Sania-Saketh, Seema clinch gold; India maintain 9th place
Incheon: Tennis star Sania Mirza teamed up with Saketh Myneni to clinch the gold in mixed double while Seema Punia also brought glory with her gold-winning act as India maintained the ninth position in the overall standings on the 10th day of competitions in the 17th Asian Games in Incheon on Monday.
Wrestler Bajrang and the men’s tennis combination of Sanam Singh and Myneni picked up silver medals on yet another productive day for the Indian contingent.
Athletes O P Jaisha (women’s 1500m) and Naveen Kumar (men’s 3000m steeplechase) and wrestler Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg) also contributed to the medal collection by picking up bronze medals.
The 27-year-old Sania stole the limelight as she paired up with unheralded Myneni to carve out an easy victory in the final against the Chinese Taipei pair of Hao Ching Chan and Hsien Yin Peng as the Indians ended their tennis campaign with an impressive haul of five medals.
On the track and field, it was Seema’s day as she clinched the coveted gold medal, making amends for her non-participation in the last two Games in Guangzhou and Doha.
Bajrang (61kg) was also a star performer as he scripted remarkable come-from-behind victories to reach the final where he ultimately succumbed to Massoud Mahmoud of Iran in a closely-contested bout.
The wrestlers continued to provide the much-needed boost to India’s medal collection as Narsingh Yadav also claimed a bronze in the men’s 74kg freestyle event.
With the addition of seven medals on Monday, India maintained their ninth position with a total of haul of 42 — six gold, seven silver and 29 bronze. China maintained their supremacy with a tally of 238 (112—72—54) followed by hosts South Korea 146 and Japan 132.
However, there was disappointment for the women’s hockey team which lost the semifinal match against South Korea 1-3 and will now take on Japan for the bronze medal play-off.
The boxing ring also did not bring much cheers for the Indians with former World Championship bronze—medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) being the only one to advance to quarterfinals.
Gaurav Bhiduri (52kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Kuldeep Singh (81kg) bowed out after losing their respective quarterfinal bouts.
Sania and Saketh Myneni combined well to clinch gold medal in the mixed doubles event. The second seeds overwhelmed the top-seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Hao Ching Chan and Hsien Yin Peng 6—4 6—3 in the summit clash in only 69 minutes.
At the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, Seema ran away with the gold with a best throw of 61.03m in the women’s discus throw final while team-mate Krishna Poonia finished fourth with a below par 55.57m.
Prior to Seema’s golden throw, women’s metric miler O P Jaisha and men’s 3000m steeplechaser Naveen Kumar picked up a bronze each to boost the country’s medal tally from athletics to eight from three days.
Bajrang and Narsingh capped off India’s freestyle wrestling competition on a high with the country earning five medals from the mat.
Bajrang lost 1—3 to Massoud Mahmoud in the finals, while Narsingh got the better of Daisuke Shimada of Japan 3—1 in the men’s 74kg division to finish third on the podium. Pawan Kumar went down fighting in his repechage bout in 86kg division to crash out of the event.
The tennis players were the first to clinch a silver today after Sanam and Saketh lost a hard—fought final in straight sets to Korea’s Yongkyu Lim and Hyeon Chung.
The fifth seeded Indians lost the summit clash 5—7 6—7 (2) in an hour and 29 minutes to the eighth seeded local favourites.
India’s kabaddi players also continued their fine form.
The six—time champions notched up their second successive win after thrashing Thailand 66—27 in a Group A preliminary—round match.
The Indian men’s team, which has won all five World Cups played till now, dished out another dominating show to teach the Thai players a lesson or two in Kabaddi as they surged 29—15 ahead at the break and wrapped up the match after pocketing the second half 37—12.
The Indian women’s team, which also started their campaign on a winning note beating Bangladesh yesterday, will play against Korea on Tuesday in their second and final Pool A tie.
The Indian table tennis players had a bitter-sweet day as the mixed doubles team of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Poulomi Ghatak crashed out while the women’s doubles team got the better of arch—rivals Pakistan in a round—of—32 match.
After a disappointing few days for Indian basketball, the women cagers finally had reason to smile after they beat Mongolia to set up a fifth-place play-off against Kazakhstan.
Playing for pride at the Hwaseong Sports Complex Gymnasium, the women’s team outplayed its Mongolian counterpart 68—50 after taking a lead from the first quarter itself.
However, there were mixed results in sepaktakraw. While Indian men’s team registered a comprehensive straight—game win over Brunei and Nepal, their women counterparts sunk against Indonesia in preliminary round matches.
The Indian team took just 38 minutes to see off the challenge from Brunei 21—12 21—15 in men’s regu preliminary group B match early in the day before getting a 2—0 result in their favour after Nepal did not start the match, here at Bucheon Gymnasium.
However, the women’s team went down in a little over half an hour as their fight was crushed 12—21 13—21 by Indonesian eves in a Women’s Regu preliminary Group A match.
India’s male spikers lost their second consecutive group E play—off encounter as they went down to Qatar in straight games in the volleyball event at the Asian Games here today.
Qatar won by an identical margin of 25—20 25—20 25—20 in a match that lasted an hour and 10 minutes and also officially ended India’s chances of making it to the knock—out rounds.
India have already lost to South Korea in an earlier encounter.
There was disappointment in canoeing and kayaking final.
Gaurav Tomar, who had topped the semifinal yesterday, found the going tough at the Hanam Misari Center as he took 4:17:389 minutes to cover 1000m in the Canoe Men’s Single (C1) Final A to finish at the seventh spot.
Albert Raj Selvaraj also had a disappointing outing in the Kayak men’s Single K1 Final A as he finished at eighth spot after clocking 3:59.933 to cover a distance of 1000m.
Ajit Kumar Sha and Raju Rawat clocked 4:00.800 to finish fifth in Canoe Double (C2) 1000m Men Final A, while the quartet of Ragina Kiro, Biju Anusha, Soniya Devi and Nanao Devi Ahongshangbam could manage a timing of 1:52.022 to sign off at the seventh spot in Kayak Four (K4) 500m Women Final A.
Men’s quartet of Ajit Singh, Sunny Kumar, Ramesh Golli, Chingching Singh Arambam also were lacklustre in their performance as they ended in the eighth spot, ahead of only bottom—placed Singapore, after clocking 3:15.291 in Kayak Four (K4) 1000m Men Final A.
In Kayak Double (K2) 500m Women Final A, Ragina Kiro and Nanao Devi clocked 1:55.351 to languish at the bottom, while Jamesboy Singh Oinam too finished last after producing a timing of 43.981 in Canoe Single (C1) 200m Men Final A.