The 2022 Commonwealth Games got wrapped up on 8th August and India ended up at the 4th position with a total of 61 medals which includes 22 gold medals, 16 silver medals and 23 bronze medals. It is safe to say that India had a very successful reign in the tournament. Every time the tournament takes place people support the athletes of their respective countries, but very few of them know why the games are played and what is the history behind it. The Commonwealth Games is a quadrennial international multi-sport event among the Commonwealth Nations. The event was first held in 1930 and with an exception of 1942 and 1946 the reason being the World War-II, have successfully run every four years since.
What are Commonwealth Nations?
It is a political association of 56 member states, the majority of which are former territories of British Empire. Established in 1931, it was formed to maintain ties of friendship and cooperation between the nations. The Imperial Conference of 1926 declared that such nations were to be regarded as “autonomous communities within the British Empire, equal in status, in no way subordinate one to another in any aspect of their domestic or external affairs, though united by a common allegiance to the Crown, and freely associated as members of the British Commonwealth of Nations.”
Following are the nations who are a member of the Commonwealth:
The thought of why the Commonwealth Games are played has crossed many of our minds. What is the purpose behind conducting Commonwealth Games?
Commonwealth Games are also called as Friendly Games and was started as an aim to unite the Commonwealth family through a glorious celebration of sports keeping in mind the values of humanity, equality and destiny. The event is also known for uniting inspiring athletes to compete with a spirit of friendship and fair play.
History of Commonwealth Games:
Did you know Commonwealth Games were first called as the British Empire Games? In 1891, John Astley Cooper who wrote various letters and articles for several periodicals suggested the idea of sporting competition bringing together the members of the British Empire. However, a correspondent of the Auckland star criticized the games, called them a ‘grievous disappointment’ and that they were not worthy of the title of ‘Empire Sports’
Editions of the Games:
British Empire Games
What later became Commonwealth Games, the British Empire Games were held in 1930 in Hamilton, Canada. The games were opened by Lord Willingdon. The games consisted of athletics, boxing, lawn bowls, rowing, swimming, diving and wrestling. A total of 400 athletes participated from a total of eleven countries: Australia, Bermuda, British Guyana, Canada, England, Northern Ireland, Newfoundland, New Zealand, Scotland, South Africa and Wales.
British Empire and Commonwealth Games
The 5th edition of the games, the 1954 British Empire and Commonwealth Games were held in Vancouver, Canada. These were the first games held where the name got changed from British Empire Games in 1952. During this event, Northern Rhodesia and Pakistan made their debut and both performed very well.
British Commonwealth Games
In 1970, the name British Commonwealth Games was adopted and the games were held in Edinburgh, Scotland. This was also the first time that Queen Elizabeth II attended the games as the Head of the Commonwealth.
In 1978, Commonwealth Games were held in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. This event was the first to adopt the current day name of Commonwealth Games. It also recorded a new high as almost 1500 athletes from 46 countries took part.
All time medal tally of Commonwealth Games:
As per the above table, Australia is at the top with the total medal count at 2415 consisting of 932 gold medals, 774 silver medals and 709 bronze medals. Australia is followed by England with 2144 total medals. India stands at 4th position with a total of 503 medals consisting of 181 gold medals, 173 silver medals and 149 bronze medals promising a bright future for the Indian athletes.
India at the Commonwealth Games:
Overall if observed the most successful sport event for India in the games has been Shooting followed by Weightlifting and Wrestling.
Commonwealth Games 2022
The 2022 Commonwealth Games are currently being held in Birmingham, England. It commenced on 28th July and will conclude on 8th August. A total of 72 Commonwealth countries have sent their athletes to compete in the games.
Sports of Commonwealth Games 2022
India’s Performance In The Tournament:
As seen in the above table, India finished at 4th position with 61 medals in its kitty. While Australia grabbed the top position with a total of 178 medals, England ended up in the 2nd position followed by Canada.
If talked about sports-wise performance, the most number of medals have been won in wrestling (12 medals) followed by weightlifting (10 medals), athletics (8 medals), tie between table tennis and boxing (7 medals each) and badminton (6 medals) the rest have been divided between other sports.
Some historic records for India in Commonwealth Games 2022:
Saurav Ghosal scripted history after winning a bronze medal in Squash singles as it is the first medal won by any Indian squash player in the history of Commonwealth Games.