The Commonwealth Games is a major multi-sport event, similar to the Summer Olympics, which is played by all Commonwealth countries. The Commonwealth countries or Commonwealth of Nations include countries which historically were a part of the British empire, like India, Nigeria, Singapore, Malaysia, Kenya, or had been associated with the British empire, like Australia, Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. In total, 72 nations participate in this multi-sports event, including all 56 nations in the Commonwealth of Nations, marking it one of the biggest multi-sport games in the world after the Olympics. It is held every 4 years 1930 onwards, except the time of World War 2.

In the Commonwealth Games, sovereign countries are divided into their respective countries, like the UK is divided into England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as the individual British Overseas Territories. Crown Dependencies, which are not a part of the UK but a part of the British Crown are also a part of the Commonwealth Games. Some of the Crown Dependencies are Jersey, Guernsey, and Isle of Mann. The British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Montserrat, Saint Helena and Turks and Caicos Islands compete as a part of British Overseas Territory. Niue and Norfolk Islands, as a part of New Zealand and Australian islands, do not compete for their respective countries, but send separate teams to the Commonwealth Games. Erstwhile part of United Kingdom, Ireland, USA and Myanmar do not participate in Commonwealth Games. It is expected that Gabon and Togo will send a team for the first time at the 2026 Commonwealth Games, as the two countries were admitted to the Commonwealth in June 2022 and they didn’t have time to organize their associations for the 2022 Games which was scheduled for the end of July.

The major countries who take up the bulk of the medals are Australia, England, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and India are the highest medal contenders in the Commonwealth Games. India’s best performance was in 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, where India finished second, only behind Australia. The Commonwealth Games has begun in 2022 at Birmingham in England 28th July onwards. The Games will continue till 8th August. The next edition of the Games will be in 2026 in Victoria State in Australia.

India made a strong start and have clinched 3 gold medals till date. India’s first medal was clinched by Mirabai Chanu, who lifted a total of 201 kg weight in women’s 49 kg category. Mirabai was followed by Jeremy Lalrinnunga and Achinta Sheuli both of whom got gold in weightlifting. Women’s T20 cricket has been added for the first time in Commonwealth Games, where Indian women cricket team is participating. With good progressions in hockey, badminton, women’s cricket and other sports, India hopes to fare well in this Commonwealth Games. Don’t forget to watch the Commonwealth Games 2022 and see some amazing athletes performing their best here.

Written by – Himadri Paul