The Commonwealth Games 2018 drew to a close with India finishing third in the medals tally, with 66 medals. Australia and England claimed the first and second places with 198 and 136 medals respectively.

India’s combined 66 medals is its third best return in the Games, after 101 in Delhi in 2010 and 69 in Manchester in 2002. However, the showing was a marked improvement from the last edition of the competition, in which India only claimed 15 Gold medals, in comparison to 26 this year.

Manika Batra stood out in table tennis, as she claimed a medal in each of her four events. She won Singles Gold, Women’s Doubles Gold, Women’s Team Gold, and a Mixed Double’s Bronze. She became the first Indian woman to with an individual table tennis Gold at the Games.

India won the most medals in shooting, with sixteen, followed by wrestling, with twelve, and weightlifting, with nine. The Indian shooting contingent was especially remarkable with respect to the age of the competitors. Anish Bhanwala, aged 15, became India’s youngest ever Gold medal winner in the men’s 25m rapid fire pistol. 16 year old Manu Bhaker also found laurels in the Women’s 10m Air Pistol event.

Neeraj Chopra from Haryana won Gold in the javelin throw, becoming the first Indian athlete to do so. His victory represents only the fifth track and field medal for India at the Games.

Indian badminton claimed its best ever Commonwealth haul, winning seven medals. Saina Nehwal became the first Indian to win the first Indian to win to singles Golds at the Games in her victory this year.

Sanjita Chanu and Mirabai Chanu starred in weightlifting, as both broke Commonwealth records on their path to gold, as India dominated the 48kg and 53kg categories.

Haryana claimed a remarkable 22 medals out of the total tally of 66. “It is all due to the never say die attitude of Haryana players and the fact that it is a competitive society. Haryana people believe in doing and don’t give arguments of not being able to do it. And the incentives of jobs and cash prizes always inspires Haryana athletes. All the gold medallists will be given Group A posts in Haryana government, according to the new sports policy, apart from Group B and Group C jobs for the other medallists. Our focus will now be to make Haryana a hub for sports training and talent spotting in the future,” says Ashok Khemka, principal secretary for the Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry.

The Central Government has indicated that gold medalists will be awarded 1.5 crore, silver medalists 75 lakh, and bronze medalists 50 lakh.

Image: Indian boxing federation

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