Asian games : Indian athletes stand true to ‘Iss Baar, Sau Paar’ mission

By BD Naraayannkar
Bengaluru, Oct 7 (UNI) The Indian athletes stood true to Sony Sports Network’s mission ‘Iss Baar, Sau Paar’ as they put up an unblemished show at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou.

For millions of Indians, achieving the target of 100-plus medals at the continental meet, frankly speaking, seemed an aspirational mission.

Nevertheless, this grandest of all campaigns united India and inspired the athletes to scale unprecedented heights to enable them to transcend past records and push boundaries.

On Saturday, the Indian athletes succeeded in taking the nation’s tally to 107 medals, of which 28 are gold, 38 silver and 41 bronze. This milestone was never achieved by India at the Asian Games any time before, and also positioned the country on the path to becoming a sporting powerhouse.

India became the fourth Asian nation to bag 100-plus medals in the single Asiad after China, Japan and South Korea. On the penultimate day at Hangzhou, Indian athletes picked up a rich haul of 6 gold, 4 silver and 2 bronze.

Indian archers started the gold rush with Praveen Ojas Deotale, bagging a gold in the all-Indian men’s compound final by defeating Abhishek Verma.

In another encounter, Jyothi Surekha Vennam outwitted her South Korean rival to win gold in the women’s compound event. This was her third gold medal at Hangzhou after notching up in the compound team and compound mixed doubles.

The men’s cricket team also made the Indians proud after they won gold by defeating Afghanistan in an abandoned final due to rain. The Ruturaj Gaikwad’s side were declared champions due to their higher seeding. It was then the turn of the daughters of India who snapped up the historic 100th medal. The Indian women’s kabaddi team won gold after pulling off an exciting finale by beating Chinese Taipei 26-25.

The star duo of Satwiksairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty won doubles gold. Next, the men’s kabaddi team hauled up gold by beating Iran 33-29 in the finals, but not before witnessing unheralded scenes. The match was suspended for nearly an hour with the scores tied at 28-all over a raid by Indian striker Pawan Sehrawat.

Iran, who had stunned India in the 2018 Asian Games kabaddi final, protested the referee’s decision to award 3 points to India under the rules laid down by an international body.

The referee consulted the officials who saw the replays several times and amended their decisions more than once as both teams sat in protest on the mat. Better sense finally prevailed, and Iran accepted the decision.

Deepak Punia settled for silver after suffering a defeat at the hands of Iran’s Hassan Yazdan in the men’s 86 kg freestyle wrestling final. Later, the Indian men’s and women’s teams bagged silver medals in team chess.

The Indian women’s hockey team settled for bronze by beating Japan 2-1. They had suffered a humiliating defeat at the hands of China in the semifinals.

Another bronze was added to India’s tally through Aditi Gopichand’s efforts in the women’s compound archery. 


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