India at CWG 2014: Heroes

With Parupalli Kashyap finishing off India’s CWG 2014 campaign in grand style, the Indian contingent will be happy with their showing in Glasgow, though it wasn’t half as good as their landmark Delhi showing. This was expected though, with plenty of favorites pulling out from the Games, leaving the underdogs to have their day and make their name at the prestigious tournament.

 

India finished fifth in Glasgow on the medals count—winning a total of 64 medals behind England, Australia, Canada and host nation Scotland.

They won 13 medals in WRESTLING, 17 medals at SHOOTING, 14 at WEIGHTLIFTING, 4 in BADMINTON, 5 in BOXING, 3 in ATHLETICS, 1 in SQUASH (first time ever), 4 in JUDO, 1 in HOCKEY, 1 in TABLE TENNIS and, surprise surprise, 1 in GYMNASTICS.

HEROES:

VIKAS GOWDA (Men’s Discus GOLD)
Only the second Indian to win Athletics Gold after Milkha Singh in 1958, Gowda didn’t match up to his personal record but still won his biggest medal yet after making the Olympic final in 2012 (8th). He is also the Asian Champion and bettered his Delhi 2010 silver medal with a throw (63.64) that was 0.05 mts less than his Delhi effort.

DIPIKA PALLIKAL AND JOSHNA CHINAPPA
(SQUASH)
India’s first medal winners in Squash at the Games, the girls did their nation proud with an unprecedented victory that could open for doors for their sport in many Indian hearts. They defeated favorites from England—Massaro and Duncalf in a hard-fought final.

DIPA KARMAKAR (Gymnastics BRONZE)
The first Indian woman to win a medal at Gymnastics in the history of the Games, Karmakar won the Bronze with a score of 14.366 thanks to a vault of difficulty 7.00. She is from Tripura and will be urged on to bring more national glory in RIO 2016. Gymnastics is an alien sport to the country, and she will be venturing further where no Indian dares to go. She is the 2011 National Champion.

ARPINDER SINGH (TRIPLE JUMP bronze)
Bronze at the Asian Championships, now followed by a Games Bronze medal—easily the 22 year olds’ biggest victory so far. He is the national record holder.

 

 

PARUPALLI KASHYAP (BADMINTON GOLD)
The first Indian man to win a Singles Gold in 32 years at the Games, Kashyap is arguably the most high-profile athlete to win in a sport that is fast catching on in a country woken up by Saina Nehwal. Kashyap has been around for longer, is afflicted with Asthma, but has steadily achieved success after breaking into the top 10 in 2013. He has fallen to 22 since then, but entered the Games as favorite to emulate his Delhi silver medal. He went one up and won the Gold after two energy sapping matches—the semis against England and final against Singapore, to win the biggest title of his career.

JITU RAI (50m AIR PISTOL GOLD)
Arguably India’s best shooter, Rai is the only Indian to have won 2 medals (silver in 50m and Gold in 10m) at a single World Cup (2014). He was ranked 1 in the world in 10m Air pistol and 4th in 50m Air Pistol, and ended up winning his first CWG Gold for the latter by breaking the Games Record in qualification scoring 562 points. He is to Air pistol what Bindra has been to Air Rifle for years, and will be one of the favorites to win India a rare gold medal at the 2016 RIO Olympic Games.

Should have won GOLD:

PV Sindhu (Bronze in Badminton Women’s Singles), Gagan Narang (Bronze 50m rifle), Gutta and Ponappa (Silver in Badminton Women’s Doubles), Vijender Singh (Middleweight Boxing Silver), Devendro Singh (Men’s flyweight Silver)

 

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