Who is India's most successful athlete in Commonwealth Games?
Before the Commonwealth Games 2022 begin, let's take a look at who has been India's most successful athlete in the history of the tournament.
India has been regularly a part of the Commonwealth Games (CWG), featuring in all but four editions (1930, 1950, 1962 and 1986) of the quadrennial showpiece.
Indian athletes debuted at the Commonwealth Games, then called the British Empire Games, back in 1934. Since then India has won 503 medals – 181 gold, 173 silver and 149 bronze - at the Commonwealth Games, with 231 of these medals coming in the last three games. India's most successful games were in 2010 at New Delhi, hauling in 101 medals across disciplines and finishing second on the medals tally for the first and only time so far. Having made its debut at the quadrennial event way back in the year 1934, India stands fourth in the all-time medal tally behind Australia, England, and Canada.
India's dominant show at the Games has come from three events - shooting, weightlifting and wrestling. Of their 503 medals, India has earned 135 medals in shooting, 125 in weightlifting and 102 in wrestling, across multiple categories. Since the turn of the century, India has found success with its singles badminton players as well.
Most successful athlete
By far, India's most successful athlete at the CWG is shooter Jaspal Rana with 15 medals – nine golds, four silvers and two bronze.
Rana made his CWG debut in 1994 in Victoria, British Columbia. During his maiden appearance, Rana won the silver medal in 10m Air Pistol Men's event, followed by a bronze in 10m Air Pistol Pair's event, a gold medal in Centre Fire Pistol Men's event and another gold in Centre Fire Pistol Men Pair's event.
In his second CWG appearance in Kula Lumpur, Malaysia, Jaspal Rana won a silver medal in 10m Air Pistol Men's event, another silver in 10m Air Pistol Pair's event, two gold medals in Centre Fire Pistol Men's and Centre Fire Pistol Men Pair's events, respectively.
In the 2022 CWG in Manchester, England, Jaspal Rana bagged a bronze medal in 10m Air Pistol Men's event, a silver medal in 10m Air Pistol Pair's event, a gold medal in 25m Standard Pistol Men's event, another gold in 25m Standard Pistol Men Pair's event, two more gold medals in Centre Fire Pistol Men's and Centre Fire Pistol Men Pair's events, respectively. It was his most successful campaign at the CWG.
In his last CWG appearance in Melbourne, Australia, Rana finished off with a gold medal in Centre Fire Pistol Men Pair's event.
After Jaspal Rana, shooting veteran Samaresh Jung has won the most number of medals — Fourteen.