India create history, smash their highest-ever medal tally at Asian Games, can dream of century
The Indian contingent achieved its highest-ever medal tally at Asian Games with four and a half days of action still to go at the 19th edition in Hangzhou.
India's rise in the global sports arena got a fresh stamp of approval at the Asian Games 2023. The Indian contingent achieved its highest-ever medal tally at the Games with four and a half days of action still to go at the 19th edition in Hangzhou. Their previous best was 70 medals in the last edition of the Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2018. They took their overall medal tally to 71 on Wednesday in the current edition by adding two more medals in the first half of the day.
India ended Day 10 with 69 medals, holding on to the fourth spot comfortably and it did not take long for them to match their Jakarta tally on Day 11. Ram Baboo and Manju Rani won bronze in the first event of the day - the 35km race walk mixed team. They finished with a timing of 5:51:14. China took the gold medal (5:16:41) while Japan got silver (5:22:11) with a second finish. This historic bronze medal in race walk meant India equalled their best-ever performance at the Asian Games.
About an hour later, it was the golden effort from the archers that made the ongoing Hangzhou Games India's best ever. Jyothi Surekha Vennam and Pravin Ojas Deotale won gold in the compound archery mixed team event after beating Chaewon So and Jaehoon Joo of South Korea 159-158. This was India's first gold in archery in this edition of the Games and it was a special one in more ways than one. It took India's overall medal tally to 71 - their best ever and it also matched their best-ever gold medal count at the Games. India have already got 16 gold medals, equalling their effort in Jakarta five years ago.
India have so far won 16 gold medals, 26 silver medals and 29 bronze medals in this Asian Games.
Jyothi and Deotal's gold also made this the best-ever campaign at the Games by the Indian archers. Their best-ever effort in archery was three medals in 2014 in Incheon. In the 19th Games, India have already ensured four medals. They have three more medals confirmed in the individual events of archery, two of which can be gold. The finals of these two events will take place later.
More medals guaranteed but can India get to 100?
India have two assured medals in the squash doubles event and two more from boxing which means their medal count is certain to be 78 even if they don't manage to get any other podium finish.
The shooting and athletics contingents have been the biggest contributors to India's best-ever Asian Games campaign. India have got 22 medals in shooting and 23 so far in athletics, with a few more events including Neeraj Chopra's javelin throw final still to go in the track and field.
India are currently fourth in medal tally behind China, Japan, and South Korea who all have won more than 100 medals. China, in fact, are nearing 300.
Notably, India's highest-ever ranking in the Asian Games was in the inaugural edition when they finished No.2 in the standings at New Delhi with 15 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze.
With wrestling, hockey (men and women), men's cricket, badminton(singles and doubles), archery (recurve team and individual) squash (doubles), boxing, kabaddi (men and women), and athletics still to go, India could well dream of getting more than 90 medals at the Hangzhou Games.