Day 13 turned out to be a memorable day for India as men’s Hockey brought an Asiad gold after 16 years and the women’s 4x400m relay team also defended their Asiad title successfully. In an absolutely nail-biting and enthralling contest, India saw off Pakistan in a penalty shootout to seal India’s place at the 2016 Rio Olympics. India also made sure that the men’s and women’s kabaddi teams stayed on course for a double gold. With three more bronze from athletics and boxing India was placed 9th at the end of Day 13 with 55 medals in total. Let’s have a look at India’s performances.
Men’s Hockey – An India-Pakistan encounter is always special and the way the contest turned out was an absolutely fitting way for a final between these two arch-rivals of men’s hockey. Mohammad Rizwan Sr had given Pakistan the lead in three minutes and India equalised through Kothajit Singh in the 26th minute. It remained 1-1 till the end of re-designed regulation time period of 60 minutes. It took an incredible performance from India’s goalkeeper PR Sreejesh to make two brilliant saves and ensure India’s 4-2 victory in the shootout.
Indian hockey had been on the upward swing with the silver in the Commonwealth Games. This win is perhaps sweet revenge as Indians were outplayed by Pakistan 1-7 the last time these two powerhouses had met in an Asiad final 32 years ago.
And a berth at the Rio Olympics is the perfect icing on the cake.
Women’s 4x400m relay – There was more delight on the last day of track and field events as the quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and M Poovamma blitzed through the field to defend India’s gold and set a new Games record. They improved upon the earlier Asian Games record of 3:29.02 which was also set by the Indian team in 2010.
The Japanese team took the silver after setting a season’s best time of 3:30.8 while China clinched the bronze with a timing of 3:32.02.
This is India’s fourth consecutive Asiad gold in this event.
Men’s Shot Put – Inderjeet Singh added to India’s athletics medal haul by adding the men’s Shot Put bronze. His best throw of 19.63m came on his fifth attempt. Saudi Arabia’s Sultan Abdulmajeed Alhebshi won the Gold for a throw of 19.99m while the Silver went to Chinese Taipei’s Chang Ming Huang who had a best throw of 19.97m.
Boxing – Vikas Krishan and Satish Kumar added two Bronze from the boxing ring. 2010 Gold medallist Vikas lost his semi-final bout 1-2 to World Champion Zhanibek Alimkhanuly of Kazakhstan in the middleweight (75 kg) category.
Satish went down in a 0-3 verdict to Olympic medallist and world champion Ivan Dychko of Kazakhstan in Men’s Super Heavy (+91kg) semifinal.
India thus ends its boxing campaign with 1 Gold and 4 Bronze. The only Gold came from India’s star woman pugilist Mary Kom.
Assurance of Medals
Kabaddi – Reigning Asian Games Kabaddi champions India stayed on course to add more Gold in both the men’s and the women’s sections. In the men’s semi-final, India beat South Korea 36-25 to enter their seventh consecutive final. The subcontinent Kabaddi giants have been winning the Gold ever since the sport was introduced in the 1990 Beijing Games.
In the women’s section, defending champions India registered a comprehensive 41-28 victory over Thailand to storm into the final.
India will lock horns with Iran in the summit clash of both men’s and women’s kabaddi competitions.
Other news from Incheon
Table Tennis – India’s campaign ended in Table Tennis as Soumyajit Ghosh, Manika Batra and Ankita Das all lost their respective singles matches. Manika lost 0-4 (9-11, 6-11, 7-11, 8-11) to World No. 8 Kasumi Ishikawa of Japan in the pre-quarter-finals while Ankita Das went down fighting 2-4 (8-11, 5-11, 11-4, 7-11, 11-9, 4-11) to World No. 32 NG Wing Nam of Hong Kong in the second round.
In the men’s singles event, Soumyajit Ghosh fought bravely but was ultimately defeated 1-4 (11-2 7-11 8-11 11-13 8-11) by Pak Sinhyok of North Korea in the Round of 16.
Taekwondo – None of the Indians in action could make it to the medal rounds. Saurav and Shreya Singh lost very tightly contested matches in the men’s 63kg and women’s 67kg respectively. While Saurav lost to Afghanistan’s Abasi Ahmad Roman’s 4-5 in the quarter-finals, Shreya bowed out to Lee Wonjin of Korea 6-7 in the pre-quarter-finals.
Amongst the other contestants from India, Shiv Kumar was defeated by Alasmari Ghazi Mushabbab of Saudi Arabia 7-11 in men’s 68kg Round of 16 while Rekha Ranee Gogoi was totally outclassed by Chuang Chia Chia of Chinese Taipei 0-15 in the quarter-finals.
Volleyball – There were contrasting fortunes for the men’s and women’s teams on Day 13. The men’s team overcame Thailand 3-1 in the 5th-8th place classification match but the women’s team were thumped 0-3 by Hong Kong and finished 8th.
Other Track and Field events – Apart from the women’s 4x400m relay and men’s shot put, India failed to bring cheer from the rest of the track and field events. The men’s 4x400m relay quartet of Joseph Abraham, Kunhu Muhammed, Jithin Paul and Rajeev Arokia finished fourth clocking 3:04.61.In women’s 4x100m relay, Sharadha Narayana, Asha Roy, Srabani Nanda and Jyothi Manjunath finished 6th registering 44.91.
In women’s 5000m, OP Jaisha came fourth while in men’s 10000m final, Rahul Kumar Pal and Suresh Kumar ended in fifth and sixth places respectively.
All medal hopes in men’s triple jump were dashed as Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist Arpinder Singh finished fifth while Renjith Maheshwary ended in 9th place. In women’s high jump final, Sahana Kumari finished in 8th position.
Things weren’t any different in men’s Javelin throw final as Rajender Singh finished a disappointing 11th.
Sarita Devi – It was announced on Thursday that aggrieved Indian boxer Sarita Devi’s bronze medal in 60kg category has been re-instated by the Olympic Council of Asia following a hearing with the Indian contingent officials.
Medal Rush – India added five medals on Thursday – 1 Gold in men’s hockey, 1 Gold in women’s 4x400m relay, 1 Bronze in men’s shot put and two Bronze in men’s boxing.
News of the Day – India’s third Asiad gold in men’s hockey and a berth in Rio Olympics was the biggest and most delightful news for any Indian sports fan.
Comeback of the Day – After going 0-1 down to Pakistan in the first three minutes of the men’s hockey gold medal match, the way India made a comeback and sealed the win was surely spectacular.