It was a day of mixed emotions for the Indian camp as there was boundless joy on one side with Mary Kom winning the gold and sadness on the other with Sarita Devi refusing to accept the unfairly awarded bronze medal. India added 4 more medals – 1 gold through Mary Kom, 1 bronze in women’s hockey, 1 silver in athletics through Tintu Luka and 1 bronze in athletics through Annu Rani. Their efforts kept the medal tally ticking which eventually reached 50 at the end of the day after the four-medal haul. Let’s have a look at India’s performances on Day 12.
Boxing – Mary Kom known for her many firsts, added another feather in her cap. To an already glittering profile studded with an Olympic bronze medal, the World Championships and the Asian Championships gold medals, Mary Kom added the Asian Games gold medal – a first by an Indian woman boxer.
She had been away from international boxing meets since the 2012 Olympics – partly because of the suspension of India’s boxing federation by the world body AIBA and also because she lost in the trials before the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Yet, like all true champions, Mary stamped her class in her very first international event in two years. With this Magnificent Mary continues to invoke awe and respect for her indomitable spirit, unflinching courage and unquenchable thirst.
At the Seonhak Gymnasium in Incheon, South Korea Mary Kom had to battle back as her spirited opponent in the flyweight (48-51kg) summit clash – 24-year-old Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan was resolute and determined to test Mary hard.
The 31-year-old Indian started with a defensive approach which allowed the Kazakh to take control of the opening round. But Mary has been dubbed ‘Magnificent Mary’ for a reason. The Indian started showing more aggression in the second round. Two judges scored in her favour which eventually paved the way for an open contest. Mary clinched this opportunity and was dominant for the better part, connecting throughout and giving ample examples of being the better boxer.
With a clinical display in the final round, Mary Kom again etched her name in record books. She beat Shekerbekova with a 2-0 verdict in her favour, thus improving upon the bronze medal she had won four years back in Guangzhou.
Athletics – Women’s 800m final – Sprinter Tintu Luka timed her pace well to better her bronze winning effort at Guangzhou and ended the race with a silver in the women’s 800m final. The PT Usha protégé clocked 1:59.19s which also happened to be her season’s best. The gold medal went to Kazakhstan’s Mukasheva Margarita, who broke the Games record with a timing of 1:59.02s while the bronze was clinched by China’s Zhao Jing who finished in 1:59.48s.
Women’s Javelin Throw – With a personal best throw of 59.53m, Annu Rani took the bronze in women’s Javelin throw. She achieved her best throw in her very first attempt. Her previous best was 58.83m at the National Championship in Lucknow this year.
The gold and the silver went to China’s Li Zhang and Lingwei Li respectively. While Zhang Li achieved Asian Games-record of 65.47m, Lingwei Li managed 61.43m.
Women’s Hockey – Revenge is best served cold! The 13th-ranked Indian team put up a spirited show to avenge their bronze medal playoff defeat of four years ago and deny the 10th-ranked Japan the bronze medal in the playoff. For India, Jaspreet Kaur and Vandana Kataria scored in the 23rd and 42nd minutes respectively to inflict a 2-1 loss on Japan.
Other news from Incheon
Sarita Devi – Sarita Devi’s mark of protest was another big incident that happened on Day 12. The 29-year-old former World Champion who lost her semi-final bout controversially in the lightweight 57-60 kg sobbed uncontrollably on the podium and refused to wear her bronze medal. Even though she finally obliged to take the medal in her hands, she then handed it over to the eventual silver medallist Korean boxer Ji Na Park who had defeated her in the semi-finals.
Sarita later explained her action saying that she did this in the interest of her country to ensure such a bizarre incident is never repeated and hoped the nation will show solidarity towards the cause.However, this action has triggered a disciplinary probe from the world body AIBA and Sarita now stands a possible chance of facing a ban.
400m hurdles – India had a big medal hope in defending women’s 400m hurdles champion Ashwini Akkunji but she failed to reproduce the magic that took her to the title four years ago. With an effort of 57.52 seconds, she finished fourth. The gold went to Bahrain’s Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekoya (55.77), Japan’s Kubokura Satomi (56.21) took the silver while the bronze was clinched by China’s Xiao Xia (56.59).
The men’s 400m hurdles competition too couldn’t cheer up as Jithin Paul was disqualified for a false start.
Men’s 50km race walk – India missed a bronze medal by a whisker when Sandeep Kumar and Basant Bahadur Rana finished fourth and fifth respectively. Both the Indians finished below their personal best timings. While Sandeep clocked 3:59:31s, Rana managed 4:07:06s.
Table tennis – There were contrasting results in the singles event and the Doubles’ teams bowed out of the competition. While World no. 117 Soumyajit Ghosh defeated Thavisack Phtathaphone of Laos in straight games, curtains came over the campaign of World no. 46 Sharath Kamal who went down fighting 3-4to Thailand’s Padasak Tanviriyavechakul.
In women’s doubles, Poulomi Ghatak and Ankita Das team was beaten 0-3 by South Korean pair Youngsook Park and Haeun Yang. The other pair Madhurika Patkar and Neha Aggarwal were also beaten 0-3 by China’s Yuling Zhu and Meng Chen.
Men’s doubles results were no different. Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj lost 0-3 to Japan’s Koki Niwa and Kenta Matsudaira while the pair Soumyajit Ghosh and Harmeet Desai fought hard before going down 1-3 to China’s Xin Xu and Zhendong Fan.
Women’s Basketball – The Indian womens’ basketball team finished sixth when they lost the 5th-6th position classification match to Kazakhstan 47-68.
Taekwondo – Both Indians in action on Day 12 lost their matches. Aarti Khakal lost 8-15 to Ganiya Alzak of Kazakhstan in the round of 32 and Rajan Pandia Anand lost his Round of 16 encounter 1-7 to Yonghyun Park of Korea in the men’s 80kg category.
Womens Sepaktakraw – The Indian team lost 9-21, 7-21 to China in their last preliminary match of the Group A Regu competition. With this India finished their campaign without a win.
Men’s Volleyball – The Indian team fought brilliantly but not enough to stop the Japanese team from advancing into the semi-finals. In an enthralling contest at the Songnim Gymnasium, a fighting India were edged 3-2 by the Japanese team in an hour and 53 minutes.
Medal Rush – India added 4 medals on Day 12 – 1 gold in boxing, 1 silver and 1 bronze in athletics and 1 bronze in women’s hockey.
News of the Day – Mary Kom’s gold medal win which saw her make history as the first Indian woman boxer to win an Asiad gold.
Comeback of the Day – Mary Kom lost her opening round in the final but made a stunning comeback, displaying her wealth of experience, hunger and willpower to take the gold.