It’s almost time. The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games will kick off on July 28 with the Opening Ceremony taking place at the Alexander Stadium. The events will start from July 29 and continue until August 8.
Here’s everything you need to know about the CWG 2022 India campaign:
Who participates in the Commonwealth Games?
The Commonwealth Games (CWG) is an international multi-sport event held once every four years for members of the Commonwealth; an association of 72 countries, the majority of which are part of the former British Empire. Athletes from member nations compete in a series of sporting events that take place primarily in a host city and compete for gold, silver and bronze medals, just like in the Olympics. However, sports heavyweights like the United States, China and EU countries are not part of the competition.
The first Commonwealth Games were held in Hamilton, Canada in 1930. They were then known as the British Empire Games. Birmingham hosts the 22nd edition of the Games. Parasport events will also take place simultaneously in the city.
How many events are there in CWG?
There are now 16 sports in the core group that must be present at all CWGs. In addition, there are also four basic parasports.
The basic sports are swimming, athletics, road cycling, artistic gymnastics, lawn bowling, table tennis, triathlon, freestyle wrestling, badminton, boxing, field hockey, judo, netball, rugby sevens, squash and weightlifting. The basic parasports are swimming, athletics, weightlifting and bowls.
There are also optional sports, among which the host country has the power to choose. At the Birmingham Games, women’s cricket (T20), 3×3 basketball, 3×3 wheelchair basketball and mixed synchronized diving will make their debut. Overall, there are 23 sports and seven parasports in Birmingham.
Why are the Commonwealth Games important for Indian athletes?
The CWG is one of three multi-sport events (the others being the Olympics and the Asian Games) for Indian athletes. This is an opportunity to compete against the best athletes in the world, including Australia, England, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa.
India performed well at the CWG, winning 181 gold medals, the fourth highest in Games history. Australia leads the Games with 932 gold medals, followed by England (714 gold medals) and Canada (484 gold medals).
Usually for Indian athletes, the CWG is followed by the Asian Games. Both events are excellent opportunities for athletes to make their mark on the world stage. This year, the Asian Games have been postponed due to the COVID-19 situation in China.
Why is there no shooting and archery at Birmingham CWG?
Shooting is India’s most successful sport at CWG. India dominated the sport, winning the most medals – 63 gold and 135 overall – in the event. At the last CWG in Gold Coast, shooting won the most medals – seven gold and 16 overall.
However, shooting is one of the optional sports and the host country has decided not to include it in the 2022 list. “offered little or no benefit to the West Midlands”.
The decision was vehemently clashed with the Indian Olympic Association and was criticized by the country’s top shooters, with India threatening to boycott the event. Later, the Commonwealth Games Federation Board worked out a compromise with the IOA where separate archery and shooting championships among Commonwealth nations will be held in Chandigarh, India, and the medals were to be added to the overall tally one week after the closing ceremony. These events did not take place due to issues related to COVID-19.
Like shooting, archery is also an optional sport under the CWG charter. But unlike shooting, archery has only been included in two editions of the CWG, the last being the New Delhi Games in 2010.
Which events can India dominate at Birmingham 2022?
India’s overall medal tally will be affected due to the absence of shooting, but there are also other sports where India has traditionally done well. They can expect multiple gold medals in wrestling, boxing, weightlifting and badminton which will see a field where Indian athletes will be the favourites.
How many athletes will represent India at CWG 2022?
A contingent of 205 members will be in Birmingham with athletes competing in events in 15 sports.
Who are the favorites for the gold medal?
Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra withdrew from the Games due to injury, but there are others who are serious gold medal contenders in their respective events. ESPN has listed 10 of them and you can read more here.
Apart from Chopra, who are the other top Indian athletes who will miss the CWG?
The likes of Mary Kom and Saina Nehwal, who have always performed well at these major multi-sport events, will miss the Birmingham Games. Click here to learn more about India’s top athletes who are not participating in CWG 2022.
Who are the new Indian faces who can make an impact?
There are also athletes who will begin their CWG journey in Birmingham. They are promising athletes with a bright future and you can read about them here.
How do you plan your daily CWG schedule?
Considering the UK time zone, key events for Indian athletes will start at 2pm and continue through the night. Here is the program of the day of the big names of the Indian contingent and their medals (if they qualify for the final stages).
Weightlifting: Mirabai Chanu in the 49kg final. Time: Between 8:00 p.m. and 10:15 p.m.
Weightlifting: Jeremy Lalrinnunga in the men’s 67kg final. Time: Between 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. IST.
Table Tennis: Women’s Team Final – Manika Batra, Sreeja Akula, Reeth Rishya, Diya Chitale. Time: between 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. IST.
Table tennis: Men’s team medal matches – Sharath Kamal, Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Harmeet Desai and Sanil Shetty. Time: Between 3:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. IST.
Squash: Men’s and women’s singles for the medal round Team (M): Saurav Ghosal, Ramit Tandon and Abhay Singh. Team (F): Joshana Chinappa, Sunyana Kuruvilla and Anahat Singh. Time: Between 8:30 p.m. and 1:00 a.m. IST.
Athletics: Men’s Long Jump Final – M Sreeshankar and Muhammed Anees Yahiya. Time: Between 11 p.m. and 2:15 a.m.
Wrestling: Women’s finals in 57kg, 62kg, 68kg and men’s finals 65kg, 86kg, 125kg. Athletes: Anshu Malik (57 kg), Sakshi Malik (62 kg), Divya Kakran (68 kg); Bajrang Punia (65 kg), Deepak Punia (86 kg) and Mohit Grewal (125 kg). Time: Between 9:30 p.m. and 12:00 a.m. IST.
Athletics: Men’s steeplechase final – Avinash Sable Time: Between 2:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. IST. Wrestling: Women’s all-event matches, including the finals in 50 kg, 53 kg, 76 kg and the men’s final in 57 kg, 74 kg and 97 kg. Athletes: Pooja Gehlot (50 kg), Vinesh Phogat (53 kg), Pooja Sihag (76 kg); Ravi Kumar Dahiya (57kg) and Naveen (74kg). Time: Between 9:30 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. IST.
Athletics: Men’s javelin throw final – DP Manu and Rohit Yadav. Time: between 11:00 p.m. and 2:00 a.m. IST. Boxing Finals which could include key athletes such as: Nitu, Amit Panghal, Nikhat Zareen, Lovlina Borgohain, Shiva Thapa and Rohit Tokas. Time: Starts at 2:30 PM IST.
Badminton: Men’s and Women’s Singles Gold Medal Matches – Lakshya Sen, Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu. Men’s Hockey Bronze and Gold Medal Games: Time: Starts at 1:30 p.m.
When and where can we watch it?
CWG events will begin on July 29 and will be streamed live on Sony.