From winning 51 medals, pre-dominantly in Athletics, in the inaugural edition of the Asian Games in 1951 to pocketing a haul of 57 medals across different sports in the 2014 edition, India has come a long way in the games.
Till date, India has won a total of 594 medals in the Asian Games with 138 of them Gold, 178 Silvers, and 278 Bronze medals.
This chart shows every medal won by an Indian at the Asian Games over the past 17 editions:
(Hover your mouse over a data point for more details)
Until the third edition of the Games held in 1958 in Tokyo, the largest chunk of India’s medals was won by the track and field athletes.
However, in the subsequent games, held in 1962, the grapplers announced themselves by winning 12 of India’s total tally of 33. Since then, wrestling has become one of India’s popular sports and Indian wrestlers have performed consistently well.
The pugilists weren’t far behind and made their presence felt in the 1974 games by winning five medals. Like wrestlers, the boxers have performed consistently well and their best medal hauls have come in 1986 and 2010 with nine podium finishes each.
While Indian shooters had been winning a handful of medals in every edition since Shooting was introduced, the gold rush came in 2006 at Doha, where the marksmen triumphed with 14 medals, India’s largest haul that year. Subsequently, Indian shooters did well, not only at the Asiad level but also at the Commonwealth, World, and Olympic levels.
As sporting infrastructure in the country developed in the early 2000s, Indian athletes started winning medals in Tennis, Squash, Cue Sports, Rowing, Sailing, among others.
Although Athletics remains India’s most popular medal sport, the number of medals India has won on the track and the field have significantly gone down. Yet, India’s total medal haul in the Asian Games has largely increased with every passing edition. This clearly indicates that Indian athletes are finishing on the podium in a variety of sports, other than athletics.
This time around, the Indian Badminton team is expected to perform well and bring home few medals. Though the Chinese, Japanese, and Indonesians are going to be tough to overcome, Indian shuttlers have been playing well over the past couple of years and have bettered their Asian rivals on a number of occasions.
An exciting 15 days of sporting extravaganza await Asia.