As India gears up to host the Commonwealth Games in Delhi, here’s a peek at all those sports persons who did India proud in their previous outings at Common Wealth Games (CWG) over the years.
Indian Women’s Hockey Team
India chose the 2002 Commonwealth Games hockey final to record their historic first ever victory over the then world no. 5 England.
This was the first time that any Indian hockey team (men or women) won a hockey medal at the Commonwealth Games.
And this is the team that coach Mir Ranjan Negi coached.
Shah Rukh Khan’s Chak De India is based on this episode of Indian Women’s Hockey and SRK’s character is based entirely on Negi.
While Anjali Bhagwat had been performing well, picking up a gold here and there (SAF games, 1995) two gold medals in Air Rifle (2001 Commonwealth Championships), she created history when Anjali grabbed four gold medals at the 10 meter Air Rifle and 50 meter Rifle 3-position events at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.
While we all know of Rathore’s Men’s Double Trap shooting event at the Summer Olympics of 2004 in Athens, what we don’t know is that he also won the gold medal for the country in the double trap event at the 2005 Melbourne Commonwealth Shooting Championships.
This native of Himachal is a specialist in air pistol. In 2002, at the Manchester Commonwealth Games he won 2 gold medals along with Jaspal Rana. And in 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, he romped home with 5 gold medals, a silver and a bronze medal each.
He won four Gold medals (Men’s 10m Air Rifle, Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions, 10m Air Rifle (Pairs) and Men’s 50m Rifle 3 Positions (Pairs), the last two in partnership with Abhinav Bindra at 2006 Commonwealth Games.
He remains the golden boy of Indian shooting and sports as well. For in 2008, he did what none had done for a long, long time—won an Olympic gold for India in 10 m Air Rifle event.
2002 Commonwealth Games, Manchester, he won 2 Gold medals in the Pairs event and Silver in the individual event.
And then in the 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games, he won the Gold in the Pairs event and the Bronze in the Singles event.
Among a host of other international honours, Rana won the gold medal in Men’s 25m Centre Fire Pistol (Pairs) with Samaresh Jung at the 2006 Commonwealth Games.
In the 2006 Commonwealth Games, he won the gold medal in the Bantamweight 54 kg category.
Vijender Singh, Welterweight 69 kg
Though success at Commonwealth Games has eluded him, 2008 Beijing Summer Olympics, he defeated Carlos Góngora of Ecuador 9–4 in the quarterfinals to win a bronze medal and first Olympic medal ever for an Indian in boxing.
Kunjarani Devi, Women’s 48 kg
This most decorated of Indian weightlifters has been a very successful sportsperson from Manipur.
She won a gold medal at the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne for 48 kg womans weightlifting.
Anju Bobby George
This Long Jumper from Kerala has been winning awards for India at many international championships (bronze medal, 2003 World Championships in Athletics in Paris; silver medal at the IAAF World Athletics Final in 2005).
She won the bronze medal clearing 6.49 m at the 2002 Commonwealth Games at Manchester.
Aparna Popat of Mumbai has won been India’s national women’s champion for eight times. She won a bronze at the Manchester Commonwealth Games in 2002.
Also read an article about Commonwealth Games 2010, Delhi