It was celebration time for the Indian athletics contingent on Wednesday at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou as the overall medal tally swelled to 29, six of the gold. At the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, the Indian athletics team had won as many as 20 medals, eight of them gold.
On the penultimate day of the track and field, as expected Olympic and world champion, Neeraj Chopra was successful in defending javelin crown, while men’s 4x400m relay squad wrote a glorious chapter by winning gold.
The men’s javelin competition witnessed technical glitch, but it didn’t spoil defending champion tempo. The event became more exciting as Kishore Kumar Jena took the lead after the third round with a throw of 86.77m.
But Chopra’s experience paid off as he hurled javelin to a distance of 88.88m in his fourth attempt to take the pole position. Chopra eventually won the gold, while Jena’s best throw of the day was 87.54m, a personal best fetched him silver. Jena also bettered the Paris Olympic Games qualification mark of 85.50m.
The quartet of Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal and Rajesh Ramesh were also successful in winning gold in the men’s 4x400m relay. The Indian team won silver at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games.
The women’s 4x400m relay team, however, had to settle for silver.
Distance runner Avinash Sable (5,000m) and Harmilan Bains (women’s 800m) won silver on Wednesday in their respective events.
While Sable won silver in the 5,000m, Gulveer Singh finished fourth. In the men’s high jump, Sarvesh Anil Kushara cleared 2.26m, a season best to finish fourth, while Jesse Sandesh was ninth in the field. His best jump was 2.19m.
Triple jumper Sheena Varkey finished sixth with a jump of 13.29m. Earlier, in the morning session Ram Baboo and Manju Rani won bronze in the 35km race walk mixed team event.
Thursday is the last day of the athletics competition. India’s Man Singh and Belliappa AB will compete in the men’s marathon.
5000m: Avinash Sable (silver—13:21.09), Gulveer Singh (4th—13:29.93)
Men: Javelin: Neeraj Chopra (gold –88.88m), Kishore Kumar Jena (silver– 87.54m).
High jump: Sarvesh Anil Kushare (fourth– 2.26m), Jesse Sandesh (ninth– 2.19m).
35km race walk mixed team event (Ram Baboo and Manju Rani bronze– 5:51:14)
4x400m relay (Muhammed Anas, Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Ajmal, Rajesh Ramesh, gold– 3:01.58 secs).
800m: Harmilan Bains (silver– 2:03.75), KM Chanda (7th –2:05.69 secs). Triple jump: Sheena Varkey (sixth –13.34m). 4x400m relay (Vithya Ramraj, Aishwarya Mishra, Prachi, Subha Venkatesan, silver–3:27.85 secs).