Palembang/Jakarta (Indonesia), Aug 22 (IANS) Rahi Sarnobat scripted history by becoming the first Indian woman shooter to win Asiad gold while the wushu players produced their best ever medal haul at the 18th Asian Games on Wednesday.
India also ensured two medals from the tennis court with the men’s doubles team of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan and womens’ singles player Ankita Raina entering the semi-finals of their respective categories.
India thus rose a rung to the seventh spot on the medals tally with four gold, three silver and eight bronze medals.
At the shooting ranges in Palembang, Rahi prevailed in a nervy shoot-off in the women’s 25m pistol competition to win gold. The 27-year-old got the better of Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon in a shoot-off after both shot a Games record score of 34 in the final round.
In the shoot-off, Rahi hit three while the Thai shooter missed three to settle for the silver medal as the Indian improved upon her bronze medal winning feat at the 2014 edition.
Rahi started the finals proceedings on a great note as she led from start till the end of 40 shots in the final. After the first three series, the Indian shooter led the charts with a score of 14.
Maintaining her lead till the the end of six series, Rahi’s score read 25. However, she later faultered in the seventh, eighth, ninth and 10th series after score of 3, 2, 2 and 2 respectively where the two shooters found themselves tied at 34 points.
The tie resulted in a shoot-off where the Indian shooter, a two-time Commonwealth Games champion, fared better than the Thai opponent. Minjung Kim of Japan took the bronze medal after scoring 29.
Manu Bhaker, another Indian in the fray, finished sixth after a score of 16 as she exited after the seventh series.
It was surprising as Manu had earlier on Wednesday topped the qualifying round with a Games record score of 593, while Rahi was seventh with 580 points.
Manu got 297 points in the three-series precision round, with scores of 99, 98 and 100 respectively. She scored 296 in the three-series rapid round, with scores of 100, 97 and 99 respectively.
Manu’s total of 593 was eight points ahead of second best performer, South Korean Minjung Kim.
Rahi shot 97, 95, 96 for a total of 288 in the precision round. In the rapid round, she posted scores of 98, 96, 98 for a total of 292.
In the finals, Rahi showed her experience to come out with a successful performance from the beginning.
Meanwhile in Jakarta, India bagged four bronze medals in the wushu sanda competition. This is the best ever medal haul by India in wushu at the Asian Games.
Three medals came from the men’s competition as Santosh Kumar (56 kiloram), Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh (60kg) and Narender Grewal (65kg) lost in their respective semi-finals. Each losing semi-finalist is assured of a bronze medal.
Santosh lost 0-2 to Vietnam’s Truong Giang Bui, while Singh lost by a similar margin to Erfan Ahangarian of Iran. Grewal also suffered a 0-2 loss, to Foroud Zafari of Iran.
Naorem Roshibina Devi took a bronze in the women’s section after losing 0-1 to China’s Cai YingYing in the 60kg semi-finals.
In the men’s wushu taijijian category, India’s Mayanglambam Gyandash Singh had to be content with the fourth spot.
Gyandash, 26, scored 9.70 points to miss out on the bronze medal which was won with 9.71 points by Myanmar’s Ko Ko Nyein Chan. Chinese Chen Zhouli successfully defended his title with 9.76 points. The second place went to Japanese Araya Tomohiro, who scored 9.72.
The Indian tennis players also enjoyed a successful day. Bopanna and Sharan defeated Hsieh Chengpeng and Yang Tsung-Hua of Chinese Taipei 6-3, 5-7, 10-1 in a hard fought quaretr-final encounter.
The Indians will take on K. Uesugi and S. Shimabukuro of Japan in the semi-finals.
The Japanese pair had beaten Gong Maoxin and Ze Zhang of China 4-6, 6-2, 10-2 in another bitterly fought quarter-final.
In women’s singles, Ankita got past Hong Kong’s Eudice Wong Chong 6-4, 6-1 to enter the last-four stage.
Ankita and Bopanna advanced to the quarter-finals of the mixed doubles category with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Chong and Wong Chun Hun of Hong Kong.
They will meet C.B. Rungkat and A. Sutjiadi of Indonesia in the last eight stage.
Ankita, however, lost in the women’s doubles quarter-finals. She and her partner Prarthana Thombare lost 1-6, 3-6 to the Kazakhstan pair of Gozal Ainitdinova and Anna Danilina.
