Asiad 2018: Shooters shine, Wushu, Sepaktakraw players create history

Jakarta: Shooters continued to make the country proud even as Indians created history by ensuring medals in non-traditional sports like wushu and sepaktakraw at the 18th Asian Games here on Tuesday.

The Indian contingent enjoyed a superb start to the day as shooters Saurabh Chaudhary and Abhishek Verma bagged the gold and bronze medals respectively in the Men’s 10 metre Air Pistol event.

The 16-year-old Saurabh had a memorable Asiad debut after producing an Asian Games record score of 240.7. It was India’s third gold medal at the ongoing Games.

Abhishek, 29, stood third scoring 219.3 to take India’s medal tally to seven. He had finished sixth during the qualification round.

Tomoyuki Matsuda of Japan secured the silver with 239.7. He and Saurabh pulled away for the gold medal battle with points of 220.1 and 220.5 respectively as Abhishek was eliminated with 219.3 points after eight series.

Matsuda, 42, was leading the charge going into the ninth and final series having led after each of the series. But in the final series, he came up with first shot score of 8.9 to blow his chances as Saurabh overtook him with a 10.2 in his first shot of the series.

In the second shot of the series, Matsuda scored 10.3 but Saurabh did well with 10.4 to seal the title.

Veteran shooter Sanjeev Rajput clinched a silver medal in the men’s 50 metre Rifle 3 Positions event. Sanjeev scored 452.7 in the final. The 37-year-old had earlier bagged bronze in the same category at the 2006 Doha Asian Games.

China’s Hui Zicheng secured the gold medal after scoring 453.3, while Japan’s Takayuki Matsumoto settled for bronze with a score of 441.4.

The 37-year old Rajput gave a good account of himself in the keeling and prone positions, although he struggled in the standing round which eventually stood in the way of his winning the gold.

India’s mixed trap shooting team of Lakshay Sheoran and Shreyasi Singh finished sixth and last at the 18th Asian Games here on Tuesday. Lakshay-Shreyasi scored 16 points in the finals to be eliminated first with a disappointing performance.

It was a day to remember for Indian wushu athletes as Naorem Roshibina Devi, Santosh Kumar, Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh and Narender Grewal assured themselves of a medal each after advancing to the semi-finals of their respective categories.

This is the best ever performance by India in wushu at the Asiad.

Naorem defeated Mubashra of Pakistan 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the women’s sanda 60 kilogram category. This was the first medal for India in wushu at this year’s Asian Games.

Naorem will take on Cai Yingying of China in the semi-finals. The loser will have to be content with a bronze medal.

Cai had defeated Kurniati Mei Yulianengsih of Indonesia 2-0 in the quarter-finals.

Later, Santosh edged out Phitak Paokrathok of Thailand 2-1 in the last eight stage of the men’s sanda 56kg division.

Santosh will take on Bui Truong Giang of China in the semi-finals.

The Indian had started his campaign with a 2-0 win over Vietnam’s Linn Thu Rain. He went on to defeat Zaid Ali Wazea of Yemen by a similar scoreline in the pre-quarterfinals.

Surya defeated Jean Claude Saclag of Philippines 2-0 in the quarter-finals of the men’s sanda 60kg category. He will fight Iran’s Erfan Ahangarian for a place in the final.

Surya had earned a hard fought 2-1 win over Abdul Haris Sofyan of Indonesia in his first match.

In the men’s sanda 65kg quarter-finals, Grewal beat Akmal Rakhimov of Uzbekistan 2-0. He will meet Foroud Zafari of Iran in the semi-finals.

But disappointment was in store for Indians in the men’s sanda 70kg event as Pardeep Kumar lost 1-2 to Indonesia’s Puja Riyaya.

Pardeep was leading 1-0 till the late stages of the second round when Puja earned a point to draw level. Puja went on to take the lead in the third round which ultimately proved to be decisive.

It was a historic day for the Indian sepaktakraw squad as well. The country earned its first-ever medal in the event after settling for a bronze medal by losing to Thailand in the semi-finals of the men’s team regu event here.

India, who had finished second in Group B, lost 0-2 to sepaktakraw powerhouse Thailand in a semi-final to get a podium finish.

