India land historic equestrian gold at Asian Games 2023, break 41-year-old medal drought

Sep 26, 2023 03:08 PM IST

On Day 3 of the Asian Games 2023, India clinched its third gold medal as the Equestrian team secured the top spot on the podium in the dressage event.

India landed a third gold medal the Asian Games 2023 when on Tuesday its Equestrian team secured a top-of-the-podium finish in the dressage event. Anush Agarwalla, Hriday Chheda, Divyakriti Singh, Sudipti Hajela and their respective horses combined to score 209.205 and landed India its first gold in the sport after 41 years. At the 1982 Games in New Delhi, Raghubir Singh had won a gold in eventing individual, while the last medal in dressage, a bronze, came during the 1986 edition.

This is India's joint-best show in Equestrian at the Asian Games.(Screengrab)
This is India's joint-best show in Equestrian at the Asian Games.(Screengrab)

The Indian team staged a remarkable comeback after dropping to third place in the initial period. allowing China and Hong Kong to go ahead. Still in contention of a bronze medal, Anush and his astride Etro, scored 71.088, pushing him in the second position in the individual rankings. With others chipping in too, India latched on to the top spot and took the top honours in a competition lasting 10 hours. Chheda and Emerald (horse name) scored 69.941, Divyakriti and astride Adrenalin Firdod (horse) got 68.176, while Sudipti and astride Chinski secured 66.706 to finally end India's wait for a gold on Day 3 of the Games.

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What is Dressage?

Dressage, often referred to as the captivating art of 'dancing horses', represents the pinnacle of horse training and is widely regarded as the most challenging yet artistic discipline within Olympic equestrian sports. In this discipline, both athletes and horses perform a meticulously choreographed sequence of movements at the walk, trot, and canter, with all routines executed entirely from memory.

A panel of judges situated around the arena assigns scores to these movements, typically ranging from 0 to 10, which are subsequently converted into a percentage-based score. These intricate movements include the passage, piaffe, pirouette, and half pass.

Competition for both team and individual medals unfolds over three rounds within a rectangular arena measuring 60 meters by 20 meters. Each team consists of three athletes, and their combined scores determine the team's overall performance. Substitutions can be made for medical or veterinary reasons if necessary.

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