India finished the recently-concluded Asian Beach Games held in Phuket, Thailand with ten medals that included two golds. The yellow metal was added to India’s haul by the reigning national men’s squash champion Harinder Pal Sandhu and the women’s kabaddi team.
Here’s a look at India’s medallists at the Asian Beach Games –
The Gold Medallists
Men’s Squash – Harinder Pal Sandhu continued from where he had left back home in India. He had displayed tremendous confidence recently by clinching three titles at the JSW Indian Squash Challenger Circuit 2014.
His dedication and perseverance were rewarded further with his maiden men’s National title after he upset Saurav Ghosal. The victories helped the Asian Games gold medallist climb up the rankings to the 60th position.
Just days after the National Championships triumph, Harinder Pal Sandhu gave India its first gold of the 2014 Asian Beach Games. The 25-year-old beat Yip Tsz Fung of Hong Kong 7-2, 5-7, 7-3 in the summit clash in just 16 minutes.
“It has been a memorable week, was honoured when I was selected by the IOA to carry the Indian flag at the opening ceremony and now I am going home with a gold medal,” said Sandhu after the win.
Squash made its debut in this edition of the Asian Beach Games.
Women’s Kabaddi – The women’s kabaddi team defended their title to give the nation its second and only other gold medal in the event. India beat the home team 61-28 to emerge victorious in Phuket. It was the third consecutive gold medal for the Mamatha Poojary-led team.
Unfortunately for Thailand, they ended up on the losing side all three times.
The Silver Medallists
Men’s Beach Basketball – India lost a thrilling final as Qatar edged past them 21-20 to take the gold in Men’s Beach Basketball. The quartet of Amritpal Singh, Vishesh Bhriguvanshi, Pratham Singh and Yadwinder Singh had to settle for silver in the face of tremendous attack and accurate execution from the West Asians.
India had earlier produced some sterling performances in the quarter-finals and semi-finals. They thrashed Bangladesh 21-6 in the semi-finals while in the quarters they breezed past Turkmenistan 21-11.
The Bronze Medallists
Seven bronze medals were added to India’s tally at the 2014 Asian Beach Games. The following are the categories in which India picked up the bronze – 1.Men’s Kabaddi 2.Men’s Squash – Kush Kumar 3.Women’s Squash – Aparajitha Balamurukan 4.Men’s Beach Team Sepaktakraw 5.Women’s Beach Trio Sepaktakraw 6.Women’s 63kg Kurash – Gitanjali Pawar 7. Women’s 60kg Muay Thai – Bidhya Wati Rai
While the hosts Thailand topped the medals table with a whopping 56 gold medals, India was ranked 20th at the end of the Games. India’s medal count did go up from the last edition in 2012 when they had captured only three medals. But the absence of top stars and some heartbreaking losses could not improve the tally much.