There were no gold medals for India on Day 11 but the overall performance of Indians was satisfactory. In men’s discus, Vikas Gowda’s second attempt of 62.58m earned him the silver against gold medal winner Iranian Ehsan Hadadi. Celebrated woman Indian boxer, Mary Kom easily defeated Le Thi Bang Le of Vietnam. Mary used a series of left and right punches against the Vietnamese in a dominating performance. Now just one bout separates Mary from winning a historic gold at the Asian Games. But in one of the most heartening news of the day, Indian men’s hockey team entered an Asian Games’ final for the first time since 2002. In a hard-fought battle, India edged out hosts South Korea by a solitary goal, scored by Akashdeep. For the gold medal, India will once again meet arch-rivals Pakistan, who also entered the final after beating Malaysia 6-5 on penalties.
The best track and field action from India came in men’s discus, in which Vikas Shive Gowda won the silver medal. Gowda, a commonwealth Gold medal winner, was tipped to top the discus field but in Ehsan Hadadi of Iran, Gowda met a tough opponent. In hurling the disc to a distance of 65.11m, Hadadi went too far ahead of Gowda and despite reaching 62.58m in his own second attempt; Gowda was nearly 2.6m behind. In any case, it was a good performance from the Indian. Other Indian athletes produced sketchy performances. Sajeesh Joseph qualified for men’s 800m final after finishing third in his heats but Siddhanth Thingalaya finished sixth in 110m hurdles’ finals as he clocked a dismal 13.73 seconds. The gold was taken by China’s Wenjun Xie. Two Indian women; Tintu Luka and Sushma Devi also qualified for 800m final.
The boxing arena was a hotbed of unseemly controversies on Tuesday. Sarita Devi had put up a solid performance and appeared to have an edge over her South Korean opponent Jina Park. Regardless, she ended up the loser thanks to a decision by judges. Everyone saw Sarita beat the Korean black and blue but Jina Park still emerged as the winner. The partisan treatment meted out to boxers playing their Korean opponent didn’t stop at Sarita Devi. India’s Devendro Singh also fell victim to another controversial decision by heavily-biased judges. Devendro had put up an overwhelming bout against Jonghun Shin of Korea but the judges didn’t think so. Some people have termed the Asian Games as the Korean Games. Mongolia was another country, whose boxers suffered against Korea. The Mongolian looked far better against his South Korean opponent. The crowd booed the decision and water bottles were thrown in the direction of the Korean boxer. India protested to the boxing jury after Sarita Devi’s loss but such protests were rejected. In other boxing news, India’s Satish Kumar advanced to the semifinal after defeating Jordan’s Eishaish Hussein in super heavyweight category. But Shiva Thapa lost to Filipino Mario Fernandez in Bantamweight quarter-final. In better news for Indian boxing, Vikas Krishan defeated Uzbekistan’s Hurshidbek Normatov to advance into men’s middleweight class and Pooja settled for bronze after her loss to Qian Li of China. But the best news was provided by Mary Kom, who was effortless in her semifinal bout against Vietnam’s Le Thi Bang Le. A mother of three children, the 31-year old Mary Kom dealt one punch after another against the Vietnamese woman, who had no answer to Mary’s onslaught. Mary is confident about her final and gold medal bout on Wednesday.
Indian men turned up a great hockey performance against South Korea in the semifinal and reached the final for the first time after the 2002 Busan Games. After playing two quarters, in which no goals could be scored, India took the lead in the third quarter, when Akashdeep Singh scored for India. Indians held on to the lead until the end and made their entry to play the gold medal game against Pakistan. In the other semifinal, the match between Malaysia and Pakistan had to be decided on penalties.
Other Indian performers had mixed results on Tuesday. In wrestling, Krishankant Yadav lost the bronze medal match against Iran’s Saed Abdvali in the 71 kg Greco-roman. Yadav had earlier lost to Jihyun Jung of South Korea. Two more Indian wrestlers; Ravinder Singh and Harpreet Singh also failed on Tuesday. In sailing’s two-person dinghy event for women, Varsha and Aishwarya won the bronze; in shooting, Ahmad Mairaj finished 5th in skeet final; India beat Pakistan 23-11 in men’s Kabaddi preliminaries and in women’s Volleyball, India lost 0-3 to Kazakhstan in the semifinal.
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