On-target archers clinch historic gold, India increase tally in Asian Games

The men's compound archery team picked up a historic gold medal as India enjoyed their most productive day in the 17th Asian Games so far with an impressive collection of six medals to jump to the 11th position in the overall standings on the eighth day of competitions here on Saturday.

PTI| Updated: Sep 27, 2014, 17:15 PM IST
On-target archers clinch historic gold, India increase tally in Asian Games

Incheon: The men's compound archery team picked up a historic gold medal as India enjoyed their most productive day in the 17th Asian Games so far with an impressive collection of six medals to jump to the 11th position in the overall standings on the eighth day of competitions here on Saturday.

Young archer Abhishek Verma was hero of the day as he combined with Rajat Chauhan and Sandeep Kumar to clinch the gold medal in the compound team event before picking up the individual silver medal at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field.

The squash team of Dipika Pallikal, Anaka Alankamony and Joshana Chinappa provided a boost to the medal collection by taking the silver in the team event after losing the final to mighty Malaysia.

Shooter Chain Singh (50m rifle 3 position), archer Trisha Deb (women's compound individual) and the women's compound team -- comprising Trisha, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam -- were the medal winners (bronze) on what turned out to be India's best day at the Games.

With the addition of six more medals, India, overnight placed 16th, rose to the 11th position on the table with two gold, four silver and 17 bronze medals. China continued to leave their opponents behind with an impressive haul of 187 medals (95-53-39), followed by South Korea (35-41-38) and Japan (30-42-36).

While the archers and squash players stole the limelight with their medal-winning heroics, the Indian boxers also moved to the quarterfinals with easy victories over their opponents.

The men's hockey team also kept their medal hopes alive by advancing to the semifinals with a scrappy 2-0 win over China in their last pool B match.

However, the spotlight belonged to the archers, who scripted history with their maiden compound gold medal by shocking favourites South Korea.

The women's trio had set the tone in the morning by clinching the compound team bronze by defeating Iran in the play-off for the third position at the Gyeyang Asiad Archery Field. Later, Trisha bagged a bronze in the individual event.

India had won one silver and three bronze medals from the bow and arrow discipline in the previous Games and today's gold lifted the sagging spirits of the huge contingent which had endured a gold drought after pistol shooter Jitu Rai's top finish six days ago.

India defied odds to shock world archery powerhouse Korea 227-225 in the gold medal clash.

Rajat, Sandeep and Abhishek worked wonderfully well in unison to lead their formidable hosts -- the world silver medallists -- right through the 24-arrow finals to emerge triumphant by two points (227-225) in the non-Olympic Compound event which has made its debut here.

This was the second medal of the day from the venue, and came just one hour after the young Indian women's trio of Trisha Deb, Purvasha Shende and Jyothi Surekha Vennam clinched the bronze medal by winning the play-off against Iran 224-217.

Later Verma fought gamely in the gold medal match against Iran's Ebadi Esmaeil 141-145. The superb display of the compound team made up to some extent the disappointing show put up by the recurve team of better known archers so far at these Games.

In what came as surprise, Trisha won a bronze in the compound women's individual event.

Trisha won 138-134 against Chinese Taipei's Huang I Jou. The Indian was lucky to finish on the podium given that she was trailing her rival till the last arrow.

In shooting, Chain Singh stole the thunder from the more fancied Gagan Narang and Sanjeev Rajput in the 50m rifle 3 position competition.

Singh shot a total of 441.7 points to finish behind two Chinese shooters -- Cao Yifei and Zhu Qinan -- who bagged the first and second positions with 455.5 and 455.2 points to their credit, respectively.

While Singh had entered the finals after finishing seventh in the qualification round, Gagan and Sanjeev failed to make the final cut, ending on 12th and 15th spots, respectively in the qualifiers.

On the squash court, gold proved elusive but it was nonetheless a historic silver for the Indian women's squash team after it went down to Malaysia in the final.

The team lost 0-2 to Malaysia to settle for the silver after Deepika Pallikal and Anaka Alankamony lost their matches in a contest which lasted a little over an hour.

Top singles player Saurav Ghosal had added a historic silver to the medal list -- a first in the Asian Games squash. Pallikal, on the other hand, had won a bronze medal in the women's singles, also a first for Indian squash.

There was good news from the boxing ring as Olympic bronze-medallist M C Mary Kom set her campaign rolling in style by out-punching Korea's Kim Yeji to enter the quarterfinals along with two other Indian women boxers.

L Sarita Devi (60kg) and Pooja Rani (75kg) were the two others, who advanced to the last eight making it an all-win day for the Indian women pugilists.

Sarita got the better of home favourite Chungson Ri, while Pooja defeated Erdenesoyol Undram of Mongolia in her pre-quarters bout.

However, Indian women's volleyball team went down to a formidable Chinese side in straight games in the quarterfinal match.

The Indian eves lost 3-0 (25-11 25-12 25-10) against their more fancied opponents in a contest that lasted 54 minutes at Songnim Gymnasium here.