s 75kg final and won gold by unanimous decision. While, Amit Panghal, Manish Kaushik and Satish Kumar won silver, Naman Tanwar, Hussamudin Mohammed, and Manoj Kumar secured bronze.
9. Wrestling: Rahul Aware guided India to its first gold medal in wrestling, defeating Steven Takahashi of Canada 15-7 in the men’s freestyle 57kg category. Sushil Kumar clinched his third Commonwealth gold after beating Johannes Botha of South Africa on technical superiority in men’s freestyle 74kg. Botha lasted about 80 seconds before Sushil accumulated 10 points to register his win. Bajrang Punia did not let his mentor Yogeshwar Dutt down as he won the men’s 65kg freestyle wrestling title by defeating Kane Charig of Wales by technical superiority. Winning her second Games gold, Vinesh Phogat defeated Canada’s Jessica MacDonald in the women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling finals. Sumit Malik ended the wrestling gold streak by winning over Korey Jarvis of Canada in the finals of the men’s 125kg freestyle category. While Pooja Dhanda, Mausam Khatri, Babita Kumari and Mausam Khatri won silver, the bronze medals were given to Kiran, Divya Kakran and Somveer.
10. Seema Punia and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon, Athletics: Seema Punia returned home with her fourth successive Commonwealth Games medal as she and Navjeet Kaur Dhillon opened India’s medal tally account in athletics. Her first effort of 60.41m was good enough for the silver medal behind Australian Dani Stevens, who touched a Games record of 68.26m in the fourth round. Seema has now won the silver thrice - 2006 Melbourne being her first before finishing with a bronze in New Delhi 2010. Navjeet looked out of sorts initially, but the 2014 World junior medallist came good in the sixth round to get to a distance of 57.43m and deny New Zealand’s Sositina Hakeai, a place on the podium.