Sania, Seema clinch gold; India maintain 9th place
Incheon: Tennis star Sania Mirza teamed up with Saketh Myneni to clinch the gold in mixed double while Seema Punia also brought glory with her gold-winning act as India maintained the ninth position in the overall standings on the 10th day of competitions in the 17th Asian Games here on Monday.
Wrestler Bajrang and the men’s tennis combination of Sanam Singh and Myneni picked up silver medals on yet another productive day for the Indian contingent.
Athletes O P Jaisha (women’s 1500m) and Naveen Kumar (men’s 3000m steeplechase) and wrestler Narsingh Pancham Yadav (74kg) also contributed to the medal collection by picking up bronze medals.
The 27-year-old Sania stole the limelight as she paired up with unheralded Myneni to carve out an easy victory in the final against the Chinese Taipei pair of Hao Ching Chan and Hsien Yin Peng as the Indians ended their tennis campaign with an impressive haul of five medals.
On the track and field, it was Seema’s day as she clinched the coveted gold medal, making amends for her non-participation in the last two Games in Guangzhou and Doha.
Bajrang (61kg) was also a star performer as he scripted remarkable come-from-behind victories to reach the final where he ultimately succumbed to Massoud Mahmoud of Iran in a closely-contested bout.
The wrestlers continued to provide the much-needed boost to India’s medal collection as Narsingh Yadav also claimed a bronze in the men’s 74kg freestyle event.
With the addition of seven medals today, India maintained their ninth position with a total of haul of 42 — six gold, seven silver and 29 bronze. China maintained their supremacy with a tally of 238 (112-72-54) followed by hosts South Korea 146 and Japan 132.
However, there was disappointment for the women’s hockey team which lost the semifinal match against South Korea 1-3 and will now take on Japan for the bronze medal play-off.
The boxing ring also did not bring much cheers for the Indians with former World Championship bronze-medallist Vikas Krishan (75kg) being the only one to advance to quarterfinals.
Gaurav Bhiduri (52kg), Mandeep Jangra (69kg) and Kuldeep Singh (81kg) bowed out after losing their respective quarterfinal bouts.