India at Commonwealth Games: full list of medals since 1934, trivia and events record

A brief look at India’s performances at the Commonwealth Games since 1934 and some interesting landmarks.

Stronger, sharper: India’s Md. Ali Qamar celebrates after defeating Darran Langley of England in the Men’s Light Flyweight final at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. This was India’s first gold medal in boxing.

Stronger, sharper: India’s Md. Ali Qamar celebrates after defeating Darran Langley of England in the Men’s Light Flyweight final at the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester. This was India’s first gold medal in boxing. | Photo Credit: GETTY IMAGES

A brief look at India’s performances at the Commonwealth Games since 1934 and some interesting landmarks.

A member of the team that played India’s first-ever Test match was also a member of the Indian contingent that made its Commonwealth Games debut in 1934 at London!

Jahangir Khan, an all-rounder in the undivided Indian team that made its Test debut against England in June 1932 at Lord’s and who later became a cricket selector and administrator in Pakistan after partition, was a javelin thrower and a sprint relay runner in the 1934 British Empire Games, as the Commonwealth Games were then known.

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India did not send a team for the first Games in 1930 but sent a six-member squad for the next edition in London and Rashid Anwar, the team’s lone wrestler, won the first-ever and sole medal that year – a bronze in the 74kg freestyle event.

The country failed to pick a medal in the next Games, at Sydney in 1938, and skipped the next edition at Auckland in 1950 (The Games were not held in 1942 and 1946). It drew a blank again at Auckland in 1954, the first time it was participating in the Games since Independence in 1947.

Toast of the nation: Pistol ace Jaspal Rana being chaired by his supporters and his wife Reema on his arrival to India in September, 1998, from Kuala Lumpur where he won two gold and two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games.

Toast of the nation: Pistol ace Jaspal Rana being chaired by his supporters and his wife Reema on his arrival to India in September, 1998, from Kuala Lumpur where he won two gold and two silver medals at the Commonwealth Games. | Photo Credit: THE HINDU ARCHIVES

India first won gold at the Games in Cardiff, Wales, in 1958, when the great Milkha Singh (440-yard race) and freestyle wrestler Lila Ram (100kg), emerged as champions. Milkha beat Malcolm Spence to the gold in Cardiff but two years later, the South African beat the Indian in a close race and took the 400m bronze at the 1960 Tokyo Olympics.

Medals galore

India has won more than 500 medals in the 17 editions – it missed four (in 1930, 1950, 1962 and 1986) – of the Commonwealth Games, including 182 gold, with shooting alone garnering 63 gold.

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Shooting made its Games debut in 1966 but India’s first gold in that sport came only in 1990 at Auckland through Ashok Pandit in centre-fire pistol. Jaspal Rana has the distinction of winning the maximum medals (15) in shooting, including nine gold.

Shooting has been dropped from the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

India had its best medal tally (101 medals, including 38 gold), in 2010 when it hosted the Commonwealth Games in New Delhi.

It finished second in the medal table, its best-ever finish in the Games.

Here’s a brief look at India’s medal tally at the Commonwealth Games since 1934 and some interesting landmarks:
1934 London: 1 bronze (first medal, Rashid Anwar, wrestling, 74kg).
1938 Sydney: No medal.
1954 Vancouver: No medal.
1958 Cardiff: 3 medals – 2 gold, 1 silver. First gold in athletics: Milkha Singh (440 yards); first gold in wrestling: Lila Ram (100kg).
1966 Kingston: 10 medals – 3 gold (all from wrestling), 4 silver, 3 bronze.
1970 Edinburgh: 12 medals – 5 gold (all from wrestling), 3 silver, 4 bronze.
1974 Christchurch: 15 medals – 4 gold (all from wrestling), 8 silver, 3 bronze.
1978 Edmonton: 15 medals – 5 gold (three from wrestling), 4 silver, 6 bronze. First gold in badminton: Prakash Padukone in men’s singles; first gold in weightlifting: Ekambaram Karunakaran (men’s 52kg).
1982 Brisbane: 16 medals – 5 gold (four from wrestling), 8 silver, 3 bronze.
1990 Auckland: 32 medals – 13 gold (12 from weightlifting), 8 silver, 11 bronze. (Twelve gold in weightlifting but three medals were given in each weight category – snatch, clean & jerk and total then – and that made the number). First gold in shooting: Ashok Pandit (men’s centre-fire pistol).
1994 Victoria: 24 medals – 6 gold (three in shooting), 11 silver, 7 bronze.
1998 Kuala Lumpur: 25 medals – 7 gold (four in shooting), 10 silver, 8 bronze.
2002 Manchester: 69 medals – 30 gold (14 in shooting), 22 silver, 17 bronze. First gold in boxing: Md Ali Qamar (below-48kg); first gold in hockey: India (women’s team).
2006 Melbourne: 50 medals – 22 gold (16 from shooting), 17 silver, 11 bronze. First gold in table tennis: A. Sharath Kamal (men’s singles) & men’s team.
2010 New Delhi: 101 medals – 38 gold (14 from shooting), 27 silver, 36 bronze. First gold in archery: Rahul Banerjee (men’s individual recurve bow), Deepika Kumari (women’s individual recurve bow), India (recurve bow team). First gold in tennis: Somdev Devvarman (men’s singles). Second in medal table – the best ever.
2014 Glasgow: 64 medals – 15 gold (5 in wrestling), 30 silver, 19 bronze. First gold in squash: Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinnappa (women’s doubles).
2018 Gold Coast: 66 medals – 26 gold (7 in shooting and 5 each in wrestling and weightlifting), 20 silver, 20 bronze. Third in medal table.
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