| Dancers perform during the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games, in Glasgow, on Wednesday
Glasgow: Despite star shuttler Saina Nehwal’s last-minute withdrawal, India will look to maintain their impressive run when they begin their campaign with a clash against minnows Ghana in the mixed team event of the 20th Commonwealth Games, here, on Thursday.
India had won two gold, one silver and one bronze in 2010 and this time again they would look to repeat their performance even though they suffered a jolt with the late withdrawal of Saina due to injury.
P. Kashyap and PV Sindhu are expected to be among medals in men's and women's singles respectively while the women’s doubles pair of Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa would be raring to go to defend the gold they won in 2010.
India’s first medal, though, is expected to come from weightlifting on Thursday when the competitions begin with the women’s 48kg and men’s 56kg weight categories, respectively, here.
In both weight categories, the Indians are expected to win medals and Thursday’s performance may set the stage for their challenge at the Games, where they would look to do better than the 2010 Delhi edition. For the record, India had finished with 101 medals in 2010.
In weightlifting, Nigeria topped the medal charts with five gold, four silver and five bronze followed by Samoa (3, 0, 0) and India (2, 2, 4). This time also, India, with six lifters from 2010 Games, are likely to maintain that level of performance.
Khumukcham Sanjita and Saikhom Mirabai Chanu will be competing on Thursday in women’s 48kg and India has the chance to win two medals from this category.
Indian judokas, on the other hand, look to be a confident lot as they begin their campaign on Thursday.
This is the third time that judo has been in CWG after 1990 in Auckland and 2002 in Manchester and India had won two medals each in both the editions. The current India team, comprising seven men and seven women, expressed confidence of winning four to five medals this time.
While the weightlifters and judokas are expected to do well, the Indian paddlers will find it tough to match the record medal tally of the Delhi edition.
India, who won five medals including a gold and silver in Delhi, begin their campaign with the team championships event.
The Indian women’s hockey team would look to make a positive start against a lowly Canada in their opening Pool A match.
Going by their present form, India have a fair chance of progressing to the semi-finals. The pool also features New Zealand, Trinidad and Tobago and South Africa.
Meanwhile, the IOA appointed adhoc committee, which is currently running Indian boxing, welcomed AIBA’s decision to allow the Indian coaches to sit on the ringside during bouts.
AIBA had suspended Indian Boxing Federation in 2012 and then de-recognised it this year on the basis that they were “damaging the image, reputation and interest” of the sport. Later AIBA accepted the new body, Boxing India, as a member but that is subject to AIBA approving its election and election process.