What a day for Indian athletics. On Day 8 of the Asian Games, India won athletics medals from stars, young sensations and those considered beyond their prime.
In eight athletics final events on Sunday, India won nine medals, including two golds. It started with an athlete showing absolute dominance on the track and ended with high drama on the same track.
While the likes of Avinash Sable and Tajinderpal Singh Tour performed as expected, winning gold medals, other Indian athletes also stood up and made it count.
At 40, Seema Punia is still winning big medals
In the women’s discus throw, 40-year-old Punia produced her season’s best effort to win the bronze with a throw of 58.62m, edging out two Chinese athletes Feng Bin (gold 67.93) and Jiang Zhichao (silver 61.04).
Punia was not in medal position after the first three throws but then a
This is Punia’s third Asian Games medal after gold in 2014 and bronze at the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Games.
Agasra lit up in Abhishek
The women’s heptathlon saw India’s Nandini Agasara clinch the bronze medal in spectacular fashion after winning the final in the women’s 800m event.
The Telangana athlete scored 5712 points ahead of the previous edition’s winner Swapna Burman, who stood fourth with 5708 points.
This is a feat for the 20-year-old athlete Agasara, who defeated senior athletes like Burman in his first senior international event.
Saroj’s late waves rise to silver
Ajay Kumar Saroj ran a sensational last 200m in the 1500m final to win the silver medal with a time of 3:38.94 while last edition’s winner Jinson Johnson took the bronze after a time of 3:39.74.
The 26-year-old Saroj, a gold medalist at this year’s Asian Athletics Championships, was trailing in the pack till the last lap but picked up the pace and overtook almost everyone.
Qatar’s Mohammad Algarni won gold in a season-best effort of 3:38.36.
Hermione impressed, winning her first major medal
Harmilan Bains also produced an Indian medal in the women’s 1500 final with a time of 4:12.74 to win silver.
The 25-year-old Baines, making his first Asian Games appearance, edged out Bahrain’s Winfred Yawi. He holds the national record in the event and this is his first medal in a major competition.
Harmilon’s mother Madhuri Singh is also an Asian Games medalist. She won silver in the women’s 800m at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.
Jyoti dramatically won silver
The women’s 100m hurdles final gave Jyoti high drama and a medal in her first Asiad. Here’s what happened.
Sabal, Tour, Sreesankar live up to expectations
Avinash Sable won the gold medal with a dominating performance in the 3000m steeplechase race, clocking 8:19.50 which is also a new Asian Games record.
Sabel started as the favorite in the steeplechase as his season’s best was nearly nine seconds faster than his nearest competitor Ryomo Aoki of Japan. He quickly set the pace, taking a large lead which he maintained throughout the race.
As she ran the last lap, Sabel knew she had done enough to win the gold medal. His last 200m was slow by his standards but no harm done as he started celebrating before crossing the line.
Also winning gold in athletics was Tour who defended his shot put title with a throw of 20.36m. He beat Saudi Arabia’s Mohammad Tolo to win the gold on his sixth and final throw. Tolo cleared his season best of 20.18m. won silver with
In the men’s long jump, Srishakar Murali won silver with a best jump of 8.19m just behind China’s Wang Jianan whose best effort for gold was 8.22m. It wasn’t Jaswin Aldrin’s day as he finished eighth in the event with a best jump of 7.76m.
For Sreesankar, it was an agonizing wait to see the result of his best jump as officials took time to confirm the validity of the attempt. After much deliberation, the officials showed Sreesankar the white flag which moved him to second place.