It has been a really tough month for India, with floods wrecking its one of the most beautiful State, Kerala. Although, the days have been gloomy in the Country, a vivid form of hope has come from Jakarta, Indonesia. Where, our athletes have made us proud, giving us gratifying moments on daily bases in Asian Games, 2018. India equaled its best gold medal haul by touching 15, something that last happened back in 1951 Asian Games. Apart from the 15 gold, India picked up 24 silver and 30 bronze medals, which helped India in finishing at 8th position in the Asian Games 2018.
From not registering medals from the athletes we expected, to new athletes making their name and registering firsts – first medal in sepaktakraw, Rahi Sarnobat became first Indian woman to win Asian Games gold in shooting and Vinesh Phogat became first Indian woman to win gold in wrestling.
On one hand, we had, Sushil Kumar, Saina Nehwal or Sathish Kumar Sivalingam, who disappointed us in Jakarta, on the other, we had Bajrang Punia, Saurabh Chaudhary and Shardul Vihan, who announced themselves to the World. Asian Games 2018, kept hitting us with lots of surprises for the past 14 days, whether that be of a potential gold medal winner exiting in early rounds or an unknown quantity winning gold or silver medal for our nation.
Asian Games 2018, also showed us that age is just a number as, the 16-year old Saurabh Chaudhary won the gold medal in 10m Air Pistol and the 15-year old Shardul Vihan struck a silver medal in Men’s Double Trap. While, Dutee Chand, Manika Batra and Hima Das registered medals in 200m, Table Tennis (mixed team event) and relay(4x400), respectively.
Saurabh Chaudhary and Rahi Sarnobat secured the gold medals for India in shooting events. Shardul Vihan struck a silver medal in Men’s Double Trap. While, Veteran shooter Sanjeev Rajput continued his form from the Commonwealth Games and managed to win a silver in 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men, while another CWG gold medalist Heena Sidhu secured 10m Air Pistol in Women.
With 10medals(2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals), shooting became the most successful event in Asian Games, 2018 in Jakarta, Indonesia.
From 15 year old winning the Asian games medal, to Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar took India’s gold medal count to 15 to match that of 1951 Asian Games and Pranab Bardhan became the oldest contingent to win a medal.
In Boxing, Amit Panghal’s gold medal is a face-saver of sorts for a team that continues to disappoint at the continental level. In him, India boxing may have found a new face, one with a genuine chance of winning an Olympic/Worlds medal.
In Hockey, men’s failure to defend the gold can be termed as a collosal failure, the women can at least take pride in their silver, for it is a signal of their continuing progress.
In Kabaddi, men’s team failed to win gold for the first time since the event was introduced in 1990. Also, the first time they failed to reach the final. They had won seven consecutive gold medals before this tournament. Meanwhile, The women’s team failed to win a hat-trick of gold medals by losing in the final to Iran.
Ravi Kumar and Apurvi Chandela won the bronze in 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event and gave India its first medal in the tournament to a dramatic Bronze medal win against Pakistan in hockey in the last event for India in Asian Games. India failed to complete mission 81 but improved their performance from previous years.