2022 Asian Games Day 12: 3 golds in a day take India’s medal tally past 85; compound archers, squash players deliver the goods

5 medals came today as India now has 86 medals to its name at the Asian Games in Hangzhou: including 21 gold, 32 silver and 33 bronze medals.


2022 Asian Games Day 12: 3 golds in a day take India’s medal tally past 85; compound archers, squash players deliver the goods

The men's compound team (L) and the mixed squash team (R) (via Ommcom News/ LatestLY)

It was yet another day to cheer for India at the 2022 Asian Games, being held in Hangzhou. While only 5 medals came in today, 3 of them were gold, a rarity for the Indian contingent in any edition of the Games, which takes India’s gold medal tally to 21. Compound archers again had a golden day as they were staring at something huge: a clean sweep of gold medals in their category. On the other hand, we had our second gold from the squash to record our best-ever medal tally from the sport in the history of the Asian Games.

Any amount of words will fall short of praising the performance of compound archers in Hangzhou. Until yesterday, we had not even a single gold medal in archery at the Asian Games level. However, now we have 3 golds and are confirmed of one more. If yesterday it was the pairing of Ojas Deotale and Jyoti Surekha Vennam who clinched gold in the mixed category, today they joined their respective teams and breezed past every opponent that came in their way to give us two more gold medals. We are confirmed of another gold in the men’s individual category as it will be an all-India final and if Jyoti is able to win her final, it will be a clean sweep of gold medals for India in the compound archery, a feat that will be remembered for time immemorial. It’s just a shame that the Olympics doesn’t feature this discipline of archery, other Paris 2024 could have provided India with another slice of history by looking at the form the compound archers are in.

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Another sport which has impressed a lot in the ongoing Games is squash. Today, the racquet sport provided yet another gold medal as the veteran duo of Dipika Pallikal Karthik and Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu controlled their nerves in the crunch moments to defeat their Malaysian opponents 2-0 (11-10, 11-10). However, Saurav Ghosal’s search for an elusive gold in the singles category continued as he lost a closely contested final 1-3 to settle for a silver medal. Nevertheless, it was Ghoshal’s fifth consecutive singles medal, dating back to the 2006 Doha Asian Games, a historic feat in itself. With 5 medals, India had its joint-best performance in the sport but add to it 2 gold medals, it was the best-ever result from the sport at the Asian Games.

World Championships bronze medalist Antim Panghal gave something to cheer for in otherwise a disappointing wrestling campaign so far as she came back from the defeat in her quarterfinal bout to win 3-1 against her Mongolian opponent to clinch the bronze medal. India was involved in as many as 4 bronze medal bouts today, however, only Antim came out to be victorious in the 53kg category of women’s freestyle wrestling. Other wrestlers in the fray, including Pooja Gehlot and Mansi Ahlawat failed to win medals and all eyes will be on men’s freestyle wrestlers from tomorrow onwards to deliver the goods.

2022 Asian Games: Prannoy, men’s doubles team advances to semifinals; women’s hockey team loses

It took H.S. Prannoy to save 2 match points, manage his back pain and a lot of nerves of steel as he steered past Lee Zii Jia 21-16, 21-23, 22-20 in a grueling 78-minute contest in arguably what was the match of the day. With this, Prannoy has confirmed himself of a medal, India’s first in men’s singles category since 1992. On the contrary, the duo of Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty had it easy as they stormed past their opponents 21-7, 21-9 to advance into the semifinals and confirm another medal in badminton. However, it was a heartbreak moment as the double Olympic medalist P.V. Sindhu crashed in the quarterfinals, losing out in straight sets against her Chinese opponent.

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2022 Asian Games
2022 Asian Games: H.S. Prannoy (L) and women’s hockey team (R) (via Editorji/ MyKhel)

The most disappointing result came from hockey as the women’s team were far from their best, losing out to hosts China 0-4 in the semis. The team was chasing gold for the first time since 1982 and were favourites to become the Asian Games champion given they are the highest-ranked Asian side, but nothing worked for them today, especially penalty corner conversion, which was poor, to say the least, and the Chinese were clearly the more superior side. The women’s team now will fight it for a bronze medal in a 3rd-4th classification match.

In other results of the day, the men’s and women’s kabaddi teams have confirmed themselves a medal each after entering the semifinals. The women’s Sepaktakraw team defeated China 2-1 in the group stage of the regu event and are a step away from a place in the semifinal and assuring themselves a medal. The men’s bridge team is trailing in their final match against Hong Kong, China after the first three rounds. The men’s and women’s chess teams are still in the second position after seven rounds and are very much in the medal hunt.

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