2022 Asian Games Day 9: Athletics continue the medal sojourn for India, tally reaches to 60
India has now won 60 medals at the Asian Games in Hangzhou; including 13 gold, 24 silver and 23 bronze medals.
Parul Chaudhary (extreme left) and Preeti (extreme left) (via Editorji)
Monday brought home another 7 medals at the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou as India inches ever closer to surpassing its best-ever medal haul of 70 achieved in the 2018 Games in Jakarta, Indonesia.
4 out of those 7 came in athletics, as India continues to show its dominance at the Asian level in this sport. Apart from this, for the first time ever, India has clinched medals in roller skating, while the women’s doubles team has to settle for bronze in the semifinal.
It was yet another second and third finish in the women’s 3000m steeplechase final as Parul Chaudhary lived up to her billing and clinched a silver medal, just behind reigning world champion Mutile Winfred Yavi from Bahrain. While this was expected from an athlete of Parul’s caliber, another Indian athlete in this event, Priti, clocked a personal best time of 9:43.32 minutes to pip the second Bahraini athlete for the bronze medal.
Ancy Sojan delivered her personal best jump in the fifth attempt to finish second in the women’s long jump final with a distance of 6.63m; however, the more favored Shaili Singh finished a disappointing fifth as she was far from her personal best of 6.76m. The mixed 4×400 relay team failed to defend her gold from the last edition, though they clinched silver even after finishing third as Sri Lanka was disqualified for lane infringement.
It was the first-ever medal in roller skating for India in the history of the Games, as the men’s and women’s relay teams clinched a bronze medal each in the 300-meter relay speed skating final. Chinese Taipei emerged as winners in both events, while South Korea finished second in both categories. It was a brilliant performance from the Indian skaters, as they, after Chinese Taipei and South Korea, looked like the third-most dominant teams in the skating rink.
The pair who created history two days ago, Ayhika and Sutirtha Mukherjee, played some beautiful table tennis in the semifinal match against North Korea and pushed the match into the deciding 7th game. However, the Mukherjees fizzled out in the last game and eventually lost 3-4 to a slightly better North Korean team. Nevertheless, their effort has been nothing short of exemplary, and it would be right to say that table tennis in India is in safe hands.
Men’s hockey team reaches semis; Indian archers off to a positive start
India had made it to as many as four finals in the canoeing sprint event, however, none of them could add to the Indian medals tally as our canoers came a cropper. Having said that, the men’s chess team remained on the road to a medal as they blanked Kyrgyzstan 3.5-0.5 even as the women’s team lost to China 1.5-2.5 in a hard-fought match.
In a significant result of the day, the men’s hockey team made it to the last-four stage after topping their group with a fair margin. In their last pool game, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics bronze medalists demolished Bangladesh 12-0 and look prime to clinch the yellow metal as well as a place in next year’s Paris Olympics. The opponent for India in the semifinal will be determined by the winner of the match between Malaysia and China in another group’s preliminary match.
Indian archers too remained in the medal reckoning in as many as nine of the 10 events, even as its challenge has ended in the women’s recurve individual category as both Ankita Bhakat and Bhajan Kaur bowed out of the competition.
The men’s team, women’s team, and mixed team in both the recurve and compound categories have entered the last-eight stage and are just two steps away from a sure-shot medal. Similarly, two Indian archers each have reached the quarterfinals in the men’s and women’s (compound) and men’s (recurve) individual events.
In other results of the day, the women’s basketball team’s run was halted as they lost to North Korea in the quarterfinal 57-96. Indian kurash players are disappointed as none of them made it to the medal round and will return empty-handed after they won two medals in 2018. India is confirmed for another medal as the men’s bridge team has made it to the semifinals after finishing second in the round-robin stage.
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