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India breach 50-medal mark on Day 8 of Hangzhou Asiad

India breach 50-medal mark on Day 8 of Hangzhou Asiad

By BD Naarayannkar
Hangzhou, October 01 (UNI) Today was a day to remember as Indian athletes won 12 medals by putting up a brilliant performance in various events which saw India crossing half a century of medals.
On a Super Sunday, India won three gold, seven silver and five bronze, bringing a shower of medals for the country.
Athletes Tajinderpal Singh Toor and Avinash Sable led the medal rush for India on Day 8 of the 2023 Asian Games.
Avinash Sable was the first athlete for India to grab a medal in the track and field after he clocked 8:19.53 in the men's 3000m steeplechase final to obtain gold. This also was his new Asian Games record.
The 29-year-old Indian runner had won the silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Japan's Ryoma Aoki and Seiya Sunada settled for the silver and bronze medals, respectively.
Meanwhile, India's men's shot putter Tajinderpal threw 20.36m in the final, and bagged gold. The 28-year-old Indian shot-putter successfully defended his title at the 2018 Asian Games. He also holds the Asian (21.77m) and Asian Games (20.75m) records.
Parduman Singh Brar, Joginder Singh, Bahadur Singh Chouhan and Tajinderpal Singh Toor - the Indian shot putters who have defended an Asian Games gold medal.
Sahib Singh, meanwhile, finished eighth with 18.62 meters after his six best attempts at Hangzhou. Saudi Arabia's Mohamed Daouda Tolo claimed the silver while China's Liu Yang settled for the bronze medal in the men's shot put final.
In the men's 200m semifinal, Amlan Borgohain clocked 21.03 in the semifinal and zoomed into the final as a non-automatic qualifier. The 25-year-old sprinter will be in action tomorrow at 5:25 PM IST.
India's Ajay Kumar Saroj and Jinson Johnson also made India proud by winning silver and bronze medals, respectively, in the men's 1500m final at the Asian Games 2023.
Reigning Asian champion Ajay Kumar clocked 3:38.94, while the 2018 Asian Games gold medallist Jinson Johson finished with a time of 3:39.74. Qatar's Mohamad Algarni won gold with a season-best time of 3:38.36.
Meanwhile, Harmilan Bains added another medal to India's athletics tally, a silver, in the women's 1500m final at the Asian Games 2023. She clocked 4:12.74 in the final.
The 25-year-old Harmilan returned from injury in February this year after missing the Commonwealth Games and the World Championships in 2022.
Indian long jumper Murali Sreeshankar bagged the silver medal with a best of 8.19m at the Asian Games 2023. The 24-year-old jumped just 0.3m short of the gold medal winner Wang Jianan from China.
Sreeshankar also won the silver medal at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. Jeswin Aldrin, meanwhile, finished eighth (7.76m) in the men's long jump final at Hangzhou.
In the women's heptathlon, Nandini Agasara won the 800m race with a personal best time of 2:15.33 and won the bronze medal after seven events. She notched personal best scores in the 200m race and javelin throw too. Swapna Barman fell just four points shy of her compatriot to finish fourth at the Asian Games 2023.
Seema Punia hurled a season-best 58.62m in the women's discus throw final, winning the bronze medal at Hangzhou 2023. The 40-year-old Seema Punia completed a hat-trick of Asian Games medals - gold in 2014, bronze in 2018 and bronze in 2023.
Ace Indian hurdler Jyothi Yarraji also clinched silver by clocking 12.91 seconds in the women's 100m hurdles final.
Luck favoured the brave 24-year-old athlete as her bronze medal was upgraded to silver after China's Wu Yanni was disqualified after the race.
Both runners were under the scanner for erroneous starts, though the race was not stopped for disqualification, which was declared post-race after investigation found Wu Yanni faulting.
Lin Yuwei from China clinched the gold with a personal best time of 12.74 seconds. Japan's Yumi Tanaka, initially fourth, clocked 13.04 seconds and bagged the bronze medal.
In the badminton finals, a depleted Indian men's team lost to China and settled for silver.
Country's premier shuttler HS Prannoy and MR Arjun missed the gold medal match due to injury as the Indian men’s team lost the tie 2-3 to hosts despite starting the tie on a very strong note.