Meanwhile, the wrestling arena produced yet another medal for India as Divya Kakran took bronze in the women’s 68 kilogram freestyle category.

Divya thrashed Chen Wenling of Chinese Taipei by technical superiority in the play-off for the bronze medal. A wrestler is declared winner by technical superiority when he takes a lead of 10 or more points.

The Indian hardly broke a sweat, taking just one minute and 29 seconds in the first period to open up a 10-0 lead which gave her the win.

But the men’s Greco Roman wrestlers proved to be a disappointment as Gyanender (60kg) and Manish (67kg) lost in the quarter-finals of their respective categories.

The Indian rowers continued to do well as the men’s lightweight four team and men’s single sculls rower Dattu Bhokanal qualified for the finals of their respective events.

Dattu, 27, topped the Heat 1 of the repechage round with a timing of 7:45.71 minutes. Hius timing was third best in the round.

In the men’s lightweight four, India’s Bhopal Singh, Jagvir Singh, Tejas Hanamant Singh and Pranay Ganesh claimed the second spot in the Heat 1 of the repechage round.

Meanwhile, in the women’s pair, Sanjukta Dung Dung and Harpreet Kaur made it to Final B after finishing third in Heat 1 of the repechage round with a timing of 8:54.67 minutes.

The men’s and women’s kabaddi teams continued to dominate the opposition.

After suffering a shock defeat to South Korea in their last match, the Indian men’s kabaddi team bounced back in style as they defeated Thailand 49-30 in their fourth match.

Rahul Chaudhari was the standout raider in a match which saw Thailand giving a fight in patches.

Earlier, the Indian women’s kabaddi team thrashed Indonesia 54-22 in their last group tie in yet another spectacular show.

After registering victories in all of their group games, the Indian team is now on top of Group A with eight points and has entered the semi-finals.

Earlier on Tuesday, the Indian women had outclassed Sri Lanka 38-12. India had earlier defeated Japan and Thailand in their previous outings.

The Indian women’s hockey team registered their second consecutive victory at the Asian Games as they hammered Kazakhstan 21-0 in a Pool B match.

World No. 9 India showed their quality with their dominant performance against a lowly ranked Kazakh side, scoring 21 goals in the team’s second biggest victory of the Asian Games.

In swimming, Virdhawal Khade missed out on a medal by a narrow margin as he finished fourth in the men’s 50 metre freestyle final.

Khade registered a time of 22.47 seconds which was a mere .01 second slower than Japan’s Shunichi Nakao who took the bronze.

Yu Hexin of China won the gold medal with a time of 22.11 seconds. The silver medal went to Japan as well with Katsumi Nakamura registering 22.20 seconds to come in second.

The Indian women’s hockey team registered their second consecutive victory in the 18th Asian Games as they hammered Kazakhstan 21-0 in their Pool B match here on Tuesday.

The World No. 9 India showed their quality with their dominant performance against a lowly ranked Kazakh side, scoring 21 goals in the team’s second biggest victory of the Asian Games.

But the Indian archers ahd a disappointing outing as they finished seventh in the ranking round of the women’s recurve archery event.

The Indian team of Deepika Kumari, Laxmirani Majhi, Promila Daimary and Ankita Bhakat scored a cumulative total of 1908 with 55 10s and 16 Xs in the 15-team contest.

South Korea delivered a Games record score of 2038 with 112 10s and 35 Xs to top the round, while Chinese Taipei and China finished second and third with scores of 2010 and 1960 respectively.

In the individual ranking round, Deepika was 17th with a score of 649, with 22 10s and 10 Xs. The second best performer for India was Promila, who scored 642, which includes 19 10s and three Xs to be 21st.

Ankita was 36th with a total of 617, with 14 10s and three Xs. Laxmirani was 44th with a total of 608, with 16 10s and four Xs.

South Korean Chaeyoung Kang topped the round with a Games record score of 681, with 40 10s and seven Xs. Chaeyoung has three World Cup medals this year.

Her compatriots, Eungyeong Lee and Hyejin Chang were second and third with scores of 680 and 677 respectively.

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