It has been over a month since the Commonwealth Games 2018 got over but the golden memories are still fresh and alive. India’s amazing performance helped them in finishing 3rd in the medal tally with 26 Golds leaving behind the disappointing show in Rio. In terms of medal count, though we are still behind our numbers in Manchester 2002 and Delhi 2010 for few reasons, Gold Coast has been the games like no other for us. It brought the joy of the unexpected. Here are a few special moments which will always stay close to my heart:
1) Manika Batra
The paddler with killer backhand and tri-color painted nails! Yes, you read it right. Tri-color painted nails.
Once asked about this she said- “The flag on my nails is an extension of the flag in my heart”
Who would have thought a medal in Table Tennis? But she surprised everyone by defeating higher ranked players thrice including Olympic medalist, Feng Tianwei (Current rank: 9). With 4 medals including 2 gold, she became the most decorated athlete of the Games for India.
2) Mirabai Chanu
The weightlifter who set the record and then broke it in the next lift.
After winning a gold in World Championship, she came to CWG with high expectations and fulfilled those. During the course of the event, she was competing with herself breaking games record in each lift. Mirabai’s numbers were truly remarkable. 196kg would have been enough to win a silver at the 2016 Olympics, while her clean and jerk lift of 110kg was better than that of the Olympic champion. This makes her one in a generation athlete from an Indian perspective.
3) Neeraj Chopra
The first Indian to triumph in Javelin Throw. The 20-year boy set the field on fire when he threw Javelin to 86.47 meters, winning the only gold in track and field event for India in Gold Coast.
He became the 5th Indian to win a gold in athletic events in Commonwealth Games and the first ever Javelin thrower. Even his worst throw was better than the best one from the Australian silver medalist and this shows the dominance of Neeraj in the event. His best throw would have given him a podium finish in Rio Olympics. Do you remember when an Indian field athlete last won a medal at the Olympics? So, its high time to check this and watch out for Neeraj in coming games.
Aage ki raah aasan nahi hai. We will have a tougher competition in 2018 Asian games and 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But, Gold Coast is a promise of bigger, better and brighter future.
Stay tuned to know more stories of our heroes…
– Ankit Dadhich