In men’s singles, Ramkumar Ramanathan gave a spirited fight before losing 6-3, 4-6, 3-6 to Karimov Jurabek of Uzbekistan in the pre-quarterfinals.
The men’s doubles team of Sumit Nagal and Ramanathan faltered in the quarter-finals, going down 7-5, 4-6, 2-10 to Kazakhstan’s Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev.
The Indian men’s hockey team scripted history by thrashing minnows Hong Kong 26-0 in a Pool A encounter.
This is the highest ever victory margin by India, breaking a 86-year-old record. The previous highest victory margin was 24-1 against the US at the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics.
India were off to an explosive start with Akashdeep Singh (2nd minute) Manpreet Singh (3rd), Rupinder Pal Singh (4th, 5th) and S.V. Sunil, who scored twice in the seventh minute giving their team a 6-0 lead within the first seven minutes.
Vivek Sagar Prasad scored with a deflection from close range in the 13th minute to put India 7-0 ahead by the end of the first quarter.
The Indians continued their rampage as Lalit Upadhay (17th, 18th, 35th, 55th) Mandeep (20th, 22nd), Amit Rohidoss (27th), Manpreet (28th), Varun Kumar (28th), Akashdeep (32nd, 39th), Sunil (45th), Dilpreet Singh (47th), Chenglensana Singh (51st), Harmanpreet Singh (52nd, 53rd, 55th), Simranjeet Singh (53rd) and Rupinder (59th) finding the target.
This performance took India’s total score in the tournament thus far to 43 goals in just two matches. The defending champions had thrashed hosts Indonesia 17-0 in their campaign opener.
The Greco-roman wrestlers had to return empty handed on the day. Harpreet Singh missed out on a medal in the men’s 87 kilogram category following a 3-6 loss to Azamat Kustubayev of Kazakhstan in the bronze medal play-off.
Harpreet had beaten South Korea’s Park Heageun in the pre-quarterfinals before being overpowering Sumi Masato of Japan 8-0 in the next round. But he was outclassed 0-10 by Uzbekistan’s Rustam AssaKalov in the semi-finals.
Meanwhile, Gurpreet Singh (77kg), Hardeep (97kg) and Naveen (130kg) also failed to reach the podium in their respective weight categories.
In swimming, India finished eighth and last in the men’s 4 x 100 metre freestyle relay final. The Indian team comprising Anshul Kothari, Sajan Prakash, Virdhawal Khade and Aaron Dsouza clocked 3 minutes and 25.17 seconds.
Japan won the gold with a new Games record of 3:12.68 while China took silver with 3:13.29. Singapore recorded 3:17.22 to bag the bronze.
During the morning session, the Indian team had clocked 3.25.17 minutes to top the Heat-1 charts.
India’s Avinash Mani and Sajan Prakash had earlier failed to qualify for the men’s 100 metre butterfly final. After the qualification round, Sajan was placed 12th, while Avinash took the 26th spot.
Avinash had however, secured the top spot in Heat-1 with a time of 56.98 seconds. Sajan too, topped the Heat-2 charts after clocking 54.06 seconds.
In archery, Jyothi Surekha Vennam finished second in the ranking round of the women’s compound individual event to propel India to the second spot in the ranking round of the compound women’s team event.
Jyothi scored 705 points, with 57 10s and 23 Xs, while Muskan Kirar proved to be the second best Indian performer with 691 points, with 45 10s and 21 Xs. Muskan was in ninth spot.
Madhumita Kumari was 11th with 689 points, with 46 10s and 13 Xs, while Trisha Deb shot 683 to be 19th. Trisha shot 38 10s and 23 Xs.
In the team event, the scores of Jyothi, Muskan and Madhumita gave India 2085 points, with 148 10x and 57 Xs. The lowest individual total is not counted in the team event. Hence, Trisha’s 683 was not taken into account in India’s total of 2085.
South Korea delivered a Games record score of 2105 points, with 162 10s and 69 Xs to top the team chart.
The third place went to Chinese Taipei, who have 2085 points, with 147 10s and 59 Xs. Chinese Taipei was powered by Chen Yihsuan, who topped the individual chart with a Games record score of 706 which included 58 10s and 26 Xs.