Incheon: Star Indian shooter Abhinav Bindra clinched an individual bronze medal in his last Asian Games while squash player Saurav Ghosal had to be content with a historic silver as India added three more medals to boost their tally to nine on the fourth day of competitions here on Tuesday.
While Bindra was the star performer as he picked up the individual as well as team bronze in the men's 10m air rifle event, Ghosal narrowly missed out on a coveted yellow metal on what turned out to be a mixed day for the Indian contingent.
With the addition of three more medals, India maintained their 13th position on the medals table with a tally of one gold, one silver and seven bronze. Powerhouse China continued to top the table with 68 (32-18-18), followed by hosts South Korea 49 (15-17-17) and Japan 48 (14-16-18). Bindra, who had announced that he will quit competitive shooting after the multi-sporting event, broke his Asian Games jinx by clinching his first individual medal after bagging a medal of the same hue in team event along with Sanjeev Rajput and Ravi Kumar at the Gyeonggido Shooting Range.
The Glasgow Commonwealth Games gold medallist had a fine sequence of scores barring 9.9 and 9.6 on his 6th and 12th shots, and had to be content with the bronze medal after shooting 10.6 and 10.7 in his last two shots. It was heartbreak for Ghosal, Asian number one and tournament top seed, as he snatched defeat from the jaws of victory after squandering a commanding 2-0 lead against Abdullah Al Muzayen in the men?s singles squash final.
The Indian world no 16 led his 5-8 seeded Kuwaiti rival 12-10, 11-2 when Abdullah came up a stunning turnaround to turn the tables on Ghosal for the gold.
Abdullah, ranked 46th in the world, produced top drawer stuff when he was down and out for the count to manage a 10-12, 2-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9 win that stunned the Indian camp, and the player especially, into deep despair, notwithstanding that it was country's first ever silver from the squash courts in Games history.
Apart from Bindra and his team's bronze-winning effort, there was disappointment for the other Indian shooters who were in action today. In trap women's team finals, India's Shreyasi Singh (66 pts) Seema Tomar (63) and Shagun Chowdhary (59) finished at eighth place after scoring a total of 188. In men's 25-m rapidfire pistol event, Harpreet Singh was lying seventh with a score of 290 after qualification stage 1, while the other two shooters Gurpreet Singh and Pemba Tamang finished way behind. As a team also, they could not do much.
The Indian men's hockey team continued their winning run as they thrashed minnows Oman 7-0 but were far from impressive in their performance. Rupinderpal (18th, 19th min) successfully converted two penalty corners before limping off the field after scoring the second goal. The unbelievably off-colour Raghunath (39th, 60th min+) managed two goals via penalty stroke and penalty corner.
Akshdeep Singh (33rd), Ramandeep Singh (54th) and Danish Mujtaba (60th) were the other scorers. The worrying factor for India will be ace drag-flicker Rupinderpal's injury before the crucial game against arch-rivals Pakistan. In cycling, Indians continued to struggle as Deborah and K Vargheese finished 9th and 10th respectively in women's sprint qualifying.
Deborah and Vargheese clocked 12.118 and 12.897 with an average speed of 59.415 and 55.826 respectively to occupy the last two spots.
After topping their group in the qualifiers, Indian cagers had a disappointing outing in the opening game of the preliminary round as they went down against Philippines 76-85.
In Equestrian also, Indian women Shruti Vohra and Nadia Haridass finished a disappointing 8th and last respectively in the Women's Dressage Individual Intermediate event. Shruti riding a horse named 'Akira' scored an average 69.375 percent having scored 71.6 percent in the 'Artistic' round while she could manage only 67.15 percent in the 'technical' round. Her standing in the two rounds were 9th and 8th respectively.
Nadia Haridass finished 15th and last in the event with a poor score of 60.35 with only 57.9 percent in the 'Technical Round' while she could score only 62.8 percent in the 'Artistic' round. Rowers, however, produced a creditable show today with Sawarn Singh Virk made the final of men's single sculls and the double sculls and lightweight quadruple sculls teams too entered the medal round.
Sawarn claimed the top place in repechage 1 of the 2000 metre race in seven minutes and 10.93 seconds. The 24-year-old Indian finished ahead of Memo Memo of Indonesia, who took seven minutes and 13.38 seconds to complete the race at the Chungju Tangeum Lake Rowing Center.