71 nations. 261 events. 18 sports. 4947 athletes.
Manchester. Melbourne. Delhi. And now Glasgow.
Back in Delhi in 2010, the host nation INDIA recorded a highest ever medal tally. It had more than 410 athletes participating in the games, and won 101 medals—including 38 golds—allowing them to finish a spot above Britain (37 golds) in the table. It finished second only to Australia in the table.
Four years later in Glasgow, many wonder if they will be able to achieve even half of that tally. India will be fielding only 215 athletes—4th in number to Australia (417), the host nation (Scotland- 310) and Canada (265). INDIA will definitely struggle to match Delhi 2010, considering some of their top athletes and medal hopes have made themselves unavailable for the event.
Nevertheless, here are some of our top hopes during the Games:
PV Sindhu (Badminton)
With no Saina Nehwal, Sindhu will be India’s best bet to win a medal in Badminton. She is the world no. 11 and seeded 2nd in the Games, and is also the only Indian to win a women’s singles medal at the World Championships. Moreover, she is in good form.
Vijay Kumar (Shooting)
The Olympic silver medalist pistol-shooter. He was India’s star in 2010—winning 3 golds and a silver. He is favorite to replicate that performance here.
L Devendro Singh (49 kg Boxing)
Top seed in his category and former World no. 1. He was a silver medalist in the 2013 Asian Championships and will be keen to further his formidable reputation.
Krishna Poonia (Discus-throw)
A record-breaker in Delhi and India’s first track-and-field gold medalist since Milkha Singh at the 1958 Games. Defending Champion.
Sushil Kumar (Boxing)
India’s most famous Boxing name. Two-time Olympic medalist and 2010 World Champ in the 66 kg category. Will now do battle in the 74 kg category. Will not find it easy.
Women’s Hockey Team
Missed the podium in Delhi, but had their best-ever sporting moment in Manchester 2002 when they won the gold against all odds. They trailed 0-3 in the semifinal against South Africa, and fought back to win 4-3 in the second half. They defeated England 3-2 in the Final, and even won a Silver at Melbourne four years later. Coach Neil Hawgood expects a medal this time.
Dipika Pallikal (Squash)
India have never won a medal in this event. Their best chance could be Doubles, but 10th-ranked Pallikal is one of the dark horses in the individual event. Pallikal and Chinappa have most hopes pinned on them in Doubles. World no. 16 Sourav Ghosal is also a good bet to reach the podium.
Gutta and Ponappa (Badminton)
Gold medallists in 2010, they will be looking to defend the title. They were one of the two golds (other being Saina), one Silver and one Bronze at the 2010 event.
K Ravi Kumar (Weight lifting)
Gold medallist in Delhi, he has been training for a month in Birmingham to replicate his performance. He has moved from 69 kg to 77 kg category.
With powerhouses like China and Korea out of the way, India stand a good chance to replicate their impressive 2010 performance (5 medals). They will have Singapore as their main rival, who won 12 of the 24 available paddling medals in 2010. India’s veteran paddler and World no. 38 Achanta Sharath Kamal is the best bet to replicate his Melbourne Gold. Moreover, the men won a team bronze in Delhi and are favorites to go one higher this time.
4X100 Women’s Relay
A heroic Bronze at Delhi will inspire them to go for a podium this time. They face stiff competition from Jamaica, Nigeria and Australia.
Traditional favorites Australia will win the medal’s tally comfortably. It could be down to England, Scotland fighting for second place, while India will struggle to remain in the top 5.