India has participated in all but four editions (1930,1950,1962,1986) of the Commonwealth Games. Starting from the second edition that is 1934, India has bagged a total of 503 CWG medals, which includes 181 gold, 173 silver, and 143 bronze. India stands at fourth position in the overall medal tally of the Commonwealth Games.
These quadrennial games have always proved to be that world stage where India shines. A lot of Indian athletes have made their way to the Olympics, and Championships by proving their mettle in these games. .
Here, we take a look at some of India's most successful athletes in the Commonwealth Games.
Jaspal Rana is the most successful Indian athlete at the Commonwealth Games. The pistol shooter has bagged a total of 15 medals, including 9 gold, 4 silver, and 2 bronze across various events of shooting in the 1994, 1998, 2002, and 2006 editions of the Commonwealth Games. Rana clinched four gold medals at the Manchester games in 2002 which was accompanied by his then Commonwealth Games Record of 574 points in 25m Standard Pistol Shooting. He was honored with the Arjuna Award at the age of 18.
After grabbing medals, securing championships, and conquering Asian games, he decided to take the responsibility of pottering the future shooters of India. Presently, he isas coach in his own founded academy named Jaspal Rana Institute of Education & Technology, Uttarakhand. He is also an active member of the Indian National Congress party.
Shooting is the sport in which India has dominated over the years at Commonwealth Games. Samaresh Jung is also one of the shooters responsible for such formed notions regarding India at the quadrennial games. Following Jaspal Rana closely, Jung has secured 14 medals across various shooting events in the 2002, 2006, and 2010 editions of the Commonwealth Games.
He secured seven Gold medals at the Melbourne Games in2006. He also posted the then Commonwealth Games Record of 685.4 points in the 10m pistol shooting in the same year and thus earned the nickname 'Gold Finger' of India.
He was awarded the Arjuna award in 2002. Jung was also part of the coaching team for Indian shooters who represented India at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020.
Another shooter in the list, Gagan Narang decorated bagged a total of 10 medals in 2006, 2010, and 2014 editions of the Commonwealth Games. Initially, his CWG tally had only gold medals. The 50m air rifle specialist bagged four Gold each across various shooting events in the 2006 and 2010 versions of the Commonwealth Games.
Gagan Narang founded 'Guns for Glory' the Khelo India Accredited Institution for the training of shooters across India. This academy is structured from the all-reward money he received for his Commonwealth Games and other performances. Gagan and his team initiated Project leap through this academy. Trainees from this project have also bagged 49 junior international medals and 42 national medals. He also believes that this academy has helped him in clinching the Bronze medal at the 2012 London Olympics.
The marksman was bestowed with the highest Indian sporting honor named - Khel Ratna in 2010.
Sharath Kamal Achanta
The only non-shooter in this list, Sharath Kamath Achanta has already earned legendary status in the sport of Indian table tennis. He has 10 CWG medals in his bag, including five gold, two silvers, and three bronze. He recently won the gold medal in the Men's Team event at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The 10-time national champion has not only put the Indian table tennis on the global map but has constantly led the nation at several international stages. He is the most active Indian paddler in two decades as he represented India four times in Table tennis in 2004, 2008, 2016, and 2022 editions of the Olympics.
Among the Indians with most medals at CWG, Sharath Kamal is the only active player which and India would desperately want him to continue his medal run in Birmingham.
In the nation where cricket has all the glory, this 10m Air Rifle Shooter, gave India their first-ever individual gold in shooting at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Abhinav Bindra is responsible for the rise of India as the powerhouse in the shooting. He has 9 CWG medals which, including a gold each in every edition from 2022 to 2014.
Abhinav Bindra, from a very young age, had dedicated himself to the shooting. He competed in the 1998 CWG at the very young age of 15. He is the leading example of the hard work and dedication required for this sport and to serve as an example for the young shooters. He initiated the 'Abhinav Bindra Shooting Development Program' in 2014 where he trains them and provides insights to young shooters.
He was awarded the Arjuna awards and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards in 2000 and 2002 for his sincere efforts in the sports of shooting.
Here are India's most successful athletes at the CWG:
|Number of Medals
|Jaspal Rana (Shooting)
|Samaresh Jung (Shooting)
|Gagan Narang (Shooting)
|Sharath Kamal Achanta (Table Tennis)
|Abhinav Bindra (Shooting)