Archers, squash players bag historic gold, India in 11th spot
INCHEON: The men’s squash and archery teams secured historic gold medals as India enjoyed their most productive day in the 17th Asian Games so far with an impressive collection of 11 medals to jump to the 11th position in the overall standings on the eighth day of competitions here today.
Young archer Abhishek Verma was hero of the day as he combined with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar to clinch the gold medal in the compound team event before picking up the individual silver medal at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field.
Abhishek’s heroics was followed by men’s squash team led by Saurav Ghosal which claimed the coveted gold medal in the team event while the women’s team of Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankamony and Joshana Chinappa also excelled by clinching the silver medal.
Athlete Lalita Babar won a silver in women’s 3000 m steeple chase, while shooter Chain Singh (50m rifle 3 position), archer Trisha Deb (women’s compound individual), grappler Vinesh Phogat (women’s 48kg), Geetika Jakhar (women’s 63kg) and athlete Sudha Singh (women’s 3000m steeplechase), women’s compound team — comprising Trisha, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam — were the bronze medal winners on what turned out to be India’s best day at the games.
With the addition of 11 more medals, India, overnight placed 16th, rose to the 11th position on the table with three gold, five silver and 20 bronze medals. China continued to leave their opponents behind with an impressive haul of 195 medals (96-58-41), followed by South Korea (35-42-40) and Japan (32-43-38). India were also assured of at least five bronze medals in tennis event by reaching the semifinals.
While the archers and squash players stole the limelight with their medal-winning heroics, the Indian boxers also moved to the quarterfinals with easy victories over their opponents.
The men’s hockey team also kept their medal hopes alive by advancing to the semifinals with a scrappy 2-0 win over China in their last pool B match.
Women grapplers Vinesh and Geetika bagged a bronze medal each in 48kg and 63kg freestyle events respectively as India made an impressive start in their wrestling campaign.
In shooting, Chain Singh stole the thunder from the more fancied Gagan Narang and Sanjeev Rajput in the 50m rifle 3 position competition.
There was good news from the boxing ring as Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom set her campaign rolling in style by out-punching Korea’s Kim Yeji to enter the quarterfinals along with two other Indian women boxers.
L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) were the two others, who advanced to the last eight making it an all-win day for the Indian women pugilists.
Sarita got the better of home favourite Chungson Ri, while Pooja defeated Erdenesoyol Undram of Mongolia in her pre-quarters bout.
However, Indian women’s volleyball team went down to a formidable Chinese side in straight games in the quarterfinal match.
The Indian eves lost 3-0 (25-11 25-12 25-10) against their more fancied opponents in a contest that lasted 54 minutes at Songnim Gymnasium here.
In tennis, Yuki Bhambri made it to the semifinals of the men’s singles event, while India’s doubles pair of Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh, Yuki and Divij Sharan, women’s doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare and lone mixed doubles pair of Sania and Saketh have all entered the last four rounds in their respective events.
The Indian paddlers led by Sharath Kamal kept the country’s hopes alive in table tennis as the men’s and women’s team won their respective preliminary round matches.
Up against Kuwait in the Suwon Gymnasium, the Indian men’s team blanked the West Asian nation 3-0 in a Group B match.
The Indian women’s teams also did not falter against Malaysia and Nepal in their respective group matches.