India’s athletics team came out on top again, as they won a total of six medals to take India’s tally to 69. That’s just shy of India’s tally from the 2018 Games, and with the likes of Neeraj Chopra tomorrow, India are likely to surpass that total.
Here, ESPN India picks 8 unique numbers that really helped define India’s day on Tuesday, October 3.
Sourav Ghoshal won his first men’s singles squash medal at the 2006 Doha Games (17 years ago) and has won medals in the event in every edition since then. By advancing to the semifinals, she secured her fifth singles medal at the Asian edition and her ninth Asian Games medal overall. That Wikipedia page is getting longer and longer by the day
Ojas Pravin Deotale fires 15 consecutive perfect 10-second shots in his men’s individual compound archery quarterfinal tie against Kazakhstan’s Akbarali Karabayev. A world record, Asian record, games record that could not be beaten mathematically as it was perfection itself.
And then he went and did it again! Even the pressure from the South Korean opponent could not be lost on the 21-year-old, who fired arrow after arrow in 10 rings to win his semi-final against Yang Jae-yeon as well. 30 perfect shots, and if he hits 45 tomorrow, the Asian Games gold will be his.
Unlike his compound archer compatriot, recurve archer Dhiraj Bommadevar had a nightmare quarter-final against Kazakhstan’s Ilfat Abdullin. In a game where archers are frustrated by not being able to score a 9 or 10 on target, Dhiraj manages to miss the target completely – TWICE.
It visibly shook him, and perhaps the absurdity of the incident shook his opponent as well, with Dhiraj briefly absent due to his second miss.
Dhiraj later explained this to PTI, saying, “Even during my practice this has never happened to me. The middle finger is pressed by mistake and suddenly my mind goes blank.”
We’ll be generous and refrain from making another empty joke.
1 and 0.59
Parul Chowdhury became the first female athlete to win medals in the women’s 3000m steeplechase (silver) and 5000m run (gold) at the Asian Games. She is also the first Indian woman to win 5000m gold.
Still, those feats were 0.59 seconds away from happening – Parul produced a late kick on the inside to sneak past Japan’s past leader Ririka Hironaka in the final 30 metres. Ririka’s stunned face, perfectly captured by photographers at the Asian Games, is perhaps the best description of how thrilling the finish of that race was.
Annu Rani became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in the javelin throw at the Asian Games and the third woman to win a medal in the event after Gurmeet Kaur (bronze, 1998) and Elizabeth Davenport (silver, 1958 and bronze, 1962). . What makes it even more special is that it is the Queen’s first gold medal at a major international multi-sports event.
The 31-year-old threw a disappointing 57.05m at the Worlds in August this year and hasn’t cleared 60m all year. Still, he threw above 60m twice – his second attempt of 62.92 just 32cm off his national record. Talk about time.
+8 and 4496
Tejaswin Shankar ran, jumped and threw his way to a silver medal in the men’s decathlon event, but what made it special for the one-time Deloitte accountant was that he broke a national record that had stood for 4496 days – Bharatinder Singh with 7658 points. Tejaswin scored 7666 points – his target before the Games and he has now etched his name in the record books.
That’s what separated Mohammad Afsal from the gold medal in the men’s 800m – after Saudi Arabia’s Essa Qazwani overtook him with a late kick to claim first place.
Abdullah Abubakar was just six centimeters away from the bronze medal, though it was compatriot Praveen Chitravel who won it with a jump of 16.68m.
India’s medal haul in athletics already stands at 22 medals – their best ever haul – and there are still days to go.