Zee Media Bureau/Jayanta Oinam
New Delhi: Can India better it`s 2010 performance at the 2014 Commonwealth Games? This is the question everyone is asking ahead of the Glasgow opening ceremony. In the previous edition of the Games, held in Delhi, India won a record 101 medals. The unprecedented medal haul helped the host nation to finish second behind Australia in the medals tally.
Following the 2010 Commonwealth Games success, India performed above expectations at the London Olympic Games winning six medals, the country`s best performance so far. So, it`s safe to assume that the world`s second most populous country is making sporting advancement. But repeating the 2010 performance will be a tough task for India. Because, the boisterous home support will not be there and some of India`s favourite sports will not be featured in the Glasgow edition.
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In 2010, out of India`s 101 medals, 30 came from archery, tennis and Greco-Roman wrestling. Archery and tennis have been replaced by triathlon and judo. Greco-Roman wrestling has also been removed, thus limiting India`s chances. Besides, the shooting events, where Indians are the hot favourites, have been trimmed down to 19 from 44. And not to forget, in Delhi India fielded 400 plus strong contingent as against 224 for the Glasgow edition. So, the final tally may not be that high.
However, the Indian sports ministry is confident that a contingent of 224 athletes participating across 14 sporting disciples will win enough medals to make the country proud. And the medal hopefuls are spread across such sporting disciplines as shooting, badminton, boxing, weightlifting, hockey, squash, etc.
How well India perform in this edition will depend on the performance of shooters. Despite the limited numbers in the competing events, India will hope to win majority of medals thanks to their star ensemble which has the likes of Abhinav Bindra, Gagan Narang, Gagan Narang, Manavjit Sandhu, Vijay Kumar, Sanjeev Rajput, etc. If the 30-member team fails to set the tone, then India will fail to cope with the huge expectations.
Then, the performance of badminton stars, in the absence of Saina Nehwal, will carry a heavy burden following their consistent performance in various international competitions. Indian competitors in boxing, cycling and weightlifting are expected to return with more than a couple of medals.