Asian Games: With 36 medals after first week, can India better 2018 show?
Neeraj Chopra and athletics carry golden hopes, along with men’s cricket and hockey
As the first week of competition at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou, China draws to a close – it’s time to take stock of the Indian performance so far. Their overall medals tally now stands at 36 medals: 10 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze and a fourth position.
There are no prizes for guessing that hosts China, Japan and Korea occupy the top three positions, but for the Indian sports fan – it also boils down to the question of whether India can overhaul their best-ever tally of 70 medals of the 2018 edition. While they will be banking heavily on the 68-member athletics contingent to add to the tally in the final week, the task is now cut for the jumbo contingent to match the haul of five years back.
The shooters have been at the forefront of the medal campaign, winning 19 medals so far. They have bagged six gold (with two world records) eight silver and five bronze in various events. The other four gold medals came in women’s cricket, equestrian, squash and tennis – with the ageless Rohan Bopanna combining with Rutuja Bhosale to win the mixed doubles gold on Saturday.
After shooting, rowing has given India maximum medals - two silver and three bronze. Apart from the two events, India have won three medals in sailing, two in equestrian, squash and tennis which included a gold each. Cricket, wushu and athletics have fetched a medal each so far.
The shooters maintained a strike-rate of medals on most days, though pistol Esha Singh and Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar stole the limelight with four medals each so far. Esha landed one gold and three silver while Aishwary’s haul was two gold, one silver and one bronze. Rifle shooter Ashi Chouksey has won three medals - two silver and a bronze.
Others with two medals each are: Palak Gulia (gold & silver), Sift Kaur Samra (gold & silver), Anush Agarwalla (gold & bronze), Ashish (silver & bronze), Punit Kumar (silver & bronze), Anant Jeet Singh Naruka (silver & bronze), Ramita Jindal (silver & bronze), Bheem Singh (silver & bronze) and Jaswinder Singh (silver & bronze).
The Indian athletics squad features top names like men’s javelin throw ace Neeraj Chopra, the reigning world, Olympic and Asian Games champion, Commonwealth Games men’s 3000m steeplechase silver medallist Avinash Sable and women’s hurdles sensation Jyothi Yarraji. All eyes in track & field will be trained on Chopra’s final on October 4, where he is going to face a serious challenge from Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem, the reigning Commonwealth Games champion.
Over the years, athletics have accounted for the majority of India’s medals at the Games - 254 from a total of 672. Indian men’s cricket team, led by Ruturaj Gaekwad, has received a bye to quarter finals and look a potential candidate for gold medal along with the men’s hockey team.
In addition to medals, Hangzhou also offers 74 Paris 2024 Olympic quotas - six in archery, 10 in artistic swimming, 34 in boxing, two in breaking, two in hockey, 10 in modern pentathlon, six in sailing, two in tennis and two in water polo.
INDIA’S MEDALS TALLY
(Discipline-wise, as on September 30)
Published: 30 Sep 2023, 6:23 PM