Indian athletes at the 2018 Asian Games, being held across the two cities of Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia, had a decent outing on the medals front as India added five medals to their tally to make it 41 medals in total (8 Gold, 13 Silver, and 20 Bronze) on Day 9 of the mega sporting event. Four medals came in the Athletics category (Track and Field) and one bronze medal was won in Women’s singles badminton as Saina Nehwal lost her semi-final match against World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying.
The Athletics contingent were the standout performers on the day as they continued their good run of form since the past few days. Neeraj Chopra was the star of the day for India as he won the gold medal in the Javelin throw, becoming the first ever Indian to win the top prize in Javelin at the Asian Games.
His winning throw was 88.06 metres, which was his personal best and is the new national record as well. Neeraj was so dominant that the top four throws of the event all belonged to him. He became the first Indian athlete after running legend Milkha Singh to win the Commonwealth Games and the Asian Games gold medals in the same year.
Dharun Ayyasamy also managed to better the national record in Men’s 400 metres hurdles event when he won the silver medal with a timing of 48.96 seconds. Indian veteran steeplechaser Sudha Singh was on the podium again at the Asian Games as she finished with a silver medal. The final athletics medal was won by Neena Varakil, who won the silver medal in Women’s long jump event with a jump of 6.51 metres. This capped off another successful day for Indian athletics at the Asian Games this year.
Saina Nehwal lost out on her chance to better her podium position as she was defeated by Chinese Taipei’s World No. 1 shuttler Tai Tzu Ying in straight games. Despite the loss, Nehwal is assured of a bronze medal finish, which means she gets her first individual medal at the Asian Games.
PV Sindhu, the other shuttler in a medal position, managed to win her semi-final clash against Akane Yamaguchi and is through to the gold medal match. Sindhu’s run will see her notch the best finish for any Indian in badminton at the Asian Games.
Day 10 of the Asian Games will again see a large number of Indian athletes compete across different events with medals up for grabs as India look to better their tally. We take a look at some of the athletes who have a good chance to finish on the podium and flourish the Tricolour in Indonesia.
Pusarla Venkata Sindhu – Women’s Singles (Badminton)
The first Indian woman to win a silver medal at the Olympic Games, PV Sindhu continued her good run of form in the recent months and defeated World No. 2 Akane Yamaguchi in the semi-finals 21-17, 15-21, 21-10 to enter the gold medal match.
This win ensured her at least the silver medal, which will be her first singles medal at the Asian Games, having won in the Women’s team event four years ago. She will take on current World No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying, who defeated Saina Nehwal, for a shot at the gold medal.
Jinson Johnson – Men’s 800 metres (Athletics)
The army man from the state of Kerala qualified for the Men’s 800 metres final after qualifying with the fastest timing of 1:47:39 in the heats. Johnson has participated in the 800 metres race at the Rio Olympics 2016 after qualifying with his personal best timing of 1:45:98.
He has won a silver medal at the Asian Athletics Championships held in Wuhan, China in the year 2015 and finished with a bronze at the 2017 edition in Bhubaneshwar, India. Johnson will be in medal contention after his brilliant heats performance and stands a good chance to finish on the podium.
Women’s Archery Team – Compound Women’s Team (Archery)
The Indian women’s archery team consists of Jyothi Surekha Vennam, Madhumita Kumari, and Muskan Kirar and will be facing the team from the Republic of Korea in the Compound Women’s Team final. The Indian team had won the bronze medal back at the 2014 Incheon Games and will be counting on their good form, after defeating the formidable Chinese Taipei.
Men’s Archery Team – Compound Men’s Team (Archery)
The Indian men’s archery team, comprising Abhishek Verma, Aman Saini and Rajat Chauhan, finished second in the rankings round and made it all the way through to the final against No. 1 seeds Republic of Korea. The Indians had won the gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games and will be hoping to replicate their performance this year as well.
Annu Rani – Women’s Javelin Throw (Athletics)
India’s Javelin throw record holder Annu Rani will hope to perform well after Neeraj Chopra managed to win the gold medal in the men’s event. Rani had won the bronze medal at the 2014 Asian Games with a throw of 59.53 metres and will be going all out for a podium finish this time around as well.