Medal tally includes 13 gold, 23 silver, 29 bronze
Jakarta: A golden dream unfulfilled for over 30 years remained just that in women’s hockey but India equalled its best ever medal haul as sailors joined the assorted contributors to the country’s tally at the 18th Asian Games today.
On the penultimate day of competitions, the euphoria of track-and-field gold rush was far over but the momentum was certainly retained with a silver and a couple of bronze coming in from the sailing events.
The women’s hockey team, however, endured a heartbreak, albeit not as big as the men. They lost to Japan 1-2 in the final despite being favourites for gold. But it was still a step up from the bronze that came in the 2014 edition. The men will square off against Pakistan tomorrow for a bronze.
The Indian position in the overall tally was a steady eighth with 65 medals, which is the same as 2010 — the country’s best ever Asiad show. The haul includes 13 gold, 23 silver and 29 bronze medals. The highlight of the day was the sailing performance, India’s best showing.
Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar claimed silver in 49er FX event while two men combined to overcome disqualification in their previous race to grab a bronze.
Thanks to their showing, the country enjoyed its best result since 1982. In 1982, India won a gold in fireball, a silver in enterprise and a bronze in wind-glider.
For Varsha, it was her second Asiad medal as she had won a bronze in 29er with Aishwarya Nedunchezhiyan in the 2014 edition.
Varsha and Sweta were not chosen by the federation to represent India and only after a court battle did they reach the Indonesian capital. At the helm of her 49erFX, 20-year-old Varsha and her crew partner Sweta, completed the 15-race event with 40 net points to finish second behind winners from Singapore, who had just 14 net points. Sailors are given points after each race, and the pair, which gets the least points, is declared the winner.
“These were stressful three months. But everything has paid off. There were a lot of up and down. A lot happened. At least 10 times I thought, it’s not worth it, I can’t handle it but somehow I continued. It was certainly not a glamorous race, there was pressure,” Varsha said.
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