Tennis and Discus throw kept up India’s gold rush at the 17th Asian Games at Incheon as Day 10 saw India add 7 medals to its kitty to take the overall tally to 42 medals. While Sania Mirza and Saketh Myneni brought home the gold in mixed doubles, Saketh and Sanam Singh had to settle for silver in men’s doubles final. Seema Punia who had to miss the last 2 Asian Games continued with her impeccable form to deliver India’s second gold of the day. Wrestling brought a silver and bronze while athletics kept on swelling the medal tally with a few bronze. Let’s have a look at India’s performances on Day 10.
Tennis – India had a chance to bring home double gold from tennis as both the men’s doubles final and the mixed doubles final had an Indian pair featuring in it. At the end of the day we managed to scoop up the gold just from the mixed doubles final.
Reigning US Open mixed doubles champion Sania Mirza’s wealth of experience came in handy as she partnered Sakeh Myneni who had won both the Kolkata and Delhi Challenger doubles titles this year. They beat the Chinese Taipei pair of Hsien Yin Peng and Hao Ching Chan 6-4, 6-3. This is Sania’s second gold in Asian Games mixed doubles. She has won a medal in the mixed doubles event at four consecutive Asiad. This is her 8th Asiad medal.
However, Saketh Myneni was not so lucky in his other final of the day, the men’s doubles final, where he had teamed up with Sanam Singh. The Indians fought well but went down to a spirited Korean team of Yongkyu Lim and Hyeon Chung 5-7, 6-7 (2). Sanam has previously won the gold in the men’s doubles event at Guangzhou Asian Games.
Athletics – Discus Thrower Seema Punia who has been in scintillating form since the Commonwealth Games continued in the same vein by bringing home India’s first athletics gold from Incheon. Seema who had to miss the last two editions of the Asiad had won the silver at Glasgow and was the only one in the field to have a throw of over 60m. She achieved her best throw of 61.03m in her fourth attempt. China’s Xiaoxin Lu and Jian Tan took the silver and bronze respectively. Compatriot Krishna Poonia ended in fourth place.
There were medals coming in from other events in track and field also. Naveen Kumar won the bronze in men’s Steeplechase while OP Jaisha bagged the bronze in women’s 1500m.
Wrestling – A day after Yogeshwar’s historic gold, grapplers continued to add to India’s medal tally. It wasn’t a gold though. 20-year-old Bajrang who had won the silver at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games had to settle for silver in the men’s freestyle 61kg final. The Haryana wrestler lost to Iranian Masoud Esmaeilpoorjouybari 1-3.
Later on, Narsingh Yadav won the bronze medal in the men’s freestyle 74kg by getting the better of Japan’s Daisuke Shimada in the bronze medal playoff.
Other news from Incheon
Boxing – The men’s boxers couldn’t keep up with the success of the women pugilists. Out of all the boxers in action on Day 10, only Vikas Krishnan managed to win. The 2011 World Championships bronze medallist defeated Azamat Uulu Kanybek of Kyrgyzstan to reach the quarterfinals in the 75kg category.
However, luck ran out for Mandeep Jangra in 69kg, Kuldeep Singh in 81kg and Gaurav Bhiduri in 52kg as they all lost in the last-eight stage.
Kabaddi – The reigning champions hardly broke a sweat in despatching Thailand in men’s Group A preliminary match and brightening chances of bringing more gold.
Women’s Hockey – India’s hopes for a final appearance were cut short as they went down fighting 1-3 to South Korea. Namita Toppo scored the only goal for India.
India will now vie for the bronze with Japan who is the other losing semi-finalist. China beat Japan 1-0 in the second other semi-final.
Table Tennis – Ankita Das won 4-0 win over her Kuwait opponent to advance to the women’s singles second round while the mixed doubles team of Anthony Amalraj and Madhurika Patkar also emerged victorious on Day 10. Amalraj-Madhurika overcame a sloppy start to their match to beat Mongolian pair of Orgil Munkh Batbayar and Enkhjin Barkhas 3-0 (12-10, 11-3, 11-6) in just 13 minutes and made their place in the pre-quarter-finals. Curtains came over the pair of Achanta Sharath Kamal and Poulomi Ghatak who were knocked in straight games by Thailand.
Canoe Sprint/Kayak – India had a few finals but our boats unfortunately came a cropper. In men’s 1000 metre Canoe Double pair final, the Indian pair of Ajit Kumar Saha and Raju Rawat finished fifth. It was even more disappointing in the Kayak Four Team final as the Indian team of Ajit Singh, Sunny Kumar, Ramesh Golli, and A Chingching Singh ended in eighth place.
In the individual men’s races, Jamesboy Singh Oinam finished ninth in Canoe Single 200 metre event while in Kayak Single 1000 metre race, Raj Albert Selvaraj ended eighth.
Fortune wasn’t any different in the women’s section as the 500 metre Kayak Double team of Ragino Kiro and A Nanao Devi finished ninth while the 500 metre Kayak quartet of Ragina Kiro, Anusha Biju, P Soniya Devi and A Nanao Devi were placed marginally better, in seventh position.
Sepaktakraw – The men’s and the women’s teams had contrasting results. The men’s team had a grand outing on Day 10 as they thrashed Brunei 21-12, 21-15 in men’s Regu preliminary group B match. In another group match, the men’s team saw off Nepal with a 2-0 result in their favour as well.
The women’s team went down 12-21, 13-21 to Indonesia in Women’s Regu preliminary Group A match.
Medal Rush – India added 7 medals on Day 10 – 1 gold and 1 silver in tennis, 1 gold and 2 bronze in athletics and 1 silver and 1 bronze in wrestling.
News of the Day – Seema Punia’s discus throw victory after coming out of the shadows of her compatriot Krishna Poonia was surely one of the biggest highlights of the day. Also making the news was the pair of Sania and Saketh who delivered the only gold from tennis when India had five semi-finalists this time.
Comeback of the day – The tears streaming down from Seema Punia’s eyes while the national anthem was on, tells how much she had to overcome to reach this pinnacle of her career. She had missed the last two Asiad. In 2006 she had to opt out because of a doping allegation and in 2010 she could not meet the qualification criteria. So this medal is surely a most treasured one for her.