The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Saturday announced that a 322-strong Indian contingent including 215 athletes and 107 officials and support staff, will represent India in the Commonwealth (CWG) Games 2022 scheduled to be held in Birmingham between July 28 and August 8.
The squad will look to improve upon India’s superb performance in the previous edition in Gold Coast, Australia in 2018, in which the country, with 66 medals finished third behind traditional powerhouses Australia (198) and England (136).
Sharing his thoughts on the official announcement, Rajeev Mehta, Secretary General, IOA, said, “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. 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, “It needs to be said that the Government of India led by the Hon. Prime Minister have provided unprecedented support to Olympic sports in recent years and our best-ever performance at the Olympic Games stands 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.”
Some prominent names in the squad besides Neeraj Chopra include the likes of Olympic medallists P.V Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu, Lovlina Borgohain, Bajrang Punia and Ravi Kumar Dahiya. Defending CWG champions Manika Batra, and Vinesh Phogat as well as 2018 Asian Games gold medallists Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Hima Das and Amit Panghal.
Rajesh Bhandari, Vice President, Boxing Federation of India (BFI), has been appointed the Chef de Mission of the squad.
Team India will compete in 15 sporting disciplines as well as four disciplines in the para-sports category. Some of the disciplines where India look to perform well include traditionally strong sports like boxing, badminton, hockey, weightlifting, women’s cricket (making its debut at the CWG) and wrestling.
Indian squads in athletics, cycling, swimming and table tennis are also strong and primed up for the challenge.
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.
The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) for the Birmingham Commonwealth Games 2022 has onboarded Adani Sportsline as the principal sponsor while JSW Inspire is the principal & kitting sponsor.