Asian Games: Archers, squash players bag historic gold on Day 8
The men's archery and squash teams secured historic gold medals as India enjoyed their most productive day in the Asian Games so far with an impressive collection of 11 medals on the eighth day of competitions in Incheon on Saturday.Updated: Sep 27, 2014 23:54 IST
The men's archery and squash teams secured historic gold medals as India enjoyed their most productive day in the 17th Asian Games so far with an impressive collection of 11 medals to jump to the 11th position in the overall standings on the eighth day of competitions in Incheon, South Korea on Saturday.
Young archer Abhishek Verma was hero of the day as he combined with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar to clinch the gold medal in the compound team event before picking up the individual silver medal at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field.
Abhishek's heroics was followed by the men's squash team, led by Saurav Ghosal, which claimed the coveted gold medal in the team event while the women's team of Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankamony and Joshana Chinappa also excelled by clinching the silver medal.
Athlete Lalit Babar won a silver in women's 3000m steeple chase, while shooter Chain Singh (50m rifle 3 position), archer Trisha Deb (women's compound individual), grappler Vinesh Phogat (women's 48kg), Geetika Jakhar (women's 63kg) and athlete Sudha Singh (women's 3000m steeplechase), women's compound archery team - comprising Trisha, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam - were the bronze medal winners on what turned out to be India's best day at the Games.
With the addition of 11 more medals, India, overnight placed 16th, rose to the 11th position on the table with three gold, five silver and 20 bronze medals. China continued to leave their opponents behind with an impressive haul of 195 medals (96-58-41), followed by South Korea (35-42-40) and Japan (32-43-38).
India were also assured of at least five bronze medals in the tennis event by reaching the semi-finals.
While the archers and squash players stole the limelight with their medal-winning heroics, the Indian boxers also moved to the quarter-finals with easy victories over their opponents.
The men's hockey team also kept their medal hopes alive by advancing to the semi-finals with a scrappy 2-0 win over China in their last Pool B match.
Women grapplers Vinesh and Geetika bagged a bronze medal each in 48kg and 63kg freestyle events respectively as India made an impressive start in their wrestling campaign.
Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold winner Vinesh needed two minutes 31 seconds to beat Narangerel Erdenesukh of Mongolia in a completely one-sided bronze-medal bout. The referee stopped the bout after the Indian had taken 10-0 lead over her hapless opponent.
Geetika produced an even more dominant performance in her bronze-medal bout against Vietnam's Ly Thi Hien as she pinned down her opponent in just 55 seconds in a victory by fall verdict.
Athletics - steeplechase
Lalita bagged a silver in women's 3000m steeplechase with a personal best timing of 9:35.37 while defending champion Sudha Singh clinched bronze. Lalita had finished third but was upgraded to the second position after Bahrain's Ruth Jebet, who finished first, was disqualified.
However, the spotlight belonged to the archers, who scripted history with their maiden compound gold medal by shocking favourites South Korea.
The women's trio had set the tone in the morning by clinching the compound team bronze by defeating Iran in the play-off for the third position at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field. Later, Trisha bagged a bronze in the individual event.
India had won one silver and three bronze medals from the bow and arrow discipline in the previous Games and today's gold lifted the sagging spirits of the huge contingent which had endured a gold drought after pistol shooter Jitu Rai's top finish six days ago.
India defied odds to shock world archery powerhouse Korea 227-225 in the gold medal clash.
Rajat, Sandeep and Abhishek worked wonderfully well in unison to lead their formidable hosts - the world silver medallists - right through the 24-arrow finals to emerge triumphant by two points (227-225) in the non-Olympic Compound event which has made its debut in Incheon.
This was the second medal of the day from the venue, and came just one hour after the young Indian women's trio of Trisha Deb, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam clinched the bronze medal by winning the play-off against Iran 224-217.
Later Verma fought gamely in the gold medal match against Iran's Ebadi Esmaeil 141-145. The superb display of the compound team made up to some extent the disappointing show put up by the recurve team of better known archers so far at these Games.
In shooting, Chain Singh stole the thunder from the more-fancied Gagan Narang and Sanjeev Rajput in the 50m rifle 3 position competition.
Singh shot a total of 441.7 points to finish behind two Chinese shooters - Cao Yifei and Zhu Qinan - who bagged the first and second positions with 455.5 and 455.2 points to their credit, respectively.
While Singh had entered the finals after finishing seventh in the qualification round, Gagan and Sanjeev failed to make the final cut, ending on 12th and 15th spots, respectively in the qualifiers.
On the squash court, the Indian men's team won gold but the yellow metal proved elusive for the women. But it was nonetheless a historic silver for the women's squash team after it went down to Malaysia in the final.
The team lost 0-2 to Malaysia to settle for the silver after Deepika Pallikal and Anaka Alankamony lost their matches in a contest which lasted a little over an hour.
Top singles player Saurav Ghosal had added a historic silver to the medal list - a first in the Asian Games squash.
Pallikal, on the other hand, had won a bronze medal in the women's singles, also a first for Indian squash.
There was good news from the boxing ring as Olympic bronze-medallist MC Mary Kom set her campaign rolling in style by out-punching Korea's Kim Yeji to enter the quarter-finals along with two other Indian women boxers.
L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) were the two others, who advanced to the last eight making it an all-win day for the Indian women pugilists.
Sarita got the better of home favourite Chungson Ri, while Pooja defeated Erdenesoyol Undram of Mongolia in her pre-quarters bout.
However, Indian women's volleyball team went down to a formidable Chinese side in straight games in the quarter-final match.
The Indian eves lost 3-0 (25-11 25-12 25-10) against their more fancied opponents in a contest that lasted 54 minutes at Songnim Gymnasium in Incheon.
In tennis, Yuki Bhambri made it to the semifinals of the men's singles event, while India's doubles pair of Saketh Myneni and Sanam Singh, Yuki and Divij Sharan, women's doubles pair of Sania Mirza and Prarthana Thombare and lone mixed doubles pair of Sania and Saketh have all entered the last four rounds in their respective events.
The Indian paddlers led by Sharath Kamal kept the country's hopes alive in table tennis as the men's and women's team won their respective preliminary round matches.
Up against Kuwait in the Suwon Gymnasium, the Indian men's team blanked the West Asian nation 3-0 in a Group B match.
The Indian women's teams also did not falter against Malaysia and Nepal in their respective group matches.
First Published: Sep 27, 2014 23:27 IST