Medal winners from the Army have bagged 4 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medal in CWG 2022, which is a commendable feat considering that there were only 18 participants from the Army
|The Author is Former Director General of Information Systems and A Special Forces Veteran, Indian Army|
Commonwealth Games (CWG) 2022 witnessed India delivering its fifth best performance in this quadrennial international multi-sport event among athletes from the Commonwealth Countries. The CWG were first held in 1930 and have run every four years except in 1942 and 1946 due to World War II. Since their debut in 1934, Indians have won 564 medals; 203 gold, 189 silver and 172 bronze medals at the CWG.
India won a total of 61 medals at the CWG 2022 in Birmingham. India finished fourth in the ranking; bagging 22 gold, 16 silver and 23 bronze medals. The Indian contingent had a total of 215 athletes with many of them making their debut. With the norm of linking everything to politics in India, social media followed up immediately thereafter. One post with photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, "Indian players are performing well in Commonwealth Games 2022 only because of Modi government's increased attention and facility for the Indian athletes". Another post with a photo of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh showed that India won 101 medals including 38 gold, 27 silver and 36 bronze medals in CWG 2010.
General Manoj Pandey and senior Army officers felicitated the Indian Army's sportspersons on their return from the CWG 2022
The buttering brigade leaves no opportunity to curry favour. However with respect to the above posts, India gave its fifth best performance in CWG 2022. Our performance in CWG 2010 was no doubt the best ever but the host country (which India was in 2010) always has an overwhelming advantage. Sometimes such posts also are a source of humour as well; one example being the post that gave total credit to Prime Minister Modi when Harnaz Kaur Sandhu was crowned Miss Universe 2021, who incidentally was the third Indian to win this title.
There were posts giving the CWG 2022 medal tally state-wise with Haryana on top which were countered by some saying the numbers are wrong and the author must be Haryanvi. Divisive politics remain the bane of India. Significantly, the first time wins for India in CWG 2022 are truly creditable. These include:
Sportspersons hailing from Haryana won 20 medals in individual and team events during CWG 2022. These include 9 gold, 5 silver and 6 bronze medals. Haryana has always led Indian medal tallies at international sports events and winning 20 medals out of India's haul of 61 medals is a credible achievement. But amid the mêlée of all these applauses, felicitations, contradictions and claims, the contribution by the Indian Army and the Army Sports Institute (ASI) at Pune in such sports events appears to forgotten.
The Army Sports Institute was established at Pune on July 1, 2001, to tap the vast talent pool of sportsmen serving in the Army
Not many would be aware that of the 22 gold medals won by India in CWG 2022, 4 gold medal winners are from the Army. In fact, the medal winners from the Army have bagged 4 gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze medal in CWG 2022, which is a commendable feat considering that there were only 18 participants from the Army.
On August 10, 2022, General Manoj Pandey and senior Army officers felicitated the Indian Army's sportspersons on their return from the CWG 2022 at an event in Delhi Cantonment. Naturally, respective states also count them in their tally of medal winners.
The Indian Army has been earning laurels elsewhere also. Colonel Kishan Singh Badhwar, Sena Medal, a 51-year old serving officer, recently won the 750 km run from India Gate to Lucknow via Haridwar in 10 days to celebrate the Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav. It may be recalled that Milkha Singh, who was known as "The Flying Sikh" had also donned the Army uniform. Brig S.S. Shekhawat, apart from scaling the never scaled peaks of Sai Kangri, took part in Ladakh Marathon (Khardung La Challenge) of 72 km on September 9, 2022 and came in first 30 out of 210 runner participants despite four previous fracture and one ACL tear in left knee.
Indian Army with its 'Mission Olympics Program' and the ASI are working with full zeal for the Paris Olympics scheduled to be held in 2024
The Army Sports Institute was established at Pune on July 1, 2001, to tap the vast talent pool of sportsmen serving in the Army and young talented boys (Boys Sports Company Scheme) of our country under "Mission Olympics Programme". It is the first such multi-disciplinary Sports Academy in India to change the face of sporting culture in India. ASI, Pune trains sportspersons in seven sports -archery; athletics; boxing; diving; wrestling; fencing, and; weightlifting. Training is imparted by renowned foreign and Indian coaches and qualified physical trainers, supported by a team of specialists in sports medicine, sports physiology, sports psychology, bio-mechanics and nutrition. ASI provides state of the art training infrastructure, equipments, accommodation, environment and Sports Sciences Centre.
Olympian Neeraj Chopra, who won the gold medal in javelin throw at the Tokyo Olympics last year, was inducted into the Indian Army in the elite sports quota during 2016 in the rank of Naib Subedar. He joined the 4 Rajputana Rifles as his parent unit. Neeraj received a substantial part of his coaching and training at ASI, Pune. Readers can be sanguine that the Indian Army with its 'Mission Olympics Program' and the ASI are working with full zeal for the Paris Olympics scheduled to be held in 2024.