India finish Asian Games with record 107 medals

Wednesday 11th October 2023 06:53 EDT

India reached a century of medals, which was anyway a certainty, early on Saturday but the big deal came when the men’s badminton team of Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy took gold out of the lion’s den, China in the Asian Games. They did it with the full support of local fans, because they were playing a South Korean pair which had defeated China’s world No 2 duo of Liang Weikeng and Wang Cheng in the Round of 16.
India won six gold medals on Friday – besides the badminton gold, one each came in men’s and women’s kabaddi, a historic first in men’s cricket and two in archery’s compound competitions. The women’s kabaddi gold will taste the sweetest as it took India’s tally to 100.
India’s record-breaking campaign in Hangzhou, China, finished with a historic 107 medals – 28 gold, 38 silver and 41 bronze, surpassing their previous best set at 2018 in Jakarta, by a massive 37 medals. This is an increase of 52.8 per cent over 70 medals won in Jakarta and 75 per cent increase over 16 gold secured in the previous edition.
Out of 107, female athletes contributed 54 medals, i.e., 50.40 per cent, as India sent its largest-ever contingent with 651 athletes (329 men and 322 women). Indian athletes participated in 36 sports events and won medals in 22 disciplines. Hangzhou brought several highs for India – highest-ever medals in athletics (29) on foreign soil; highest-ever medals in shooting (22) with seven gold in this edition alone as compared to nine gold won across all editions till 2018; highest-ever medals in archery (9); highest-ever medals in squash (5); highest-ever medals in rowing (5) and highest-ever medals for Indian female boxers (4).
Then there were first-ever medals in men’s and women’s cricket (both gold), women’s skeet team silver, women’s 50m rifle 3 positions team silver, women’s 50m rifle 3 position individual gold (Sift Kaur Samra); men’s skeet team bronze, badminton men’s team silver, women’s individual golf silver (Aditi Ashok), dressage individual bronze (Anush Agarwalla), women’s table tennis doubles bronze (Ayhika and Sutirtha Mukherjee), 25m rapid fire pistol men team bronze, sailing bronze in ILCA 7 (Vishnu Saravanan), sailing bronze in RS X (Eabad Ali), men’s speed skating 3000m relay team bronze, squash mixed doubles gold (Deepika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Sandhu) and men’s doubles badminton gold (Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy).
India also secured medals in some disciplines after waiting for ages – equestrian (dressage team bronze) after a gap of 41 years; women’s shot put, Kiran Baliyan (bronze) after 72 years; men’s-only decathlon, Tejaswin Shankar (silver) after 49 years; men’s 4x400m relay (gold) after 61 years; men’s singles badminton, HS Prannoy (bronze) after 41 years and first ever gold in women’s javelin throw, Annu Rani.
In Hangzhou, a total of 23 national records were created by Indian athletes, including 11 in shooting, four each in archery and athletics, three in swimming and one in cycling; 11 Asiad records were broken in archery (4), athletics (1) and shooting (6) while three world records were achieved in shooting.
It’s notable that currently there are 285 TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) athletes supported by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) as against 75 in 2014. It is also notable that the government hired 49 foreign experts for the Asiad cycle post Tokyo Olympics. This surely gave a huge boost to Indian athletes’ performance.

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