Commonwealth Games 2022 is quite close on our heels, 28th July at Birmingham, England. Several countries will be sending participants to compete at the prestigious event. However, this time India will be keenly observed after the best-ever medal tally in the Tokyo Olympics 2021 and finishing third in the previous edition of Commonwealth Games held in Tokyo with 66 medals in totality. However, the country’s medal prospects received a minor jolt when the Olympic gold medal winner in Javelin Neeraj Chopra turned unfit for the event this time due to an injury. Nevertheless, India still has several promising talents who can secure glories for the country. Let us find out who they are.
The Hyderabadi shuttler is expected to perform well and grab top honours at Birmingham this time. In fact, PV Sindhu will be eyeing her third straight medal at the games post the bronze in 2014 and silver in 2018. Also, she does not have to fret over the rival shuttlers with the exception of Kirsty Gilmour and Michelle Li. So, all in all, India will expect nothing but spectacular from this tall lady at this year’s tournament. Let’s see how things shape up for Sindhu this time.
The Nizamabad (Telangana)-born pugilist has done enough of late to fetch the tag of the rising Indian boxing sensation. Nikhat Zareen is currently riding high on her strong showings in the world championship in Istanbul, where she won the title in May this year, and the Strandja Memorial tournament, where she got her 2nd gold. She will be competing in the present edition of the Commonwealth Games in the 50kg category and the opportunity is ripe to leave an indelible impact to carve a niche of her own in the world of boxing.
Ravi Dahiya & Bajrang Punia
Wrestling is another sport where Indians are expected to come out with flying colours. Especially, Ravi Dahiya, who had been sweating it out hard in India to get into the eligible weight category, 57 Kg, at this year’s edition. To raise the level of expectations, the wrestler recently grabbed gold at the Asian Wrestling Championships, Mongolia. So, he will be watched with keen interest despite enduring a disappointing Tokyo Olympics last year.
Similarly, it would be a cardinal sin not to include Bajrang Punia, after his Bronze-winning performance at Tokyo Olympics, as one of India’s medal contenders for this year’s Commonwealth. He has had good outings in the Commonwealth thus far and is expected to grab his third medal in the UK edition this year. With another robust display, he could send out a terse warning to his rivals that he would be a tough nut to crack at the 2024 Paris Olympics as well.
Other Potential Winners
After the recent historic triumph at the Thomas Cup, India’s men shuttlers such as HS Prannoy, Lakshya Sen and Kidambi Srikant are expected to shine bright in England this year. But they won’t be having it easy as they will have to face off with the likes of Loh Kean Yew and Lee Zii Jia. Also, cricket has been included in this year’s edition for the first time after the 1998 event and women cricketers from various countries will be taking in a T-20 tournament at the games. Hence, the Indian team led by Harmanpreet Kaur is expected to put up a scintillating show and add one more medal to the country’s tally.