HEADLINES:
April 22 2018
A memorable show with many takeaways
16 April 2018

Should augur well for India in future events like the Asian Games

For the 219-member Indian contingent, which put up a memorable display at these Games, there are several key takeaways. India’s haul of 66 medals (26 gold, 20 silver and 20 bronze) in 15 disciplines is its third best showing in the history of the Games, following New Delhi 2010 (101 medals) and Manchester 2002 (69).

What should give fans more joy is that India came third in the overall medals table behind Australia and England at these Games. In Glasgow 2014, India ended with 64 medals (15 gold, 30 silver and 19 bronze).

There were several notable performances — the maiden triumph in the badminton mixed team event, the golden double in table tennis team events (which marked the end of Singapore’s long reign at the top), Manika Batra’s brilliant performance, the expected but superb display of young Neeraj Chopra in men’s javelin and the magnificent M.C. Mary Kom’s dream of winning a Games gold coming true in splendid fashion.

These should augur well for India in the Asian Games to be held in Jakarta later this year. The medal winners will also be extra motivated to prove that their efforts here are not a flash in the pan.

Shooting, wrestling and weightlifting together contributed a total of 37 medals with the first named sport accounting for the most medals — 16 (seven gold, four silver and five bronze). We have just about started hearing the deeds of Manu Bhaker, Mehuli Ghosh and Anish Bhanwala after having followed the deeds of Abhinav Bindra, Jaspal Rana, Gagan Narang and others in recent years. The young trio should bring more laurels to the country in the years to come.

Boxers Vikas Krishan and Gaurav Solanki were outstanding while wrestlers, Sushil Kumar, Vinesh Phogat, Sumit Kumar, Rahul Aware and Bajrang Bishnoi caught the eye. The lifters, as usual, contributed their might with Mirabai Chanu Saikhom, Sanjita Chanu, Punam Yadav, Satish Kumar Sivalingam and Venkat Rahul Ragala topped the podium.

That the women’s badminton singles final was an all-India affair between Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu along with K. Srikanth’s rise to the top of the World rankings showed the country’s dominance in the sport, though it was a tad disappointing to see Srikanth settle for the silver.

There was disappointment too — both the men’s and women’s hockey teams returned empty handed — while the Games accreditation of two athletes — A.V. Rakesh Babu and K.T. Irfan — were revoked for infringement of the no-needle policy of the Commonwealth Games Federation. That took away some of the sheen from an otherwise successful the overall showing.

 

 

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