Media cheer Indian athletes ahead of Wednesday’s opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
The Queen will formally open the 20th Commonwealth Games in front of a 40,000 crowd at Celtic Park.
More than 4,500 athletes from 71 Commonwealth nations and territories will parade during the opening ceremony in Scotland.
Most Indian media outlets are giving top coverage to the event largely because of the country’s impressive show in the last edition of the Games.
India won 101 medals in the 2010 Delhi Games and finished second behind Australia on the table.
But can India do better than 2010?
Most papers have lowered their expectations largely due to the cancellation of some sporting events.
“In 2010, out of India’s 101 medals, most came from archery, tennis and Greco-Roman wrestling. Archery and tennis have been replaced by triathlon and judo. Greco-Roman wrestling has also been removed, thus limiting India’s chances,” says the Zee News website.
While papers agree that India may not be able to repeat its 2010 performance, they still hope the country will finish among the top five nations.
“The unprecedented success achieved in the last edition would be hard to replicate this time after the dropping of a few disciplines… but a 215-strong Indian contingent would nonetheless seek a top-five finish in the 20th Commonwealth Games,” says a report on the NDTV website.
India is particularly strong in shooting, wrestling, boxing and badminton, and many are hoping that most of the country’s medals will come from these events.
Most papers and websites have high hopes from India’s shooting team.
“The shooting team comprises an Olympic champion in Abhinav Bindra and two Olympic medallists in Gagan Narang and Vijay Kumar, who will also be India’s flag bearer in Wednesday’s opening ceremony,” says a report on the CNN-IBN website.
In badminton, India’s hopes have suffered a setback due to the withdrawal of top player Saina Nehwal from the Games.
But PV Sindhu, Parupalli Kashyap, Jwala Gutta and Ashwini Ponnappa have impressed in the past and many are expecting them to shine in Nehwal’s absence.
India has two Olympic medal winners in its wrestling team and hopes are high that they too will get to the podium in Glasgow.
“In the last couple of years, Indian wrestlers have also become a force to reckon with ever since Sushil Kumar won his second Olympic medal, a historic silver, and his buddy Yogeshwar Dutt the bronze in London,” says the website.
India’s men’s hockey team won a silver medal in 2010, but after suffering a 0-8 thrashing at the hands of Australia in the finals.
The hockey team, representing India’s national sport, has a tough task of retaining its second position and that too without the support of home crowds that cheered it in Delhi.
The country’s boxing team is also expected to do well with the presence of two Commonwealth winners, Manoj Kumar and Vijender Singh, in the contingent.