New Delhi: India has a strong contingent in Commonwealth Games 2022. In the 2018 games as well the nation stood third with 66 medals, just behind Australia and England. Even if Shooting and Archery, which have poured in medals for India, are not part of the games, India still looks dominating in disciplines like Weightlifting, Wrestling, Badminton and Table Tennis.
With many gold medals expected in Birmingham, there are a few athletes who have a sure-shot chance to get their hands on the gold. Here is a list of 5 Indian athletes from whom the nation has high hopes:
1. PV Sindhu
Two-time Olympic medallist and silver medallist of the 2018 games, Sindhu is looking in brilliant form at the moment. She recently won Singapore Open Super 500 and is also the top-seeded shuttler in the 2022 CWG. She is currently ranked 7th in the world.
Sindhu is expected to face some competition from Singaporean, English and Malaysian shuttles. Losing to Indian badminton legend Saina Nehwal in the finals of Women’s Singles in Gold Coast, she will be looking to convert her silver into gold.
2. Mirabai Chanu
Tokyo Olympics silver medal, 2017 World Championship gold, and 2018 Commonwealth Games gold, these achievements are enough to inform how strong Saikhom Mirabai Chanu is when it comes to weightlifting. She faces tough competition from Chinese lifters like Hou, but China not being part of the CWG makes Chanu the favourite to win the gold.
She also set a world record in 2021 by lifting 119 kg in clean & jerk. Along with more medals coming in weightlifting, it is Mirabai Chanu who has lifted the nation’s hopes for gold.
3. Bajrang Punia
Bajrang Punia is set to defend his title in the Men’s 65 kg Freestyle Wrestling in Commonwealth Games. He is currently ranked second in the world, just behind Russia’s Rashidov Gadzhimurad. With Russia not being part of CWG, Punia has a great chance to defend his gold.
He was seen training well before the event and is all set to take on his opponents. In the Tokyo Olympics, he won a bronze medal defeating his arch-rival and current world number 3 Daulet Niyazbekov.
4. Manika Batra
2018 Commonwealth Games gold medallist in the Women’s Singles category, Manika Batra will look to repeat her performance. She will surely get tough competition from Singaporean players, but she countered the same last time too.
In 2018, she brought home four CWG medals which included two golds. She had an impressive performance at the Tokyo Olympics, where she went till round 3 in section 2 of Women’s singles. With great form and training, she seems to be bringing at least one gold this time too.
5. Vinesh Phogat
Winning the CWG title in the Women’s 50 kg weight category, Vinesh will be competing in the 53 kg category this time. She is currently ranked third in the world and will be the top seed in the upcoming CWG as North Korea and Japan are not part of the games.
She has a World Championship bronze and Asian Championships gold in the 53 kg category and two Commonwealth golds in the 48 kg and 50 kg categories. With her experience and training, she will give a tough time to her opponents in the arena.