Harpal Singh Bedi
New Delhi: A 322 -member strong Indian contingent (215 athletes and 107 officials and support staff) will represent the Birmingham Commonwealth (CWG) Games scheduled from 28 July to 8 August.
The squad will look to improve upon its Gold Coast 2018 CWG performance, where it finished third behind traditional powerhouses Australia and England.
“We are sending one of our strongest squads ever to the CWG and even with a strength sport for us like Shooting not being there, we are confident of bettering our performance from the last edition. ‘ asserted IOA Secretary General Rajeev Mehta,
” Make no mistake. The competition will be world class and fierce but our athletes have prepared well and are fit and raring to go. We wish them all the very best.” he added.
The IOA also thanked the government for its support ,” It needs to be said that the Government of India has provided unprecedented support to Olympic sports in recent years and our best ever performance at the Olympic Games stand testimony to that.
“We remain ever grateful for the same and are sure our athletes will ensure that rich rewards are reaped for the untiring efforts put in by them, most of all the Union Sports Ministry and the Sports Authority of India.” he added
India will compete in 15 sporting disciplines as well as four disciplines in the para sports disciplines .The athletes and officials will be staying at five different “Villages” with the women’s cricket team being put up in a separate facility in the Birmingham city center.
Some of the disciplines where India looks to perform well include traditionally strong disciplines like Boxing, Badminton, Hockey, Weightlifting, Women’s Cricket (making its debut at the CWG) and Wrestling. While athletics, cycling, swimming and table tennis are also strong and primed up for the challenge.
Some prominent names in the squad besides Neeraj Chopra include the likes of Olympic medallists P.V Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu, Lovlina Borgohain, Bajrang Punia & Ravi Kumar Dahiya. Defending CWG champions Manika Batra, Vinesh Phogat as well as 2018 Asian Games Gold medallists Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Hima Das & Amit Panghal.
Mr. Rajesh Bhandari, Vice President, Boxing Federation of India (BFI), has been appointed the Chef de Mission of the squad.
Various members of the squad have already reached Birmingham at various stages over the past few days, depending on their training regimes laid out by their respective coaches.
Some members are competing at various global locations and would reach the venue directly while the rest of the contingent will leave from New Delhi.
The CWG village will officially open its doors to contingents on July 23, 2022.