Mandeep, who hails from Chakar village near Ludhiana which is also the native place of Tokyo Olympian Simranjit Kaur Baath, fell in love with the sport at the age of seven
Indian athletes confirmed five medals on Sunday, the first official day of the 19th Asian Games while the Indian women’s cricket team beat Bangladesh to enter the gold medal contest in Hangzhou. Three of the five medals on Sunday morning came from the rowers, while the shooters bagged the other two medals.
The Indian pair of Arjun Lal Jat and Arvind Singh opened the country’s medal tally with silver in the lightweight men’s double sculls event almost at the same time that the Indian air rifle team, comprising Mehuli Ghosh, Ramita Jindal and Ashi Chouksey claimed a silver medal in the team event.
The 19-year-old Ramita, who was part of the rifle team, then pipped her seasoned teammate Mehuli to claim a bronze medal in the individual event. In a tight shootout contest between the two Indians for the bronze, Mehuli fell short by 0.2 to end an unfortunate 4th.
Ramita then was up against China’s Jiayu Han for the silver medal position. With both tied at 219.7, Ramita hit a 10.4 while world no.1 Han shot 10.7 to settle for the bronze medal in women’s 10m air rifle event.
The rowers continued to impress on the day as the Indian Men’s Coxed Eight Team bagged a silver medal after finishing a narrow second to hosts China in the final race with a timing of 5:43.01. For the records, the Chinese team pipped the Indians by 2.84 seconds.
Later, the Army pair of Babulal Yadav and Lekh Ram clinched the bronze medal in the Men’s Coxless event by clocking a stellar time of 6:50:41, ensuring the third medal from the event.
Elsewhere, the Indian women’s cricket team also assured a medal after beating Bangladesh by 8 wickets, to enter the final. India dished out a clinical performance with Pooja Vastrakar finishing with impressive 4/17, while Titas Sadhu, Rajeshwari Gayakwad, Amanjot Kaur and Devika Vaidya picked up a wicket each to bowl Bangladesh out for 51, their lowest WT20I total against India.
In reply, India knocked down the target in 8.2 overs to enter the final and assure themselves of at least a silver medal, despite losing openers Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Varma.
In hockey, Indian men’s team ran riot over Uzbekistan to open their Asian Games campaign with a thumping 16-0 win. Despite the absence of regular captain Harmanpreet Singh, India were in total rampage mode, with hat-tricks from Mandeep Singh, Lalit Upadhyay and Varun Kumar ensuring they did not want the services of star goalkeeper PR Sreejesh for the tie.
India also suffered a couple of heartbreaks on the opening day with the Indian women’s table tennis team knocked out of the competition after losing their Round of 16 contest 2-3 to Thailand.
In E-sports, top seed Charan Jot Singh lost to 0-2 to China’s Liu Jiacheng while Karman Singh suffered 1-2 defeat against Bahrain’s Abdulaziz Faqeehi in the round of 32. They will now play in the loser’s bracket.
Later in the day, reigning World and Commonwealth Games champion boxer Nikhat Zareen will be in action as the women’s boxing events also kick off on Sunday.