Why was Indian performance at 2018 Commonwealth its best till now?

File Photo : Commonwealth Games
Chandrabhan Singh Nathawat|18-Apr-2018 18:15

Recently concluded Commonwealth Games have brought smiles on India sports lover. Men and Women equally performed outstanding to bring a bag full of Gold, Silver and Bronze Medals. Overall we won 26G, 20S and 20B with a tally of 66 medals and 3rd position on the list. However, the best ever performance of India at Commonwealth Games had come in 2010 when India hosted the event. We were ranked 2nd overall with 101 medals. This included unprecedented 38 Gold, 27 Silver and 36 Bronze. This was the first time we finished 2nd position on the podium. 

Next to 2010 is 2002 Manchester Games.  A strong performance saw India winning 30 Gold and 69 Overall medals. However, we stood 4th in the ranking list.

So in terms of Gold medal and Total medal count, our performance seems to be:

2010 >>2002 >> 2018

In terms of overall ranking, the performance in descending order is:

2010 >> 2018 >> 2002

Year/Medals Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
2002 30 22 17 69 4
2010 38 27 36 101 2
2018 26 20 20 66 3

 

So it seems obvious that 2010 was our best performance. But was it?

Yes, we did outstanding in 2010, but if we go deeper into the analysis, we can see that 2018 was our best performance.

Why is it so?

Reason no. 1:  Host getting benefit to add games as per their strengths. 

In 2010, India won Medals in 12 sports. Out of these 12 Sports, Tennis, Archery was added by India as being the host. We won 4 Gold, 2 Silver and 6 Bronze in these two Sports. Thus, being the host, we got this benefit that was taken away in 2002 and 2018, when these Sports were removed, and other Sports that India does not play were added (as per the Host preference). 

Removing them the medal count will be: 

  Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
2002 30 22 17 69 4
2010 34 25 30 89 2
2018 26 20 20 66 3

 

Reason no. 2: Pairs events in Shooting

 In 2002 and 2010 Shooting, Pairs events were added along with Olympic events of Individuals. Thus instead of 15 Olympic Events in Shooting, there were 36 events in 2010 (including Pairs events) and over 30 events in 2010. In 2002, India won 8 Gold and 2 Silver in Pairs. In 2010, India won 7 Gold, 5 Silver and 2 Bronze in pairs. These medals inflated Indian Medal tally in 2002 and 2010 shooting. 

Thus removing these Pairs events, our Medal tally will be:
 

  Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
2002 22 20 17 59 4
2010 27 20 28 75 2
2018 26 20 20 66 3

 

Reason no. 3: Multiple medals in Weightlifting

Weightlifting consists of 2 parts. One is called Clean and Jerk. The other is called Snatch. Normally, both weights are added, and the total weight is used to rank weightlifters. However, in 2002, multiple Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were awarded to weightlifters in Individual Snatch, and Clean and Jerk events along with overall weight. Thus each weight category had 3 Gold, 3 Silver and 3 Bronze. In that case, we won 11 Gold, 9 Silver, and 7 Bronze. This policy has been since removed and not used ever. So if we normalize 2002 weightlifting and only use final weight, our medals will be 4 Gold, 3 Silver and 1 Bronze in weightlifting.

​Thus the updated medal tally will look like this: 
 

  Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
2002 15 14 11 40 4
2010 27 20 28 75 2
2018 26 20 20 66 3

Reason no. 4: Wrestling

In Commonwealth Games, wrestling only has freestyle events. However, as India was host in 2010, India also added Greco- Roman style of wrestling (7 weight categories). We won 4 Gold, 1 Silver and 2 Bronze in Greco-Roman style. Thus if we remove them from the list, the final medallist will be:
 

  Gold Silver Bronze Total Rank
2002 15 14 11 40 4
2010 23 19 26 68 2
2018 26 20 20 66 3

 

Reason 5: The spread of medals

Shooting, Weightlifting, and Wrestling are India’s strong games in CWG. In 2002, we won 28 Gold in these 3 and just 2 in rest of 13 Sports. In 2010, we won 26 Gold in these 3 and 12 in other 14 Sports.  In 2018, India won 17 medals in these 3 Sports and 9 in rest of other sports.  

Let us compare our Gold performance in these three sports in 2002, 2010 and 2018
 

 Gold in diff sports 2002 2010 2018
Shooting 14 14 7
Wrestling 3 10 5
Weightlifting 11 2 5
Total of these three Sports 28 26 17
Percentage 93.33% 68.42% 65.38%
Others 2 12 9
Percent 6.67% 31.58% 34.62%

 

 

 

Thus in 2002, we won only 6.67% of Gold in others Sports. In 2010, we won 31.58% of medals in others (even after having Archery and Tennis). But in 2018, we won 34.62% of medals in others even without the advantage of Archery and Tennis. 
This spread in other Sports shows that we have raised our bar in many Sports and this is a better sign for a country that is always known for Cricket only. 

Conclusion:

So, India has won 26 Gold in 2018, and this is better than 23 medal won at home in 2010, if we normalize both games. 26 medals in 2018 are also far higher than normalized 15 medals in 2002. Thus under similar conditions and similar rules, India has performed much better than 2010 and 2002. This is by far, India’s best performance. Without the home advantage, we have reached the podium position of 3rd with 30 Gold and 66 overall medals.  Further, the performance of many individuals backs this claim as many Athletes, Shooters and Weightlifters have broken National Record and CWG Record while winning a medal. This is the showcase of their strong performance. 

This is just a start for India though. The Asian games are in less than 5 months, and the competition at Asian Games is much more competitive. We need to ensure that these champions get better support so that we can improve our Asian Games record also. 

And then 2020 Tokyo is not far away.

In the next article, we will be discussing few individual athletes who have really impressed in 2018 Commonwealth Games.