The Commonwealth Games 2022 has been providing Indians with pleasant surprises throughout as unlikely athletes from the country have been exceeding expectations all around. From Lawn Bowls to Swimming, there have been 'dark horse' showings from a lot of Indians at the ongoing games, which are completely welcome.
Here are the biggest surprises by Indians so far at the CWG 2022:
First ever CWG medals in Lawn Bowls
Just like golfer Aditi Ashok made whole of India wake up at the early hours of the day to witness her almost secure a medal at the Tokyo Olympics, four women namely Pinki, Lovely Choubey, Nayanmoni Saikia, and Rupa Rani Tirkey introduced the country to the sport of Lawn Bowls after their historic gold medal win in Birmingham. They defeated South Africa in the finals.
After the ladies surprised us all, it was the India Men's Fours team which clinched a silver in their final. The team was made up of Sunil Bahadur, Navneet Singh, Chandan Kumar Singh, and Dinesh Kumar.
First ever Squash singles medal at CWG
While the gold still eludes India, veteran squash player Saurav Ghosal was elated and emotional after he won the country's first ever singles medal in the sport it the Games' history. He overcame former World No. 1, James Willstrop, in the final after comfortably sailing through the game and winning on straight sets.
Best showing from a swimmer at the CWG
While he sadly doesn't have a medal to show for it, swimmer Srihari Nataraj cut through the water with immense and speed, so much so that his finishes were some of the best by an Indian able-bodied swimmer at the CWG. Nataraj's 5th placed finish in the Men's 50m backstroke final was enough to win him the tag. His timing of 25.23 seconds was just 25 milliseconds shy from a possible podium finish.
He also swam in the Men's 100m backstroke final where he placed a commendable 7th.
Youngest ever athlete to represent India at the CWG
A certain 14-year-old who goes by the name of Anahat Singh made India fall in love with her innocent smile after she comfortably won her Round of 64 against St. Vincent and Grenadine's Jada Ross. Despite exiting the singles event after losing her next match, Singh's calm and collectedness inside the transparent box has been lauded by one and all.
She still is very much in contention for another surprise as Anahat, along with doubles partner Sunayna Kuruvilla, won their first match in the women's doubles event.
Harjinder Kaur's surprise win
Kaur's situation was nothing short of sheer luck and divine intervention. The weightlifter was nowhere near the medal contention, but after Nigeria's Joy Ogbonne Eze failed to clear any of her three clean & jerk attempt, Kaur was back in the game. With a total of 212 kg, she clinched the bronze medal in the Women's 71 kg event.
Sreeja Akula's golden debut
The 24-year-old paddler, and a Sharath Kamal fan, Sreeja was a breath of fresh air in India's Table Tennis team. Along with Kamal, she clinched the gold in the Mixed Doubles event. Moreover, she had a commendable Single's journey too at the CWG 2022, but missed the bronze medal by a slight margin.
Sharath Kamal wins four medals
Veteran paddler Sharath Kamal was pegged to play an important role in Indian TT team's success. But, no one would have imagined the kind of form he struck to bring home four medals from a single edition.
Starting with the Men's team gold, Kamal went on to win gold in Mixed Doubles with Sreeja Akula and silver in the Men's Doubles with Sathiyan Gnanasekaran. The icing on the cake was when the 40-year-old defeated Liam Pitchford to regain his Men's Singles gold after a gap of 16 years!
Long-distance runners excel
The athletics squad had a brilliant outing in Birmingham after they were able to clinch eight medals. Out of them, some of the long-distance runners surprised everyone with podium finishes.
Priyanka Goswami, a race-walker, became the country's first woman to win a medal in the sport at the CWG. She clinched silver in the 10000m race-walk event after clocking a Personal Best of 43:38:00.
Another race-walker in Sandeep Kumar also created history after becoming the first Indian male to win a medal at the Games. He won the bronze with a Personal Best timing of 38:49:21.
Finally, Avinash Sable broke the Kenyan hegemony over the Steeplechase event after he won the silver in the Men's 3000m event. Sable missed the gold by a whisker after an impressive final stretch. Nonetheless, he too became the first Indian to win a medal in this event.