Glasgow: Even with what looked like an impressive haul – 64 medals including 15 golds – India suffered its worst performance in nearly two decades as it finished fifth in the overall medal standings at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games which concluded on Sunday.
The South Asian nation sent more than 200 athletes to the Scottish city as part of its second largest contingent ever, clinching 12 of its top podium spots in wrestling, weightlifting and shooting – sports the country normally does well in at the quadrennial event.
While Indian archers failed to make a mark, boxers performed below performance as they failed to win a single gold despite five of competitors reaching the final.
However, ace players like Sushil Kumar, Abhinav Bindra, Parupalli Kashyap, Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa and Vikas Gowda and some others did India proud by winning gold medals.
Kashyap ended India’s 32-year wait for Commonwealth Gold in men’s singles. He became only the third Indian to clinch the gold medal at the championships.
The win against Singapore’s Derek Wing was special for Kashyap since the Indian has now got a huge monkey off his back as far as winning at the world stage is concerned.
“Last year I could have won a world championship medal but lost by a point. I lost in the quarterfinals in the Olympics. I think in these games, your opponents do not matter much. If you show heart you will win. Ending on the podium means everything,” said Kashyap after winning the biggest medal of his career yet.
Has Kashyap finally come of age? The duo of Dipika Pallikal and Joshana Chinappa showed a lot of heart in their gold medal match against the top seed England’s Jenny Duncalf and Laura Massaro.
After winning the first game comfortably 11-6 the Indians were in a spot of bother in the second. But the Indian girls showed solid temperament and clinched the second game 11-8 and ensured a historic gold for the country – their first ever medal in squash at the CWG.
Vikas Gowda became the first Indian in 56 years to win a gold medal in Athletics at the Commonwealth Games. The last person to win the medal was Milkha Singh who won 440 yards event in Cardiff.
The 31-year-old Gowda’s 63.64m effort helped him earn the gold ahead of Cypres’s Apostolos Parellis. Gowda’s effort was well below his season’s best 65.62m but the Indian has shown a consistent improvement ever since he settled in the United States.