India’s stuttering campaign at the Asian Games picked up some pace on Tuesday with ace cueist Pankaj Advani winning a gold for India by beating compatriot Ashok Shandilya.
After Monday's lone gold medal in women's chess — won due to the mental skills of Koneru Humpy — the focus had shifted to the Lusail Shooting range where Athens silver medallist Rajyawardhan Singh Rathore was spearheading the country's bid. So the billiards gold came as a pleasant surprise.
Rathore, lying in the 13th position after two rounds in the qualifying event, perked up with a determined last-round effort that fetched him a perfect score of 50 and third place to boost the team to the silver medal.
The Indian threesome, with an aggregate of 409 points, ended 15 short of champions China. Chinese Taipei took the bronze with a score of 397. The 36-year-old Delhi-based Army Lieutenant Colonel also set himself up for a shot at the gold with his last round effort after shooting off mark in the first two rounds which fetched him scores of 46 and 43.
Meanwhile, in field hockey, China stunned India 3-2, pulling off the biggest upset ever in Asian Games men's field hockey competition. Capitalising on India's defensive errors, strikers Hu Liang and Liu Xiantang made flash strikes in open play to give a two-goal lead to China.
Rajpal Singh's slap goal seconds before halftime kept India in the contest, but the Indians had flattered to deceive.