Incheon, Sep 27 :
India put on an excellent display Saturday, winning a whopping 10 medals, including two gold and silver each, in what was their best day in office so far at the 17th Asian Games.
The two gold medals took India, who have a total of 27 medals, including three gold and four silvers, to the 11th place in the medal standings. China continue to lead with 195 medals, including 96 golds, followed by hosts South Korea (117) and Japan (113) in the second and third place respectively.
The lions share of medals during the day came from the compound archers, who won four medals, including a team gold and an individual silver. The women’s team first won the bronze medal and the men’s team pulled off an unlikely win against major archery power South Korea by winning India’s second gold after six days. Abhishek Verma, who was part of the gold medal team, added an individual silver while Trisha Deb added another bronze after winning the medal in the team event.
The second gold of the day came from the men’s squash team, which put on an inspiring performance to upset Malaysia 2-0 in the final but the women had to settle for the silver after losing the title clash, also to Malaysia, by a similar margin.
The wrestlers also started their campaign on a positive note with youngster Vinesh Phogat and the veteran Geetika Jakhar adding two more bronze medals after shooter Chain Singh had won a bronze in the men’s 50m 3 position event.
Lalita Babar brought home the last medal of the day by winning the bronze medal and was followed by her compatriot and defending champion Sudha Singh in the fourth place. But confusion prevailed as Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet, who had won the women’s 3000 metre steeplechase, was stripped off her gold medal for stepping outside the track.
Though a final decision is still awaited, Lalita may be upgraded to silver and Sudha to bronze while Chinese Zhenzhu Li, who clocked 9:35.23 secs, may be promoted to the gold medal. Both Lalita and Sudha clocked their personal best timings of 9:35.37 secs and 9:35.64 secs to pick up the silver and bronze respectively. Sudha had set a Games Record of 9:35.23 secs enroute to her gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games.
Earlier in the day, the India caused a huge upset as the compound archery men’s team of Rajat Chauhan, Sandeep Kumar and Verma defeated world champions South Korea 227-225 to win gold at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field.
But the first medal from archery in Incheon came from the women’s team, comprising Trisha, Purvasha Sudhir Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam, also won the bronze medal in the compound archery event. The Indian team won 224-217 against Iran’s team of Sakineh Ghasempour, Maryan Ranjbarsari and Shabnam Sarlak.
Verma, however, lost his individual final 141-145 to Iran’s Esmaeil Ebadi to settle for the silver while Trisha claimed the bronze medal defeating Chinese Taipei’s Jou Huang 138-134 in the medal play-off match.
The squash players kept up their fine performance and the tri-colour rose and the national anthem was played as men scripted history with a gold medal win in the team event when they defeated Malaysia 2-0 in the final.
The Indian women settled for a silver medal losing 0-2 to Malaysia to take the country’s tally from the sport in this Games to four, including one gold, two silver and a bronze, bettering the three bronze medals at Guangzhou four years ago.
Both the finals did not go the distance with Malaysia beating India 2-0 in the women’s section in what seemed a routine affair, but in the tussle between the two countries in the men’s section India emerged 2-0 victor with some incredible displays by Harinder Pal Sandhu and hard worker Saurav Ghosal.
Indian wrestlers also started their campaign on a positive note with Vinesh Phogat and Geetika Jakhar clinching the bronze medals in women’s freestyle category at the Dowon Gymnasium.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games gold medallist Vinesh, 20, gave India the first medal from the sport at Incheon by winning her bronze medal match in the 48kg category and after a short while veteran Geetika made it a double as she picked up her second Asian Games medal by winning her play-off match in the 63kg category. Geetika, who won the silver in the 2014 Glasgow Games, had also won the silver in the 2006 Asian Games.
But there was disappointment in store in the men’s section as Amit Kumar and Parveen Rana lost their respective pre-quarterfinal bouts.
Vinesh won the bronze medal defeating Mongolia’s Narangerel Erdenesukh 4-0. The match lasted two minutes and 31 seconds. Geetika emulated Vinesh’s feat, defeating Vietnam’s Thi Hien Ly 5-0 in the freestyle 63kg category to confirm the second bronze medal in the discipline. She took merely 55 seconds to claim the medal.
The Indian boxing contingent made a promising start with three women – Mary Kom, L. Sarita Devi, Pooja Rani – and two men – Gaurav Bidhuri and Mandeep Jangra – advancing to the quarter-finals of their respective categories at the Seonhak Gymnasium.
The men’s hockey team also confirmed its semifinal berth with a scratchy 2-0 victory over China at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium here. V. Raghunath and Birendra Lakra scored in India’s closely-fought final league contest of pool B. India face South Korea in the first semifinal slated for Tuesday while defending champions Pakistan take on Malaysia in the other semifinal.