Sunday in Hangzhou proved to be the most productive day for the Indian athletes as they collected nine medals to swell the total tally to 12, two of them gold at the 19th Asian Games in China.
India’s 29 years old versatile distance runner Avinash Sable set the ball rolling by winning gold with a Asian Games record in the men’s 3000m steeplechase, shot putter Tajinderpal Singh Toor added second gold to the team’s tally as he successfully defended his 2018 Jakarta Asian Games title.
There was disappointment at the jumping arena as Murali Sreeshankar narrowly missed gold. He settled for silver.
Middle distance runners Harmilan Bains and Ajay Kumar Saroj were also successful in earning silver medals in men and women’s 1500m event, respectively.
The women’s 100m hurdles final witnessed intense drama, a false start by a Chinese athlete Wu Yanni triggered a debate as the technical officials were of the views that India’s Jyothi Yarraji jumped the gun and faced disqualification. The race went on and Indian officials lodged a protest and Jyothi’s bronze was later upgraded to silver, while the Chinese athlete who finished second was disqualified.
Sunday also turned out to be a memorable day for seasoned discus thrower Seema Punia as she went on to add bronze to her profile.
While Olympian and defending champion in 1500m, Jinson Johnson, settled for bronze behind Saroj on his comeback trail. Johnson has been out of form due to spate of injuries in 2021 and 2022. He gradually made his way to the national team in 2023.
In the grueling two-day combined event, Nandini Agasara, won bronze in the heptathlon. She scored 5712 points. While defending champion Swapna Barman finished fourth with points tally of 5708.
Earlier on Friday shot putter Kiran Baliyan won bronze in women’s while on Saturday Kartik Kumar and Gulveer Singh won silver and bronze medals in the men’s 10,000m.
Men: Avinash Sable (3000m steeplechase 8:19.50 seconds Asian Games record—previous record 8:22.79). Tajinderpal Singh (shot put 20.36m).
Men: Murali Sreeshankar (Long jump 8.19m). Ajay Kumar Saroj (1500m 3:38.94 seconds)
Women: Harmilan Bains (1500m 4:12.74 seconds). Jyothi Yarraji (100m hurdles 12.91 seconds)
Men: Jinson Johnson (1500m 3:39.74 secs)
Women: Seema Punia (Discus throw 58.62m).
Nandini Agasara (heptathlon points 5712)