Ahead of 2022 CWG, how has India built on the Tokyo Olympic success?
Here's taking a look at how India has been faring in the sports they medalled in at the Tokyo Olympics, in the lead-up to the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
The Tokyo Olympics was wildly successful for the Indians with 7 medals including Neeraj Chopra's golden triumph to show for it. Ever since Tokyo, Indians have been doing exceptionally well across sports but especially in those that they have medalled in at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
At Tokyo, India clinched medals in these sports: Weightlifting, Boxing, Badminton, Hockey, Wrestling and Athletics.
With another grand multi-sporting event lined up next as the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games approaches fast, India will be hoping to secure medals in the above sports for sure, while also aiming for a better collection overall.
Let's take a look at how Indian athletes are faring in these sports since the Tokyo success:
If anything has been on an obvious rise since the Neeraj Chopra gold in the javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics, it has been the surge in success in Indian athletics. 11 National Records have been shattered and re-made in this little span with 9 of them happening in Olympic sports as well.
Of note, Avinash Sable and Jyothi Yarraji created the National Record multiple times in their respective disciplines.
Meanwhile, Neeraj Chopra has also made his comeback at the Paavo Nurmi Games where he set a National Record in javelin throw again at 89.30m, dangerously close to breaching the 90m mark. Overall, things are looking very promising in Indian athletics and at the upcoming Commonwealth Games, a lot of medals are expected from the Indian athletics side.
If it was PV Sindhu who stole the thunder at the Tokyo Olympics where she won her second Olympic medal - a bronze, after a silver win at the Rio Games, it was the turn of the men to really show up and deliver.
Ever since Tokyo, Indian badminton has seen a boom and with it has arrived Lakshya Sen, all of 20, who has been conquering medals galore, aside from Kidambi Srikanth and HS Prannoy also finding their vintage form. While former World No. 1 Srikanth finished as a World Championship silver medallist, Lakshya Sen won bronze, last year.
Into 2022, Lakshya bagged the India Open crown before going on to win silver at the All England Championships and added notable victories to his CV.
But all importantly, India's real triumph came when the men's team won the Thomas Cup, defeating 14-time champions Indonesia in the finals, in a dominant fashion. With all the players of the 10-member team really putting in their best, there was no stopping India from clinching gold at the prestigious World team championships event.
Going into the CWG, India will be heavy favourites for gold across all six events. They will also be the defending champions in the women's singles and Mixed Team badminton event, which they will hope to replicate again.
It was Lovlina Borgohain's roar that we remember loudly and clearly from the Tokyo Games as the Assamese boxer became the first Olympic medallist from her state when she won the bronze medal.
Ever since boxing has also been a major talking point in the nation - first, Akash won bronze at the World Championships in 2021 before it was the turn of Nikhat Zareen to reign supreme as she crowned herself as the World Champion in the FIBA Women's Boxing World Championships 2022.
At the CWG, Nikhat and Co. will hope to punch hard and win medals for India.
With a bronze medal won by the men's hockey team and the India women's team's phenomenal run at the Tokyo Games where they narrowly missed out on the bronze, Indian hockey has been on the rise, as is evident from their recent performance at the FIH Pro League.
While the men's side began experimenting with their teams and fielded different squads, they have been consistent with their performance, winning bronze at the Asia Cup, the Asian Champions Trophy and coming third at the FIH Hockey Pro League too.
The women's side then led by Rani Rampal and Savita Punia now, have also come up massively in the past few months and they will have the third-place finish at the FIH Hockey Pro League to pat themselves on the back for, ahead of the FIH Women's Hockey World Cup and the CWG.
The memory of a shy Ravi Dahiya smiling with his silver medal and Bajrang Punia standing strong with his bronze from the Tokyo Olympics is still fresh in our minds. Indian wrestlers have been very consistent after the Olympics as well with the 2021 Asian Wrestling Championships seeing 17 medals won by India, including a gold win by Ravi.
Other than this, Sakshi Malik, the bronze medallist from the Rio Games has also made a comeback in 2022 and will be looking to medal at CWG.
Mirabai Chanu was the first one to medal for India at the Tokyo Olympics and she was a woman of her word as she clinched the silver.
India's most notable performance so far has come at the 2021 Commonwealth Weightlifting Championships 2021 where India won 16 medals with 4 gold medals won by Jeremy, Achinta, Ajay and Purnima. This was held at the same time as the Weightlifting World Championships.
Also, Pune youngster Harshada Sharad Garud became the first Indian weightlifter to claim a gold medal at the IWF Junior World Championships in Heraklion, Greece, adding quite the feather in her cap.
At the CWG, Indian weightlifters are favoured to return with medals as well.