After the men’s hockey team crashed out of the competition in the semi-final, the women’s hockey team has a shot at winning the gold with their final later on in the day at 6:30PM. After overcoming with a narrow 1-0 in their own semi-final, they would be hoping to go hell the way.
There was o stopping the gold rush from track-and-field as India exceeded all the expectations for its best Asian Games performance in close to seven decades but heartbreak in hockey took some sheen off the country’s sprint past the previous editions’ medal haul Thursday. The seasoned Jinson Johnson and the women’s 4*400m relay team were the joint stars with their golden show on the final day of the track-and-field competition in which India signed off seven gold, ten silver and two bronze medals. The country’s best haul since 1951. India surpassed its previous edition’s overall tally of 57 by making it 59 with two more days of competition left. The country also took its gold tally to 13, two more than 2014.
Johnson, who surprisingly lost the gold to competitor Manjit singh in 800m, more than made up for that blip with a brilliant rally. Johnson clocked 3:44.72 sec to claim the top honors ahead of iran’s Amir Moradi, who turned in a timing of 3:45.62sec, his season’s best effort. And then the 4*400m women’s relay team notched up a fifth successive gold to continue their remarkable dominance of the event. The Indian quartet of Hima Das, M R Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and Vismaya Velluva Koroth clocked 3:28.72sec to claim gold. The men’s team could not get the top position but pulled off a creditable silver with the quartet of Kunhu Muhammad, Dharunn Ayyasamy, Muhammad Anas and Arikia Rajiv timing 3:01.85sec to finnish behind Qatar, which won gold in Asian record of 3:00.56sec.
Adding a bronze was veteran discus thrower Seema Punia. The 35 year old cleared a six year best of 62.26m for a third place finish. Punia won a gold in the 2014 edition. Asian champion P U Chitra also won a Bronze, in the women’s 1500m race. Chitra entered the race as asian leader this season but had to settle for a bronze with a timing of 4:12.56sec. But losing the men’s hockey semifinal to Malaysia came as massive blow for the country, which was not just aiming for a gold but also direct Olympic qualification through an exhausting shoot-off.
In squash, the Indian women’s team lost the all – important match against Hong Kong 1-2 to finnish second in group B, resulting in a tougher semifinal opponent in defending champions Malaysia. Senior players Dipika Pallikal and Joshna chinnappa lost their matches against Joey chan and Annie Au, 1-3 and 0-3, respectively.