Commonwealth Games 2022: Indians who missed the medal by a whisker

We now take a look at such occasions where we might not have received the medal, but the future of sports seemed brighter than ever.

Sharath has been nominated for the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna, while Sreeja Akula has been recommended for Arjuna Award. (Twitter- Sharath Kamal OLY)
By Abhiruchi Rout | Aug 9, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

The Commonwealth Games 2022 came to a spectacular end after a dazzling closing ceremony at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham. In the flag handover ceremony, the official handover of the Commonwealth Games took place from Birmingham to Victoria. This implied that the state of Victoria, Australia will be the host of the next edition. The Commonwealth Games 2026 will be the first edition of the games that will be hosted across multiple cities of the country and not just one major city.

India had sent a 210-member contingent to Birmingham 2022 who brought laurels to the country. The nation achieved 61 medals, out of which 22 were Gold, 16 were Silver and 23 were Bronze medals. In the Commonwealth Games 2018, India collected a total of 66 medals. Considering the absence of Shooting and Archery in this edition, the achievement is a matter of pride. The team once again gathered the most number of medals in Wrestling and Weightlifting, showing their supremacy in these sports.

There were instances where the Indian athletes came very close to winning a medal but the outcomes didn’t result in their favour. Nevertheless, their efforts were so valiant that in the process of chasing the glory, they made the fans and the country proud.

We now take a look at such occasions where we might not have received the medal, but the future of sports seemed brighter than ever.

1) Sreeja Akula

Sreeja partnered with veteran Sharath Achanta Kamal and won the coveted Table tennis mixed doubles gold medal for the country. However, she couldn’t find an individual achievement despite being on the verge of winning a medal. She fought bravely against Singapore’s Feng Tianwei who owns multiple Olympic medals but went down fighting by 3-4 in the Semi-finals. In the Bronze medal match, she lost to Australia’s Yangzi Liu by 4-3 and narrowly missed out on a podium finish. However, on her way to the medal, she impressed many sports experts and enthusiasts with her style of playing.

2) Srihari Nataraj

A year ago, Srihari caught everyone’s attention when he became the second swimmer from India to breach the ‘A’ qualification mark set for Tokyo Olympics. This time at the CWG, Srihari qualified for the finals of the men’s 50 m and men’s 100 m backstroke events. However, he couldn’t make it to the podium in both the events as he finished fifth and seventh respectively. Srihari’s personal best in 100m Backstroke is 53.77s which he achieved at Sette Colli Trophy in Rome. Considering that the swimmer who clinched the gold clocked 53.78s, the Indian swimmer would have found himself at the top of the podium if he had clocked his best. Nonetheless, Srihari is one of the biggest prospects in Indian sports and will bounce back stronger than ever.

3) Ajay Singh Shekhawat

Ajay produced a sensational performance but felt agonizingly short of a podium finish. He ended up in the fourth position with a lift of 319 kg (143kg + 176kg). Canada’s Nicholas Vanchon lifted a combined 320kg (140kg + 180kg) to clinch the bronze. Ajay didn’t go for higher weight in the clean & jerk on account of biceps and shoulder surgeries that he underwent in 2020 due to injuries. He is the current Commonwealth record holder in men’s 81 kg, with a combined lift of 338 kg and 190 kg in Clean & Jerk. However, he must be disappointed for not being able to win a medal at the multi-sport event despite winning numerous medals in Commonwealth junior and senior championships. The 25-year-old Ajay has to wait for a few more years to add a medal to his CWG tally.