Indian spark fizzles in Asian Games

Hyderabad: The event began amidst controversies and unhappy faces. The Asian Games, which witnesses the best sportspersons of the continents mark their attendance, began on September 19th, and is reaching its climax now.

The curtains down being scheduled for October 4, the major chunk of the sporting extravaganza is over. Now wouldn’t be a really bad time to evaluate how the Indians have performed thus far. When the event began, there were high hopes pinned on the Indian young guns. It was expected that they would breach the 70-mark.

The reality however, has been far from that coveted number. The reality has been just a teeny bit more than half – 41 (5 golds, 7 silvers and 29 bronze medals) so far. The Indians have been sitting on the 10th position for a while now, and there seems to have been no wind blowing in the Indians’ favour till now.

India’s gold medals came from squash, wherein the Indian team comprising of  Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, Saurav Ghosal clinched the gold beating Malaysia 2-0. The other gold came in the form of archery, where India just turned the equation around archery men’s team of Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar and Abhishek Verma, as they defeated world champions South Korea 227-225. Yogeshwar Dutt increased the gold count by outsmarting Zalimkhan Yusupov of Tajikistan.

Seema Punia’s triumph gave India their fifth gold medal. Punia, who won gold in discus throw, threw the disc to 61.03 metres in her fourth attempt to get the better of her Chinese rivals, who finished second and third. Seema has been in good form this year. This has been her first Asian Games medal.

Other impressive performances, that didn’t fetch the gold were those of Khushbir Kaur, who walked away, literally with the silver medal in the 20km race walking event, Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh bagged a silver and a bronze in the women’s 3000m steeplechase, after a Bahraini participant was disqualified. As they say, their loss became our gain. Indian Women grapplers Vinesh Phogat and Geetika Jakhar also contributed to the medal tally by bagging a bronze each in the 48kg and 63kg respectively.

Archer Trisha Deb took a bronze too as she beat Chinese Taipei’s Huang I Jou 138-134 in the compound event, while the Indian women’s squash team settled for a silver. Shooter Chain Singh took the bronze medal in the 50 metre rifle 3 positions shooting event, while Sandeep Sejwal bagged a bronze in the 50m breaststroke event. Coupled with Sania’s bronze, the medal tally looks healthy, but not as expected.

With the hockey team and boxing team led by Mary Kom still to have their encounters, the Indians can only keep their fingers crossed.

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