India aims top three finish in Glasgow CWG
The unprecedented success achieved in the last edition would be hard to replicate this time after the dropping of a few disciplines but upbeat after getting back in the Olympic fold, a 215-strong Indian contingent would nonetheless seek a top-five finish in the 20th Commonwealth Games which begin here on Wednesday.
India finished second behind Australia with a record 101 medal haul in New Delhi Games which was marred by corruption scandals and construction delays but praised for the stunning success in terms of delivery of the event and performance by the athletes.
The Delhi CWG triggered an ascent in sports achievements with another record-breaking show in the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou where India won 65 medals. Two years later, the country won six medals in London, almost half of the individual medals won in the entire Olympic history.
But in Glasgow, the most realistic target for India would be a third-place finish with the top spot expected to go either to Australia or England.
The Games will see 4,500 athletes from 71 nations of the erstwhile British empire compete for the top honours with superstar sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica and middle and long distance king Mo Farah of England expected to set the Hampden Park Stadium ablaze.
A total of 261 medal events across 18 sports will be contested across 11 days in the third-biggest multi-sporting event after Olympics and Asian Games. The Games will also include the highest ever number of para-sport events with 22 gold medals up for grabs across five sports.
India, which has sent 215 athletes in 14 sports, its largest ever after 2010 Delhi CWG, will be hit hard by the scrapping of archery and tennis from Glasgow Games and the reduction in the number of medal events in shooting and wrestling.
The country had won a combined 12 medals from archery and tennis in 2010 while bagging 14 medals from the 18 events dropped this time from shooting. Greco-Roman category in wrestling, from which India won eight medals in 2010, has also been done away with in Glasgow.