India has a long history of sports and it will once again be on display when the 2022 edition of the Commonwealth Games begins. This edition will be memorable for many reasons, one of which being the inclusion of cricket at the event for the first time since 1998. This is also the first Commonwealth Games since India’s most successful Olympics campaign, and expectations are ripe on the Indian athletes.
India’s history at the Commonwealth Games can be traced back to the days of British Raj. While the event, which began as the British Empire Games in 1930, did not see India’s participation in the first edition, it did from the second edition onward. Let’s take a look at the history of India at the Commonwealth Games.
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1934 – England, London ( 1 bronze, standing 12th)
This was the very first time when India participated at the event. Rashid Anwar gave the country its first-ever medal at the erstwhile British Empire Games, when he won a bronze in wrestling in 74 kg category.
1938 – Australia, Sydney
This was the second time when India participated in the event. However, it did not win any medals.
1954 – Canada, Vancouver
India’s third appearance at the tournament and the first appearance after the country’s independence. However, India were eliminated from the medal count.
1958 – Wales, Cardiff (2 gold, 1 silver, 0 Bronze, standing 8th)
India’s fourth outing at the Commonwealth games, which was called as The British Empire and Commonwealth Games at the time. It was at this edition when India clinched its first-ever gold medal at the event when legendary sprinter Milkha Singh won at the Men’s 440 Yards event.
Stephanie D’Souza and Elizabeth Davenport also became the first women to represent India at the CWG.
Wrestler Lila Ram picked up India’s second gold medal while Lachmi Kant Pandey won a silver.
1966 – Jamaica, Kingston (3 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze, standing 8th)
The first time India registered at least 10 medals at the Commonwealth Games. It was considered a huge success at the time as India finished at the eighth position.
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1970 – Scotland, Edinburgh (5 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze, standing 6th)
India finished at the sixth position for its sixth time participating in the event. Nine out of 12 medals in this edition came in wrestling.
1974 – New Zealand, Christchurch (4 gold, 8 silver, 3 bronze, standing 6th)
After the terrorist attack at the Munich Olympics, this edition of the Commonwealth Games were organised under high security. India finished at the sixth position with four gold medals..
1978 – Canada, Edmonton (5 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze, standing 6th)
It was at this edition when the British Commonwealth Games was renamed to Commonwealth Games. Prakash Padukone won India’s first ever gold medal in badminton here. India clinched 11 medals in total and finished at the sixth spot.
1982 – Australia, Brisbane (5 gold, 8 silver, 3 bronze, standing 6th)
India finished at the sixth position yet again. It was also at this edition when shooting clinched its first medal for the country.
1990 – New Zealand, Auckland (13 gold, 8 silver, 11 bronze, standing 5th)
India won 32 medals at this edition and finished at the fifth spot. The country wanted to host this edition, but lost against New Zealand.
1994 – Canada, Victoria (6 gold, 11 silver, 7 bronze, standing 6th)
India finished at the sixth position but lost eight medals in the trophy count from the previous edition as it won 24 medals.
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1998 – Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur (7 gold, 10 silver, 8 bronze, standing 7th)
While India slightly recovered its medal count with 25, it finished at the seventh place, its poorest since 1966. It was the first Commonwealth Games to be organised on Asian soil. It was also the first time when cricket was included in the event.
Roopa Unnikrishan also became the first-ever Indian woman to win a gold medal at this edition.
2002 – England, Manchester (30 gold, 22 silver, 17 bronze, standing 4th)
The first time when India won 15+ gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. The country also finished at the fourth place, its best at the time since the tournament began.
2006 – Australia, Melbourne (22 gold, 17 silver, 11 bronze, standing 4th)
Over 5000 athletes participated in the edition and India finished at the fourth place.
2010 – India, New Delhi (38 gold, 27 silver, 36 bronze, standing 2nd)
India’s best ever showing at the Commonwealth Games as it finished at the second spot in the medal counting list as it clinched 101 medals. It was also the first time in the country’s history when India won more than 100 medals at the event.
Krishna Poonia won India’s first gold medal in athletics in 52 years during this edition.
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2014 – Scotland, Glasgow (15 gold 15, 30 silver, 19 bronze, standing 5th)
India’s 16th appearance at the Commonwealth Games ended with the country finished at the fifth position.
Parupalli Kashyap won a gold medal in Badminton Men’s Singles after 32 years. Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal also won India its first-ever gold medal in Squash.
2018 – Australia, Gold Coast (26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze, standing 3rd)
The previous edition of the Commonwealth Games saw India finishing at the third place with 66 medals. PV Sindhu was India’s flagbearer at the event
Neeraj Chopra came under the limelight by winning a gold medal in men’s javelin at the age of 20. It was also at this edition when Mary Kom won her first CWG medal.