Gold rush in Kabaddi on Day 14 of the 17th Asian Games took India’s gold tally to 11 and India’s campaign in Incheon ends with a total of 57 medals. Contrary to prior expectations India couldn’t improve upon its performance at the 2010 Guangzhou Games where the country had won a whopping 65 medals including 14 Gold. Nevertheless after a bleak first week, there was an incredible surge that took the final tally past 50. We are proud to see how the Indian team staged the recovery.
India’s final medals tally reads 11 Gold, 9 Silver and 37 Bronze and they are placed eighth currently. However with no Indian participation on the last day of the Games, the final position might alter.
Day 14 Performances
Kabaddi – A pair of Kabaddi Gold was what made the biggest news of the day. India hadn’t lost a single Kabaddi final since the sport was introduced at the 1990 Beijing Asian Games and the amazing winning streak continues. The men won their seventh consecutive Gold medal while the women clinched their second straight Gold. The women’s Kabaddi event was introduced only at the last edition.
But even for the masters of the game, it didn’t come easy. The summit clash between India and Iran in the men’s section was thrilling to the core. In an edge-of-the-seat show, India came from behind to avert a major upset and edged past Iran 27-25 to take the Gold. Iranians played their hearts out, smartly and tactically and it was India who looked very much the underdog for most part of the match, trailing the West Asian nation 13-21 at halftime.
Then came a brilliant turnaround from the defending champions in the second half at the Songdo University Gymnasium that brought them the seventh Gold. India secured a ‘lona’ and slowly started making the comeback, levelling at 21-21. Even though Iran inched ahead again to make it 24-21, it would have been the end of Iranian dreams as India levelled once again at 24-24 before surging ahead to 27-25 and etched their names in Asian Games record books.
The women’s team too faced the same opponents, Iran but had a comparatively easier outing, winning by a 31-21 margin. The Indians led 15-11 at halftime and it was a strong show from the defending champions in the second half that sealed the Gold.Abhilasha Mhatre did a strong raid which saw the score become 19-15 in India’s favour. A ‘lona’ later on helped India lead 25-16 and crushed all Iranian hopes.
Men’s Volleyball – In an exciting contest, India overcame Qatar 3-2 (25-21 20-25 25-22 20-25 15-10) to end in fifth place.
Taekwondo –Both Indians in action on Day 14 lost their quarter-final bouts. Margarette Maria was outplayed by China’s Li Donghua in the 73kg quarterfinal and lost 1-15. Shaloo Raikwar fared better, yet ended up losing her 73kg quarterfinal. Shaloo was tied 3-3 with Alfahad Abrar of Kuwait at the end of regulation rounds but unfortunately she lost the tie on the ground that she had conceded two penalty points compared to her rival’s one. The Kuwaiti thus was declared ‘Winner on Superiority’.
Other news from Incheon
Manju Bala – Manju Bala’s Bronze medal won in the women’s hammer throw competition will be upgraded to Silver after the Chinese Gold medal winner Zhang Weinxiu failed a dope test. Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) statement-“The competitor has been disqualified from the competition as well as these Games and as such her accreditation cancelled, and gold medal was withdrawn.’’
Sarita Devi – Aggrieved Indian boxer Sarita Devi who was unfairly judged during her semi-final bout revealed that she has tendered an unconditional apology to the world body, AIBA for her refusal to accept the Bronze medal on the podium. “I apologised because I did not want any other Indian boxer to suffer. Sarita’s hope in the moment of despair- “I hope the judging is better in the World Championship (scheduled from November 13 to 25 in Jeju Islands). Korea is hosting it and I am hoping that my protest will make some difference to the standard of judging. I hope nobody feels wronged like I did. No boxer should go through this, we work so hard.”
Medal Rush – India added two medals on Day 14 – 1 Gold in men’s Kabaddi and another 1 Gold in women’s Kabaddi.
News of the Day – The double gold in Kabaddi upholds India’s supremacy in the sport and has helped the country sail past 10 Golds in the medals tally was the biggest news.
Comeback of the Day –The men’s Kabaddi team made a spectacular comeback, turning the match around from 13-21 at halftime.