The first silver was bagged by India at 2018 Jakarta Games after PV Sindhu's appearance in the women's singles final. India have now won 11 medals - two silver and nine bronze - in the sport at the continental meet.
Walking into the court, India suffered a big jolt after Prannoy had to sit on the sidelines due to back injury. Despite the odds, Lakshya Sen and Chirag Shettu-Satwiksairaj Rankireddy triumped in their respective matches, and gave a rollicking start to India.
However, Kidambi Srikanth, Dhruv Kapila-K Sai Pratheek and Mithun Manjunath, let the Indian fans down by going down to the Chinese shuttlers in the next three encounters.
Just coming into this tie, the Indian men's team had pulled off a 3-2 thriller over Republic of Korea in the semifinals after sweeping Nepal 3-0 in the quarters.
Lakshya Sen gave India a dream start, beating Shi Yuqi 22-20, 14-21, 21-18 in the first match.
Commonwealth Games champion Lakshya Sen dug deep to win a tight first game but lost the second. The decider seemed to be heading the Chinese shuttler’s way with Lakshya trailing 13-8 but he rallied to pick up the important win.
In the second match, India’s doubles pair of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy beat Weikeng Liang and Chang Wang 21-15, 21-18 to hand India a 2-0 lead. The Chinese pair is ranked second in the world and won a bronze medal at the world championships earlier this year.
In the absence of Prannoy, the onus was on former world No. 1 Kidambi Srikanth in the third tie against the reigning All England champion Li Shifeng. However, Kidambi Srikanth lost 24-22, 21-9.
It was an uphill task for India from that point on with the makeshift pair of Dhruv Kapila and K Sai Pratheek facing off against the world No. 8 men’s doubles team of Yuchen Liu and Xuanyi Ou while Mithun Manjunath, the world No. 53 in men’s singles, took on China’s - a player ranked 33 places above him.
Dhruv Kapila was partnering Sai Pratheek in the absence of his regular partner MR Arjun, who was also unfit for the tie. The India doubles pair lost 21-6, 21-15 as the match headed into a decider.
In the fifth and final match, India’s Mithun Manjunath lost 21-12, 21-4 to Weng Hongyang as India settled for silver - the country’s first medal in the men’s team badminton event at the Asian Games since 1976.
Earlier in the day, the Republic of Korea defeated China 3-0 to win the gold medal in the women’s team event.
The Indian women’s team ended its Hangzhou 2023 campaign in the quarter-finals after losing to Thailand earlier in the week.
Badminton events at the Asian Games 2023 will continue with the singles, doubles and mixed doubles events, starting from October 2.
Earlier, Nikhat Zareen succumbed 2-3 to Thailand's Chuthamat Raksat in the women's 50kg semifinal of the Asian Games 2023 boxing event.
Parveen Hooda on the other hand assured herself a medal in the women’s 57kg.
This was an anti-climax outcome for Nikhat as she lost to Chuthamat in a split decision after she had defeated her rival in the quarterfinals of the world championships earlier this year.
Both the boxers started the bout cautiously by landing soft punches and jabs at each other. In the final round, the Thai pugilist prevailed with some decisive hooks before winning by a whisker.
Earlier in the day, Parveen booked a semifinal berth in the women's 57kg by overwhelming Uzbekistan's Sitora Turdibekova through unanimous decision. The 23-year-old Indian boxer, by virtue of making the top four, obtained a maiden Asian Games medal and a quota for the Paris 2024 Olympics next year.
However, as National Olympic Committees have the exclusive authority for the representation of their respective countries at the Olympic Games, athletes' participation at the Paris Games depends on their NOC selecting them to represent their delegation at Paris 2024.
Boxing at the Asian Games 2023 is also a Paris 2024 Olympics qualifier event.
In men's events, the gold and silver medallists in each of the seven weight divisions will be issued a quota to Paris 2024. In the women’s categories, four quotas will be on offer for all categories other than the 66kg and 75kg, for which there will be two berths on offer like men’s.
Parveen will face Chinese Taipei’s Lin Yu Ting in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Jasmine Lamboria missed out on a medal after she lost by RSC (referee stops count) in the women’s 60kg quarters against Ungyong Won of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. The Indian boxer endured three standing counts in a space of one minute before the referee stopped the bout.
