The biggest news on Day 4 of the Asian Games came from the Yeorumul Squash Courts but unfortunately it was laced with a lot of sadness as a mighty effort from Saurav Ghosal in the final ended in a heartbreak. In the other big news of the day, India bid a sort of farewell to a “sort of retired”, Abhinav Bindra as he capped a stellar professional career with two more Asiad bronze. Wushu swelled India’s tally to 11 by adding two more bronze. Let’s have a look at India’s outing on Day 4.
The Medals Squash – He was widely expected to bring in India’s second gold from Incheon but Saurav Ghosal’s brush with the gold medal was painfully short-lived. At 12-11 in the third game, the top seed was just one point away from laying his hands on the gold medal but all his hopes were dashed by the resilience of Abdullah Almezayen of Kuwait who staged a brilliant comeback.
The world No. 16 had to settle for the silver after a pulsating contest which saw him losing 12-10, 11-2, 12-14, 8-11, 9-11. Saurav who captured his third Asian Games singles medal still made history by bringing home India’s first ever silver medal.
The men’s team event started and India scraped through with a 2-1 win v Jordan in the group play stage in the absence of Saurav who was rested after his draining final.
Shooting – In possibly his last outing as a professional shooter, Abhinav didn’t fail to bring home a medal as he clinched the individual bronze in 10m air rifle as well the team bronze with Sanjeev Rajput and Ravi Kumar.
Bindra mustered 187.1 points to finish behind Chinese duo of Haoran Yang and Yifei Cao in the individual category. The 2008 Olympic medallist had slipped to the fourth place but a 10.5 just in time coupled with a poor show from Iran’s Pourya Norouziyan pulled him back into the top three.
Abhinav said that after training with the same intensity for 20 years, he was now looking forward to being a hobby shooter. He still did not rule our Rio yet and will decide on it later depending on the kind of performance Abhinav can conjure while being a hobby shooter.
Shooting didn’t bring any more cheer as the troika of Shreyasi Singh, Seema Tomar and Shagun Chowdhury finished eighth in women’s trap final.
Wushu – Wushu brought the same number of medals as the Guanzhou Asian Games as Yumnam Sanathoi Devi and Narender Grewal lost their respective semi-final bouts and had to be content with the bronze.
Sanathoi Devi couldn’t put up any resistance against her Chinese opponent Zhang Luan in women’s Sanda 52kg and was thoroughly outplayed. She lost 0-2 in a ‘Win by Round’ verdict.
Narender Grewal put up a better fight against Jean Claude Saclag of Philippines in men’s Sanda 60kg semifinals yet had to end up on the losing side. Grewal too lost 0-2 in a Win by Round verdict.
The other Indian news from Incheon Men’s Hockey – The men’s hockey team beat Oman 7-0 but there are areas that would need improvement. Raghunath was off-colour during the match and managed just two goals. However there was an injury scare to ace drag-flicker Rupinderpal and there will a race to get him fit before India’s next game, a tough match versus arch-rivals Pakistan.
Rowing – There was a lot to celebrate in rowing with India guaranteeing three more final appearances. Sawarn Singh Virk easily won his repechage heat in the Men’s Singles Sculls to enter the final. The double sculls team comprising Om Prakash and Dattu Baban Bhokanal followed suit, bagging the first place in their respective repechage heat at the Chungju Tangeum Lake Rowing Center.
The quartet of Rakesh Raliya, Vikram Singh, Sonu Laxmi Narain and Shokendar Tomar also booked their place in the final of Lightweight Men’s Quadruple Sculls final by finishing second in their repechage heat.
Equestrian – Shruti Vohra and Nadia Haridass couldn’t bring any cheer to the Indian camp as they finished 8th and last respectively in the Women’s Dressage Individual Intermediate event.
Sepaktakraw – It was a mighty effort from the Indian men’s team but were proved unlucky in the end as they went down 1-2 to Japan in the preliminary round. In the women team events preliminary round, Myanmar thumped India 3-0.
Weightlifting – Lifters carried on with their disappointing show as Katulu Ravi Kumar and Punam Yadav finished tenth and seventh in Men’s 77kg and Women’s 63kg respectively. And off the field, Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sathish Kumar Sivalingam had to pull out of his event – men’s 77kg with fever.
Men’s Basketball – The hoopsters were not able to live up to their promise and ultimately went down 76-85 against Philippines in the first game of the preliminary round.
Gymnastics –In the women’s Individual All-Around final, 2014 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Dipa Karmakar began on a bright note but a poor performance on the uneven bars saw her slide to 10th. 2010 Asiad medal winner Ashish Kumar finished 12th in the Individual All-Around final while Aditya Singh Rana ended 16th.
Summary Medal Rush – India added five more medals on Day 4 – 1 silver in Squash, 2 bronze in Shooting and 2 bronze in Wushu.
News of the Day – The news that created the headlines was unfortunately Saurav’s painful loss. Nevertheless his effort will be remembered for bringing home India’s first ever Squash silver.
Comeback of the Day – India’s ever-dependable shooter Abhinav Bindra had slid to the fourth place in the individual final but he bounced back just in time with a score of 10.5 that eventually helped him secure the bronze. Watch this space for more comebacks from India’s shooting star