After a lot of noise from the shooting range on the first four days of the Asian Games, Indian guns remained silent on Day 5 even as rowing brought India’s only medal through Dushyant Chauhan. There were a few near-misses again as India had a few fourth-place finishes and almost drew against China in Women’s hockey. Also making the news was the winning comeback of former Commonwealth Games gold medallist boxer Akhil Kumar. Let’s have a look at India’s performances on Day 5.
Rowing – Dushyant Chauhan clinched the bronze medal in the men’s lightweight single sculls. Dushyant also had a huge chance to win gold as he led from 500m till the last 200m but strong gusts of wind and rain extinguished all his hopes.
It was an extremely commendable effort from the Armyman as he took up the sport just two years back and this is his first international event.
Dushyant completed the 2,000 metre race in seven minutes and 26.57 seconds. Lok Kwan Hoi of Hong Kong and South Korea’s Hakbeom Lee took the gold and silver respectively.
Meanwhile in Lightweight Men’s Double Sculls, the Indian pair of Roopendra Singh and Manjeet Singh finished 4th behind rowing pairs from Japan, Hong Kong and China. In other results from the lake, Sanjukta Dung Dung and Tarunikha Pratap finished 5th in the Women’s Pair final.
Progress in Badminton and Squash
Badminton – India made good progress in Racquet sports and all the stars lived up to the expectations. Shuttle queens Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu beat their respective opponents to move into the last 16. While Saina took just 26 minutes to thrash U Teng Lok of Macau 21-10, 21-8, PV Sindhu was even faster, registering a 21-17, 21-13 victory over Kit Leng Wong of Macau in 19 minutes.
In the doubles matches held at Gyeyang Gymnasium in Incheon, Sikki Reddy and Pradnya Gadre put up a brilliant performance against third seeds Miyuki Maeda and Reika Kakiwa but ultimately went down 16-21 21-19 14-21 in the Pre-Quarter-Final.
In men’s doubles, B Sumeeth Reddy and Manu Attri stormed into the second round with a 21-7, 21-7 victory over Nasheeu Sharafudden and Mohamed Sarim of Maldives in just 19 minutes.
However curtains came down on the campaign of Akshay Dewalkar and Pranaav Jerry Chopra who lost 10-21 15-21 to Cai Yun and Fu Haifeng of China.
Squash – India continued to keep alive hopes of amassing more medals in squash. The Indian women’s team had double duty and came out with flying colours in both. India had a stuttering start to their campaign against the more-fancied Hong Kong in Pool B after India No. 1 Dipika Pallikal went down fighting to the World No. 11 Annie Au in five games in the opening match.
Joshna Chinappa then made a remarkable comeback from 2 games down to give India her first win before Anaka Alankamony beat the much-higher ranked Tong Tsz Wing in four games to help clinch a critical rubber for India .
India later on went to beat to Pakistan 3-0 as well.
The Indian men’s team too kept up their winning streak, beating China 3-0. Mahesh Mangaokar, Harinder Pal Sandhu and Kush Kumar teamed up to deliver the wins.
Artistic Gymnastics – Dipa Karmakar showed her mettle once again and gave a tough fight but ultimately finished fourth in the vault final behind 2008 Olympic Champion Hong Un-Jong of North Korea, 1992 Olympic Champion Oksana Chusovitina from Uzbekistan and 2011 World Championship bronze medallist Thi Ha Thanh Phan of Vietnam.
The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Karmakar showed her talent and courage despite having sustained an ankle injury. But her average of 14.200 was not enough for a podium finish.
Boxing – The biggest news from the boxing ring was the winning return of the Showman of Indian boxing, Akhil Kumar. After a three-year injury break, the 33-year-old Akhil showed flashes of his dominant self and notched an effortless Technical Knockout triumph over Purna Bahadur Lama of Nepal in the first round of Men’s Lightweight (60kg) division. Earlier, Shiv Thapa received a walkover in the first round of Bantamweight division.
Shooting – The men’s 25m rapid fire pistol team comprising Harpreet Singh, Gurpreet Singh and Pemba Tamang finished just outside of the medals after being tied with Vietnam for bronze. The bronze was decided on the basis of ‘inner Xs’ where Vietnam had 41 hits compared to the Indians’ 39. The Indian women’s 50m rifle prone team also ended outside medal contention and achieved only the 11th position.
Archery – The archery event to determine recurve ranking was held on Wednesday and India was ranked sixth and fifth in the men’s and women’s sections respectively. In individual men’s rankings, Atanu Das had the best rank of 13 while Jayanta Talukdar was placed 17th, Tarundeep Rai 22nd and Rahul Banerjee 25th. Amongst the women Deepika Kumari, did well to achieve the best individual rank of 8 while Laxmirani Majhi was placed 15th, Bombayla Devi 20th and Pranitha Vardhineni 30th.
Weightlifting – India continued to fare poorly in weightlifting as Vikas Thakur was the latest disappointment who finished seventh in the men’s 85 kg category.
Women’s Hockey – The Indians suffered a fighting 1-2 loss to defending champions China in their second group match. The solitary goal for India was scored by Jaspreet Kaur.
Men’s Basketball – Curtains came down on the Indian team’s campaign as they lost 41-76 to Iran in their second consecutive preliminary round Group E match.
Volleyball – The men’s volleyball team thumped Maldives 3-0 in its preliminary Group C match while the women’s team went down 0-3 loss against Thailand in preliminary Group A match.
Medal Rush – India added just one medal on Day 5 – 1 bronze in rowing.
News of the Day – Dushyant Chauhan’s bronze medal winning effort despite having taken up the sport just two years back surely was the biggest news.
Comeback(s) of the Day – Joshna Chinappa staged a memorable comeback from two games down to win her match and keep India on course for a semi-final place in the women’s team event in squash.
Akhil Kumar makes any list for the sheer entertainment value that he brings to his bout. His round house punches and open stance delivered an entertaining win in the first round of Boxing