India’s performance in the Beijing Olympics vs Delhi Commonwealth Games

2010 CWG silver medal

I am not able to understand why there is such a huge disparity in the performance of Indian sportsmen and sportswomen in two major international events – The 2008 Beijing Olympics and the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games.

To illustrate my point further, I present the medal tally of three teams – India, Australia and England below, for both the competitions. The reason for  comparing these three teams in particular, is the fact that all three of them had participated in both the 2008 Olympic games and the 2010 Commonwealth games.

Image credit: Doma-w. This image has been published under this creative commons license.

Country        Position/Rank  Medals: Total  Gold  Silver  Bronze

2008 Beijing Olympics

England                 4                              47       19      13        15

Australia                6                              46       14      15        17

India                     50                             3         1        0          2

2010 Delhi Commonwealth Games

Australia                1                             177     74       55        48

India                     2                             101     38       27        36

England                 3                             142     37       60        45

Do you see my point? The 2008 Beijing Olympics was held just two years before the 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games. While India was able to secure only the 50th position in the Beijing Olympics, it has secured the 2nd position in the Delhi Commonwealth games surpassing England, which had secured the 4th position in the 2008 Olympics.

I don’t understand the logic, if there can be one in these matters. I guess both the competitions should have been similar and should have had (almost) the same sporting events. India did have the home advantage in the Commonwealth games,  but does that justify such a big difference in rankings? This is not cricket right, preparing a pitch for spinners at home and having to play at the pitches prepared for pace abroad… BTW cricket was not even included in the CWG.

Does that mean that England and Australia do not send their best participants for the commonwealth games? I guess not, many of the best sportspeople would want to participate in a major event like the CWG. Does that mean that games that were not included in the Olympics were included in the CWG? Perhaps a few, but again these factors cannot create such a huge disparity in the rankings?

Looking at India’s excellent 2010 Delhi Commonwealth games performance, can we hope that Indians will do better in the upcoming 2012 London Olympics? Well, why not hope? We do have the solid CWG performance to back our hopes…

Join me in wishing all the best for Indian sportsmen and sportswomen at the 2012 London Olympics. Go for the medals, India! 🙂

Destination Infinity

PS: In the meanwhile, if you are able to solve the above mystery do let me know in the comments section.

Reference: 2008 Summer Olympics Medal Tally, 2010 Commonwealth Games Medal Tally.

I am Rajesh K, the author of this blog. While this blog is my hobby, I am a Freelance Video Editor by Profession. If you want to make Videos for Business or Special Occasions, do visit my other website WOWSUPER.NET to see the portfolio and get in touch.


  • Bikram

    The reason is in Olympics other countries participate . commonwealth is only a few countries ..

    and England if i am not mistaken did not sent the best athletes to delhi games, as they wanted to give exposure to younger members , preparing them for future games.

    The apathy of our sportmen is the reason, if we BAN CRICKET in india things will change , I can stake my life on it, the amount of money is spent if spent on other sports WE can do wonder..
    I mean HOW shameful it is for EACH indian that the national game hockey wins the asia cup and the players get 20k Rs or was it 25k Rs as prize and Cricket which is a FOREign game ( and let me remind you how we indians despise foreign things and speak at length , yet we do it ) .. get crores..

    This is the difference and THat is why the difference .. till this difference between a 20 thousand rs and 1 Crore is there , it will remain the same story …

    we dont have a fighting chance even, I mean the hockey team that has come to UK for olympics have not practised on the new pitches that are to be used , how do we expect them to do well…

    • Rajesh K

      Banning cricket in India? That’s beyond our comprehension! But yeah, I do agree that we need to provide more facilities like specialized sports schools to encourage all games. We had many games in our school (back then), but most of us played cricket! But personally, I liked badminton more than cricket.

      There is a chance that the full strength teams from England and Australia was not sent. That could be one of the reasons.

      Destination Infinity

  • Jas

    I agree with Bikram here. The participation of less countries makes it easy. The talent pool in India is same and the facilities also haven’t improved that much.

    Though one thing that is commendable is that now people have started talking about sports other than cricket. At least that is a start.

    • Rajesh K

      Perhaps success breeds more success? Since people like Vishwanathan Anand, Saina Nehwal, Paes/Bhupathi, Abhinav Bindra, the boxing/wrestling/archery team members have already given us success in international meets, I guess we are more enthusiastic now.

      Destination Infinity

  • Ashwathy

    Agree with Bik.

    India leaves a lot to be desired as far as their approach to other sports/games are concerned – apart from cricket. We have so much talent yet we do little to promote them. 😐

    • Rajesh K

      Identifying and nurturing talent is a major issue we face. The govt. bodies that are supposed to do that, are themselves a big hindrance. I hope this situation will change for the better in future.

      Destination Infinity

  • kismitoffeebar

    I thought along the lines of Bikram too – about the number of competitors. Dont know if that is right though !
    I am looking forward to the London Olympics too and hopefully we get a decent ranking and all the competitors make us proud 🙂

  • PN Subramanian

    I also feel like agreeing to what Bikram says. There is lot of disparity if you go by the stories coming in the media about the kind of treatment meted out to our athletes.
    I too wish all the best to our contingent participating in London Plympics. Few more hours to go for the inauguration.

    • Rajesh K

      Sometimes, the media sensationalizes non-issues. But then, I guess most of what they write should have had some basis if they are not entirely accurate.

      I too join you in wishing the same 🙂

      Destination Infinity

  • Mariella Lombardi

    Hi Rajesh,

    in my opinion there could be a number of factors behind this. I have seen athletes that have improved their performance in just one year and vice versa. I do hope that India does a good job at the Summer Olympics and I will be closely watching this competition.


    • Rajesh K

      True. In this case, I doubt if the athletes can improve within a short time-frame. But it still could be a factor. Another factor could be the no. of competitors. Maybe India has a no. of competitors who are good enough, but not yet Olympic quality.

      Destination Infinity

    • Rajesh K

      That’s right. But then, I thought there was a mismatch in the statistics. That’s why I made this post.

      Destination Infinity

  • matrixide

    The answer is that the sports that India win all their gold in the CWG in are missing the true powerhouses of the sport that are present in the Olympics ie Shooting and Wrestling

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