Asian Games: India inch closer to dream three-figure mark at Hangzhou

India, however, were dealt a major blow after two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu crashed out of the women’s singles badminton quarterfinals.

Asian Games: India inch closer to dream three-figure mark at Hangzhou

Asian Games 2023: Dipika Pallikal, Harinder Pal Sandhu clinch gold in Squash Mixed Doubles

India’s medal tally surged to an unprecedented 86 with the addition of three gold, a silver and a bronze on Day 12 of the ongoing 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.

The gold rush came from the Compound Archery teams (both men and women) and the squash mixed doubles pair of Dipika Pallikal and Harinder Pal Singh before veteran squash player Saurav Ghosal and debutant wrestler Antim Panghal signed off Thursday’s competitions with a silver and bronze, respectively.

India, however, were dealt a major blow after two-time Olympic medallist PV Sindhu crashed out of the women’s singles badminton quarterfinals. The Hyderabadi lost in straight games to China’s He Bingjiao 16-21, 12-21 in what turned out to be a rather lop-sided affair. In men’s singles, HS Prannoy assured his first Asiad medal by storming into the semifinals. He defeated former world No. 2 Lee Zii Jia in the quarterfinals.


On Thursday, the 19th Asian Games also had the first medallist failing a dope test in Turkmenistan’s Tejan Tejenov, the silver medallist in heavyweight 90kg category of kurash. According to the International Testing Agency, the 30-year-old tested positive for anabolic steroids. He is the fifth overall athlete to have flunked a dope test in this edition of the Games.


Rising sensation Antim Panghal continued her impressive outing on the international stage by picking a bronze medal to open India’s account in women’s freestyle wrestling. Antim defeated Mongolia’s Bolortuya Bat-Ochir, the Tokyo 2020 Olympics bronze medallist, 3-1 in the 53kg bronze medal bout to earn her third international senior medal and fourth overall.

The bout turned out a low-scoring one against the strong Mongolian, with Antim grabbing a healthy 3-0 lead in the first period. A passivity point followed by a 2-point takedown helped Antim gain the points and her bronze on Asiad debut.

Antim, fresh from winning a bronze at the world championships in Serbia last month, faced a challenging draw at the Hangzhou Games, and was up against two-time world champion Akari Fujinami in the second round which the Japanese won by effecting a ‘fall’.

The face off against a far superior Fujiami was always going to be a daunting task for Antim, and was evident by the way the Japanese closed out the contest with more than a minute left in the first period. Antim, eventually made the bronze medal match via a bye in the repechage round.

Earlier, Antim scored an easy victory over Uzbekistan’s Jasmina Immaeva 11-0 to set up a quarterfinal clash against Akari, the world championships winner in 2021 Oslo and 2023 Belgrade. Akari eventually took the gold and in the process extended her unbeaten streak to 132 bouts.

The medal holds special significance for Antim, who had to approach the court demanding fair trial against the decision to directly include veteran Vinesh Phogat in the Asian Games squad based on past achievements.

While the court upheld the decision to send Vinesh, it seemed as if the stars aligned in favour of Antim as the former suffered an injury and had to undergo a surgery. That’s when the doors opened for the Hisar teenager’s Asiad debut in Hangzhou.

With three senior medals and two U20 world titles to her name, Antim’s rapid rise on the international scene is the only bright chapter for Indian wrestling, which has grabbed the headlines for all reasons but wrestling.

With no administration at the helm and the subsequent ban by the United World Wrestling (UWW) for failing to conduct elections, the Wrestling Federation of India has been embroiled in controversy with several star wrestlers, including Vinesh Phogat, Sakshi Malik and Bajrang Punia, demanding arrest of outgoing president Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh on charges of alleged sexual misconduct against female grapplers.

Meanwhile, in other bouts of the day, Uzbekistan’s Laylokhon Sobirova, the reigning Asian Championships silver medallist, sealed a victory by fall against India’s Mansi Ahlawat in the women’s freestyle 57kg bronze medal bout.

In women’s Freestyle 50 kg, Uzbekistan’s Keunimjaeva Aktenge took the bronze after defeating 2022 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Pooja Gehlot 9-2 in a brutal bout that took a lot out of the two wrestlers. Pooja tried fighting back but the lead was too big to bridge. Pooja earlier lost to two-time Asian Champion Japan’s Remina Yoshimoto via technical superiority in the semifinal.

Among the men, Greco-Roman wrestler Naveen suffered 1-5 loss at the hands of South Korea’s Minseok Kim in 130kg bronze medal bout.


The Indian men’s and women’s chess teams are in contention for the silver medals, after ending the day at second in the standings after seven rounds, with two rounds remaining.

Grandmaster Arjun Erigaisi won his game in round 7 of the men’s chess team event, while Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa, Gukesh Dommanraju and Vidit Gujarathi secured draws. India collected 2.5 points, compared to the 1.5 scored by their opponents Vietnam.

In round 7 of the women’s event, India shared 2.0 points with Kazakhstan. Harika Dronavalli won her game while Vaishali Ramesh Babu suffered a defeat. Koneru Humpy and Vanitka Agrawal secured draws in their games.

Canoe slalom

India’s Vishal Kewat made the men’s canoe semifinal at the Asian Games by finishing fourth in Heat 2. Vishal clocked 131.14 seconds to progress to the semifinals.

Shikha Chouhan also qualified for the women’s kayak semifinal, ranking third in heat 2 with a time of 153.83 seconds. In men’s kayak, Hitesh Kewat and Shubham Kewat were ranked third and fourth, respectively, in heat 2 to book their respective semifinal spots.

The men’s canoe and women’s kayak slalom semifinal races will be held on Friday. The men’s kayak semifinal will be held on Saturday.

Elsewhere, the Indian men’s kabaddi team beat Chinese Taipei and Japan, confirming a medal and a semifinal spot. In Sport Climbing, Indian climbers progressed to the semifinals of the lead and boulder section.

Aman Verma finished eighth after both qualification rounds, scoring 118.8 – 64.8 in boulder and 54.0 in lead. Bharath Stephen Pereira Kamath also qualified with 69.7 boulder and 28.1 lead points in the 13th spot. The duo will be in action in the semifinals on Friday. Among the women, Saniya Farooque Shaikh and Shivani Charak finished 17th and 18th, respectively, to make it to Saturday’s women’s semifinals.