After the highlight of the Opening day gold, it turned out to be quieter day for India with two more bronze added on Day 2 at the 17th Asian Games. Let’s have a look at how India fared on Day 2 –
Shooting – India opened the day with a bronze when the trio featuring Jitu Rai, Samaresh Jung and Prakash Nanjappa finished third in men’s 10m air pistol. India could have bettered the colour of the medal as they were tied with China for the second place with both at 1743 points at the Ongnyeon shooting range.
But as luck would have it, China pipped them to the post when the number of Xs in the tens were counted where India lagged behind China by just 1.
Another potential medal in shooting was denied when the man in sensational form, Jitu Rai crashed out of the top 3 and ended without an individual medal. Jitu was tied for the first place at one stage but the clapping of the crowd for a home town hero distracted the Indian champion and he ended up a bitter fifth.
Gyeonggido Shooting Range also didn’t bring India any news to cheer about. The heavyweight trap shooting trio of Mansher Singh, Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Kynan Chenai finished a disappointing sixth.
Badminton – Our outing in badminton began with bright prospects of a Final appearance but ended in disappointment. India today experienced the sting of not having a second pair of good doubles players and the services and vast experience of the injured Jwala Gutta were largely missed. Nonetheless, the medal is of special significance as India managed to win a medal in the sport of badminton at the Asiad after a long wait of 28 years.
Saina Nehwal did her job of giving India the lead by beating Ji Hyun Sung 21-12, 10-21, 21-9. The onus was then on PV Sindhu who began on a bright note versus Yeon Ju Bae but could not sustain the momentum, surrendering 14-21, 21-18, 21-13. The doubles pair of N. Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre couldn’t do much in a 45-minute encounter, losing 16-21, 17-21 to Kim Soyeong and Chang Yena.
In the decisive fourth match of the tie, P.C. Thulasi too found it too hot to handle her Korean opponent. Thulasi went down 12-21, 8-21 to Kim Hyomin.
Assurance of medals
Squash – It was a memorable day for Indian squash as two medals were assured on the same day when the country’s top players Saurav Ghosal and Dipika Pallikal won their respective quarter-finals. Top seed Saurav confirmed his third Asiad singles medal by sailing past Pakistani Iqbal Nasir 11-6, 9-11, 11-2, 11-9.
But it was the ladies quarter-final that was the cynosure of all eyes mainly because of the stir it had created prior to the event. The match was a thoroughly exciting one as the two training partners fought tooth and nail. Birthday girl Dipika Pallikal emerged victorious with a score of 7-11, 11-9, 11-8, 15-17, 11-9 and confirmed India’s first ever squash medal in women’s singles.
The other Indian news from Incheon
Men’s Hockey – India trounced Sri Lanka 8-0 in a Men’s Pool B match. Against the 40th ranked team, the top seeds should have fared better. India needs to up their performance soon before facing the formidable oppositions.
Equestrian – Shruti Vora and Nadia Haridass made India proud at Dream Park Equestrian Venue by entering the final round of the Equestrian Dressage individual event.
Football – It was an embarrassing day for Indian women as they put up a listless performance to crash to a 0-10 defeat at the hands of Thailand in the first round.
Men’s Basketball – The hoopsters had a very tough contest with Saudi Arabia that went neck-to-neck in the qualifying round. It was a heartbreak in the end as India were beaten 67-73 by Saudi Arabia.
Women’s Handball – India salvaged some pride in a preliminary round handball match as it ended in a tie (26-26) versus Thailand.
Cycling – In the Women’s Keirin individual track event, Deborah and Mohan Mahitha ended 9th and 11th respectively.
Tennis – The men’s team entered the quarter-finals after blanking Nepal 3-0. Yuki Bhambri and Sanam Singh posted easy singles wins while Saketh Myeni and Divij Sharan had a ruthless doubles win.
Rowing – Swarn Singh finished second in Men’s Singles Sculls Heat & will get a chance to compete in Repechage. In Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls Heat, India ended fourth. They will also compete in Repechage.
Some off-court news , however, threatened to dampen the mood in the Indian camp. It was reported that Indian Olympic Association has been fined USD 10,000 as they withdrew teams very late from the Asian Games.
Day 2 Asiad Recap Summary
Medal Winners : A bronze for Indian Pistol Team and the Indian Badminton Team
Performance of The Day : Saina was impressive today and she has shown the ability to fight adversity well on and off the court
Comeback of the Day : Visa Problems, Delayed landing from Spain and lack of proper sleep were all put aside by Samresh Jung as he made a comeback into the Winner’s circle