On a day of shameful judgment in boxing, Vikas Gowda and men’s hockey brought India much-needed welcome news. Vikas Gowda clinched the silver medal in men’s discus throw while the men’s hockey team beat Korea to book their place in the final after 12 years. In the boxing arena, Mary Kom brought delight with her entry into the final but it all turned haywire since then as Sarita Devi lost her semi-final bout due some bizarre judging. It didn’t end there as later on Devendro Singh had to endure the same agony. However at the end of the day, Vikas Krishan and Satish Kumar brought the smiles back to the camp with their entry into the semi-finals. India added a total of four medals on Day 11. Let’s have a look at India’s performances on Day 11.
Discus Throw – Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vikas Gowda lived up to the expectations by providing India its ninth medal from athletics – a silver in men’s discus throw. The Mysore-born Gowda, who trains in Arizona achieved a best throw of 62.58 metres in his second attempt. However his last three attempts were all judged fouls. So even though his fifth throw was apparently above 65m, it didn’t count.
The gold went to Ehsan Hadadi of Iran for a throw of 65.11m. This is Hadadi’s third consecutive Asiad gold.
As for Vikas, he went one better than last time as he had captured the bronze medal at the Guangzhou Asian Games.
Boxing – Barring Mary Kom’s entry into the final, it made the headlines for all the wrong reasons. Bizarre, biased and farcical – call it what you may but it is not enough to explain the level of shameful judgment in boxing which cost one Indian boxer a chance for a gold and another any medal at all. Interestingly, in both the bouts the Indian lost to Korean boxers.
Sarita Devi was adjudged to have lost her semi final match to the home team’s boxer, Jina Park in a match that she had dominated.
Sarita Devi’s semi-final loss in the 60kg triggered a massive protest and outrage as the Indian boxer was surely the better boxer. She showed her class and dominated the Korean with some quick punches but to the shock and dismay of the Indian contingent, the Korean boxer was declared the winner. All the three ringside judges unbelievably ruled in favour of the Korean by the same margin – 39-37.
The incident left Sarita Devi in tears and her husband too showed his displeasure. The Indian contingent later on lodged a protest but the appeal was rejected.
Sarita Devi thus won the bronze but she was surely robbed of a chance for the gold.
Pooja Rani brought the other medal from boxing on Day 11. She had to settle for the bronze medal after losing the semi-final 0-2 in the women’s middleweight (69-75kg) to China’s Li Qian.
However, controversies came to haunt India yet again as Devendro Singh, despite being the more dominant boxer, lost his quarterfinal bout to home favourite Shin Jonghun in the 49kg.
Sailing – India added an unexpected medal through sailing as well. The pair of Varsha Gautham and Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan claimed a bronze medal in the women’s 29er two person dinghy sailing event. Varsha was the skipper and Aishwarya the crew and they garnered net 25 points.
Assurance of medals
Boxing – Mary Kom had earlier stamped her class and made it to the final, thus assuring India of at least a silver in the women’s 51kg. Former five-time world champion Mary inflicted a 3-0 loss on her Vietnamese opponent Ler Thi Bang in the semi-final.
She will now fight it out with Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan for the gold medal.
2010 Asian Games gold medallist Vikas Krishan fought off his demons and returned amongst the medals once again. It was so heartening to see the extremely talented youngster happily punching away his Uzbek rival Hurshidbek in the 75kg quarter-final. He was declared a 3-0 winner and thus assured India of at least a bronze.
So was Satish Kumar who reached the semi-finals, assuring India at least a bronze medal in the superheavy weight category (+91kg). He beat Jordan’s Hussein Eishaish 2-1.
However, Shiva Thapa went down to Philippines’ Mazrio Fernandez 0-3 in his quarterfinal bout of the bantamweight (56kg) category.
Men’s Hockey – Hockey provided much-needed delight on a day that was dampened by the boxing farce. India beat South Korea 1-0 to enter the Asiad final after a gap of 12 years. It was an all-round great display of hockey from the Indian team who managed to score in the 44th minute via a field goal from Akashdeep Singh.
South Korea did have chances especially towards the end of the match when they earned their only penalty corner but the Indian water-tight defence took care of it.
And it will be a mouthwatering finale as India will now face arch-rival Pakistan for the gold medal and a direct place at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
The Other News from Incheon
Shooting – India came a cropper in its last day at the Gyeonggido Shooting Range. Ahmad Mairaj Khan finished fifth while the Indian team ended in the seventh place in the men’s skeet event and thus the shooters couldn’t further add to India’s medal tally anymore.
In the team event, the gold, silver and bronze went to China, Kuwait and South Korea respectively.
After starting the Incheon Asian Games with a bang as Jitu Rai delivered India’s first gold, the shooting contingent couldn’t replicate his golden achievements. Nevertheless they ended the Asiad with a whopping nine medals in total.
Table tennis – It turned out to be an extremely bright day for India as the paddlers notched quite a few wins. Commonwealth Games silver medallists Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj booked their place in the men’s doubles third round by ousting Nepal’s Purshottam Bajracharya and Amar Lal Malla 6-11, 11-5, 11-8, 12-10.
Joining them in the same round was the pair of of Harmeet Desai and Soumyajit Ghosh who swatted away Yemen’s Omar Ahmed Ali and Mohammed Fahd Gubran 12-10, 11-5, 11-6.
Amalraj had double delight as he and Madhurika Patkar rallied to beat Japan’s Seiya Kishikawa and Ai Fukuhara 5-11, 13-11, 11-8, 11-4 to reach the quarter-finals.
Wrestling – Our Greco-Roman wrestlers couldn’t emulate the medal-winning performances of our freestyle grapplers and all three of our Greco-Roman wrestlers in action on Day 11 ended without a medal. Krishnakant Yadav had the biggest chance to win a medal but he too went down to Iran’s Saeid Abdvali 0-3 in the bronze medal play-off round.
Women’s Volleyball – It was another disappointing show from the Indian team as they went down to Kazakhstan 25-20 25-19 25-20 5th-8th place semi-final play-off. India will now seek their fortunes in the 7th-8th place play-off final.
Medal Rush – India added four medals – 1 silver in athletics, 2 bronze in boxing, 1 bronze in sailing. India was also assured of at least 1 silver and 2 more bronze in boxing while the men’s hockey team also ensured that India manages at least a silver medal.
News of the Day – Sarita Devi’s controversial loss hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons.
Comeback of the day – Vikas Krishan emerged from the shadows, fought off his demons and returned to being a medal winner again. Krishan who had not fought internationally since the 2012 Olympics had been heartbroken and shattered by the way he was let down at the 2012 Olympics – a jury overturned a decision in favour of him to declare him the loser in his pre-quarter-final bout. It stung him and hurt him so much that he had even stopped stepping out of his house for the next six months. So this comeback into the medal bracket is a huge morale booster for the precocious talent who had even won a World Championship bronze medal.