In hockey, the Indian women's team came from behind to hold Korea to a
1-1 draw in their third Pool A.
For India, Navneet Kaur (44’) scored the equaliser after a goal from Hyejin CHO (12’) had put Korea in front.
Both teams showed flair in attack from the word go and it was Korea, who had an opportunity to take an early lead, but the Indian team Vice Captain and defender Deep Grace Ekka made a brilliant goal-line save to deny Korea from going in front.
After surviving the early scare, India quickly settled into a passing rhythm while controlling the majority of possession and Sangita Kumari even got a good opportunity to give her team the lead as she went past Korea’s defence line and had to beat their goalkeeper but failed to keep her shot on target.
Meanwhile, Korea switched to counter-attack and it paid off when they won a penalty stroke, which was converted by Hyejin CHO without much difficulty.
Following that, India upped the ante in search of an equaliser, repeatedly testing Korea's defence and even coming close to scoring on multiple occasions, but were unable to find the back of the net as the first quarter ended with Korea leading 1-0.
In the second quarter, India increased the frequency of their attacks in an attempt to level the score courtesy of which they even won two penalty corners but failed to capitalise on any of them. Also, Sangita Kumari once again had a big opportunity to score an equaliser with just the goalkeeper to beat but her shot was off target.
In terms of possession and creating chances, it was India who dominated the second quarter and came close to scoring quite a few times but somehow couldn’t thus allowing Korea to maintain their 1-0 lead at the half-time break.
To capitalise on their lead, Korea launched a strong offensive push in the third quarter, earning an early penalty corner, but couldn’t convert it.
Meanwhile, India remained determined to equalise and kept Korea’s defense under pressure by rigorous attacking and it paid dividends as Navneet Kaur (44’) converted a penalty corner to put the Indian team on level terms as the third quarter ended with the score tied at 1-1.
High on confidence after scoring the equaliser, India came out all guns blazing in the fourth and final quarter of the match, however, Korea not only soaked the pressure well but also kept checking India’s defence.
The Indian team, on the other hand, switched to counter-attacking in search of the winning goal and even won a penalty corner in the closing minutes of the game but were unable to convert it. The final quarter didn’t witness a single goal as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Unbeaten so far, India are currently on top of the Pool A points tally with seven points from three games and a better goal difference than second-placed Korea, who also are unbeaten in the competition so far and have accumulated seven points from three games.
Indian women will next take on Hong Kong China in their last Pool A match on October 3.
In golf, India made history after Aditi Ashok bagged the first medal in the women's individual golf at Asian Games.
Aditi claimed silver by carding 17-under 271 (67-66-61-77) in four rounds at the West Lake International Golf Course. She will savour this achievement, especially after missing out on a podium spot at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics two years back.
The gold medal was claimed by Thailand's Apichaya Yubol, who carded 19-under 269 (67-65-69-68). The Republic of Korea’s Hyunjo Yoo won the bronze with 16-under 272 (68-73-66-65).
Aditi was brilliant in the first three rounds and after a sensational 11-under on Saturday, the Indian golfer went into the final round with a healthy seven-shot lead at the top of the leaderboard.
The 25-year-old Aditi, however, endured a disappointing day on the greens and squandered her lead to Yubolk after a double bogey on the 16th hole, where she hit one in the water.
While Aditi carded just a single bogey in her first three rounds combined, she endured three and four bogeys and a double in the fourth round alone.
India’s Pranavi Urs finished 13th in the women’s golf tournament with four-under 284 while Avani Prashanth was T18th with three-over 291.
The trio’s combined score of 22-under 554 placed India fourth in the women’s team golf event at Hangzhou 2023 behind Thailand, the Republic of Korea and China.
The Indian men’s golfers, meanwhile, had a disappointing outing in Hangzhou.
Olympian Anirban Lahiri (14-under 274) finished T12th and was the best-ranked Indian in the men’s individual event. Hitesh Khalin Joshi (seven-under 281) came in at T27 followed by veteran SSP Chawrasia (six-under 282) at 29th.
Subhankar Sharma (two-under 286) was 32nd.
In the men’s team event, India finished seventh with a total of 830.

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