Jakarta, Sep 1 (IANS) Upcoming boxer Amit Panghal stunned the reigning Olympic champion to add the extra glitz to a day on which the Indian contingent recorded their best ever tally even as the bridge team won gold while the women’s squash and men’s hockey teams added silver and bronze respectively at the 18th Asian Games here on Saturday.
On the penultimate day of the Games, India are sitting at the eighth spot with 15 gold, 24 silver 30 bronze for a total of 69 medals.
India have thus surpassed their previous highest tally of 65 medals which they registered at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou. Amit’s title winning effort also enabled the Indian contingent to equal the best ever gold medal count which came at the inaugural edition way back in 1951.
It all started with boxing when Amit edged out reigning Olympic and continental champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan to win gold in the men’s light flyweight (49 kilogram) category.
The 22-year-old earned a split decision to earn India’s only boxing gold from this year’s Games.
With Vikas Krishan settling for the silver medal in the men’s middleweight (75kg) division, the Indian boxing contingent will return with two medals from this edition of the Asian Games.
There was very little to choose between the two boxers with the judges ruling 3-2 in Amit’s favour.
Despite facing one of the best boxers in the world in his weight category, Amit matched his opponent blow for blow throughout the bout.
The second gold of the day came in bridge, which has been introduced for the first time at the Games. The men’s bridge pair comprising Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar scored 384.00 points to finish in the first place.
China’s Gang Chen and Lixin Yang bagged silver, while Henky Lasut and Freddy Eddy Manoppo of Indonesia settled for the bronze medal.
In hockey, the men’s team defeated arch-rivals Pakistan 2-1 in the bronze medal play-off. Akashdeep Singh (third minute) and Harmanpreet Singh (50th) scored for defending champions India, while Muhammad Atiq (52nd minute) scored for Pakistan.
Squash also swelled India’s medals tally, adding a silver medal. Women’s squash team lost to Hong Kong 0-2 in the final to finish at the third place.
The Indian women’s team of Joshana Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna, lost its first two singles matches.
Sunayna lost 1-3 (8-11, 6-11, 12-10, 3-11) to Ho Tze-Lok as Hong Kong led 1-0 in the final and then veteran Joshana lost 0-3 (3-11, 9-11, 5-11) to Annie Au Wing Ch.
India’s squash contingent will return home with a total of five medals for the first time since the sport became part of the Asian Games programme in 1998. In the previous edition, India’s squash team scaled the previous highest tally of four medals.
In Jakarta, Saurav Ghosal, Dipika and Joshana got a bronze medal each in the singles competitions. Then the men’s team took a bronze and the women’s side bagged a silver. The women’s team got a bronze in 2010.
The biggest disappointment of the day was in the canoeing competition as India finished at the ninth spot in the men’s canoe double (C2) 200 metre event.
The Indian pair of Prakant Sharma and Jamesboy Singh clocked 41.152 seconds to finish last in the final.
The Chinese pair of Xing Song and Li Qiang clinched the gold medal after finishing the event with a time of 36.94 seconds.