India finishes 4th at CWG, wins 4 gold on final day
BIRMINGHAM: India wrapped up its Commonwealth campaign bagging 61 medals, including 22 gold, which, though lesser than the last edition, is still commendable as the sport of shooting that gave the country a rich haul last time was removed from the roster.
The last day was headlined by the stupendous performance by the shuttlers, who won all three titles on offer during the day, while paddler Sharath Kamal returned to the top of podium after 16 years since his first gold in 2006.
However, on an otherwise great day, the way the men’s team was thrashed by Australia in hockey stood out as a jarring note. It was expected that Australia, which has won the gold every single time since hockey was introduced at CWG in 1998, would be the toughest of them all was known to all, but the margin of loss (0-7) was particularly disheartening for the Indian fans.
Many noted that the medal haul could have been much more had shooting, a sport in which India won a whopping seven golds in the 2018 Games, was not removed. But this time, the good performance in athletics, including the 1-2 finish in men’s triple jump and silver in steeplechase which ended the historic hegemony that Kenyan athletes had maintained till now, remains among the brightest spots.
President Droupadi Murmu lauded the men’s hockey team, table tennis player Sharath Kamal as well as badminton medal winners.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi heaped praise on medal winners, lauding PV Sindhu as “phenomenal” and Lakshya Sen as “India’s pride” after both won gold in women’s and men’s singles in badminton. He also praised the women cricket team for fetching silver, saying the first-ever CWG medal in cricket will always be special.