Jakarta: The Army came to India’s aid in rowing by creating enough splash to claim three medals, including a historic gold in quadruple sculls at the 18th Asian Games on the final day of the competition at Jakabaring Sports City.
An all-Army Indian team gave it their all once they waded themselves into the reckoning for four medals.
“We soldiers never give up and we have weathered yesterday’s storm of a poor show,” said quadruple sculls winner Sawarn Singh, whose other team members included Dattu Baban Bhokanal, Sukhmeet Singh and Om Prakash. “I told my teammates that we will go for the gold and we will give it our all. It was like ‘karo ya maro’ (do or die).”
The team crossed the finish line in first place with a time of 6:17.13. Indonesia bagged the silver while Thailand settled for the bronze.
Dushyant Chauhan, bronze medallist in lightweight single sculls at Incheon four years ago, went on to take third again on Friday. Bhagwan Singh and Rohit Kumar added another bronze in the men’s lightweight double sculls.
“I pushed as if it was the last race of my life. That was the only thing on my mind. Maybe I pushed a bit too hard but it was worth it,” said Chauhan, also going on to reveal that he was not in the best of shape as he was suffering a cold. “I just had bread and an apple. It was very hot also. That is why I was completely dehydrated,” added the 25-year-old who lives in Gurgaon.
Gold in tennis too
Top seeds Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan were at their authoritative best in the men’s tennis doubles as they defeated Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 in 52 minutes to claim gold.
In the men’s singles, Prajnesh Gunneswaran, settled for a bronze after going down to 6-2, 6-2 to Uzbekistan’s Denis Istomin in the semi-finals.
In shooting, Heena Sidhu won her maiden Asian Games individual medal with a bronze in the women’s 10m air pistol and swelled India’s medals haul in shooting to nine.
India are also certain of three medals in squash with Saurav Ghosal, Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal Karthik making it to the semi-finals of their singles events. Top-seeded Ghosal defeated compatriot Harinder Pal Sandhu 9-11, 11-7, 11-7, 11-7 in quarter-finals. Pallikal crushed Japanese Kobayashi Misaki in straight games 11-5, 11-6, 11-8.
The Iranian women’s team took cue from their male counterparts to shock India’s women kabaddi team for gold. The two-time defending champions were shocked 24-27 in a thriller. India led 13-11 at the end of first half.
Defending champions India continued their surge in men’s hockey by beating Japan 8-0. It was another big win for India after 17-0 win over Indonesia and 26-0 win against Hong Kong.
Pakistan won their Pool ‘B’ match 16-0 over Kazakhstan.