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Asian Games: Indians achieve best-ever tally

Other Sports
Sun, 02 Sep 2018
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India equalled its best gold medal haul by touching 15, something that last happened back in 1951, and the overall tally surpassed the 65 in Guangzhou by four this time.

Apart from the 15 gold, India picked up 24 silver and 30 bronze medals for a brilliant show that helped them finish inside top-10 at eighth for the third consecutive time.

Starting the day at 13 gold, armyman Amit was up against quite a few odds as he took on reigning Olympic and Asian champion Hasanboy Dusmatov, the man he narrowly lost to in the world championships quarter-final almost a year ago.

Gutsy

But the gutsy 22-year-old, the only Indian to make the boxing finals, prevailed 3-2 as India ended its boxing campaign at the Games with gold and a bronze, which was won by Vikas Krishan in the middle-weight category.

Amit showed immense tactical brilliance, especially in defence to outmanoeuvre the Uzbek, who has an iconic status in international boxing.

“I had lost to him before, so I had to take revenge. Coach Santiago (Nieva) and other coaches had prepared me well. In the semi-final, I did not play the

first round well, here I did not repeat that mistake,” Amit said after the bout.

Today’s win marks the highest point of Amit’s meteoric rise to the top, starting with an Asian Championships bronze last year.

Then came two men, who would be nearing retirement in any contemporary job, but made their Asian Games debut in a debut sport.

Two old friends - Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath Sarkar - quietly added a gold to India’s tally as the focus remained on traditional sports.

Bardhan, at the age of 60, became the oldest man in Indian contingent to win a medal at the Games as he and his 56-year old partner finished the men’s pair event with a score of 384.

They edged out China’s Lixin Yang and Gang Chen, who finished with 378 points after five rounds of competition.

The squash players, who had shocked powerhouse Malaysia in semifinals, though were stopped in their tracks by Hong Kong in the women’s team final and they had to settle for a silver.

Sunayna Kuruvilla and India number one Joshna Chinappa lost their respective singles as the team suffered its second defeat against Hong Kong in a space of three days.

A silver was a creditable performance nonetheless, having surprised defending champions Malaysia in the semi-finals on Friday.

With a runners-up finish, India equalled their best ever performance at the Games. They had also reached the final at Incheon four years ago.

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