Commonwealth Games 2018: Where all can India find gold in Gold Coast

The trend for India from four years ago at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) may continue at Gold Coast 2018, with wrestling and shooting expected to be the chief source of gold in India's medals tally. 

Commonwealth Games 2018: Where all can India find gold in Gold Coast
Image from the official send-off ceremony for India's CWG 2018 contingent

New Delhi: The trend for India from four years ago at the Commonwealth Games (CWG) may continue at Gold Coast 2018, with wrestling and shooting expected to be the chief source of gold in India's medals tally. 

The wrestlers and shooters finished No. 1 and 2 winning five and four gold medals, respectively, in Glasgow to contribute to India's 15 gold and 64 total medals (30 silver, 19 bronze). 

In two-time Olympics medal-winner Sushil Kumar (75kg), 2014 CWG medallists Vinesh Phogat (50k) and Babita Kumari (53kg) and Rio Olympics bronze medallist Sakshi Malik, India boast of a powerful wrestling contingent, which also includes gold-medal hopeful Bajrang Punia (65kg).

If the likes of Somveer Kadian (86kg), Sumit (125kg) and Kiran (76kg) can punch above their weight, the Indian wrestlers could be in for their richest ever gold-haul at the Games. 

Shooting's chief hopes for a finish in the centre of the podium rest with Jitu Rai (50m Free Pistol and 10m Air Pistol), Apurvi Chandela (10m Air Rifle), Heena Sidhu (25m Sports Pistol, 10m Air Pistol), Manu Bhaker (10m Air Pistol) and Gagan Narang (50m Rifle Prone).

But the likes of Sanjeev Rajput ( 50m Rifle 3 Position), Manavjit Singh Sandhu (trap), Kynan Chenai (trap), Tejaswini Sawant (50m Rifle 3 Position and 50m Rifle Prone), Chain Singh (50m Rifle 3 Position and 50m Rifle Prone) and Annuraj Singh (25m Sports Pistol) are all gold medal material on their day. 

The boxers may consider themselves unlucky having not been able to convert any of their four silver and a bronze to gold in Glasgow four years ago. The squad will hope that legend Mary Kom (48kg), Sarita Devi (60kg) as well as Vikas Krishan (75kg) and Manoj Kumar (69kg) can lead the charge and change the trend in Australia. 

A lot of hopes will be attached to Indian shuttlers who could manage just one gold (Parupalli Kashyap in men's singles) besides a silver and a couple of bronze medals in 2014. But since then, PV Sindhu and Kidambi Srikanth have made major strides in their respective careers, while Saina Nehwal has managed to fix her brittle fitness. Also in the fray for gold will be India's in-form mixed team pair of Pranaav Jerry Chopra and N Sikki Reddy.

The men's hockey team will like to turn the tables on hosts Australia, who beat them in the final of the last two editions of the CWG in 2010 and 2014. Having said that, the Sjoerd Marijne-coached team is looking good to reach the gold-medal match this time as well.

Here's a prediction on India's gold-medal finishes in Gold Coast:

Wrestling: 5 Gold - Bajrang Punia (men's 65kg), Sushil Kumar (men's 74kg), Vinesh Phogat (women's 50kg), Babita Kumari (women's 53kg), Sakshi Malik (women's 62kg)
Shooting: 5 Gold - Jitu Rai, Apurvi Chandela, Heena Sidhu, Manu Bhaker, Gagan Narang 
Boxing: 4 Gold - Vikas Krishan (men's 75kg), Mary Kom (women's 48kg), Manoj Kumar (men's 69kg), Sarita Devi (women's 60kg)
Badminton: 3 Gold - (Pranaav Chopra-Sikki Reddy in mixed team, Kidambi Srikanth in men's singles, PV Sindhu or Saina Nehwal in women's singles)
Weightlifting: 3 Gold - Sathish Sivalingam (men's 77kg), Mirabai Chanu (women's 48kg), Sanjita Chanu (women's 53kg)
Athletics: 1 Gold - Neeraj Chopra in men's javelin throw
Hockey: 1 Gold (men's)