Asian Games champion Chirag Shetty and Satwiksairaj Rankireddy’s bid for the fourth BWF title of the season failed as they lost to China’s world No. 1 pair of Liang Wei Keng and Wang Chang in three games in the double's final at the China Masters badminton tournament in Shenzhen on Sunday.
Shooters got India’s campaign off to a golden start on Day 5 of the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou with the men’s 10m Air Pistol team finishing on top of the podium before Naorem Roshibina Devi bettered her 2018 Jakarta Games’ bronze to a silver in the women’s 60kg wushu sanda event.
Later in the day, Anush Agarwalla added a bronze to his kitty after the historic gold in the mixed equestrian team. He finished third in the dressage intermediate I freestyle event, even as the men’s doubles tennis team of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni, and the men’s squash teams assured themselves of medals.
Kolkata-born Anush, 23, mounted on horse Etro, scored 73.030 per cent of the points. It is the first-ever individual dressage medal at the Asian Games. The other Indian in fray, Vipul Chheda, however, was eliminated from the dressage individual event.
In men’s doubles, India will look to defend its title at the Asian Games after the second-seeded pair of Ramkumar Ramanathan and Saketh Myneni made the final by beating Korea’s Soonwoo Kwon and Seongchan Hong 6-1, 7-6, 10-0 in the semifinal encounter.
Ramanathan and Myneni will take on Chinese Taipei’s Yu-hsiou Hsu and Jason Jung in the men’s doubles gold medal match on Friday.
The Indian men’s squash team joined their women’s counterparts in ensuring a medal after recording a 3-0 win against Nepal in the Pool A tie. Abhay Singh and Mahesh Mangaonkar won their matches in straight games against Amrit Thapa and Arhant Simha, respectively. Harinder Pal Singh Sandhu, also added to Nepal’s misery by registering an 11-1, 11-2, 11-6 victory in the final contest.
With that, India managed to register four out of five wins to assure a semi-final spot and a medal. India’s only defeat came against Pakistan on Wednesday.
Earlier, the Indian women’s team also made the semi-finals, despite losing their last Pool B match against Malaysia 0-3. This was India’s first defeat in the Pool stage, and as such they also assured a medal by reaching the last four stages.
In boxing, 2022 Birmingham CWG champion Jaismine Lamboriya, stormed into the quarterfinals of the women’s 60kg weight division after registering a commanding RSC Round 2 win against Saudi Arabia’s Hadeel Ghazwan Ashour. The 22-year-old Indian pugilist had scored a perfect 10 in the opening round of the Rd of 16 contest.
With the win, Jaismine is one win away from a medal at the Asian Games and sealing a women’s 60kg Olympic quota for India. She will take on Ungyong Won from DPR Korea in the quarter-final on October 1.
World championships bronze medallist Nishant Dev stormed into the quarterfinals of the men’s 71kg category after knocking out Vietnam’s Tung Phuoc Bui in the opening round of their Rd of 16 clash on Thursday.
However, it was the end of the campaign for world championships bronze medallist Deepak Bhoria, who was knocked out of the Games after suffering a 1-4 split decision loss to 2021 world champion Tsuboi Tomoya of Japan in their Round of 16 clash of the men’s 51kg weight division.
Earlier in the day, the men’s 10m Air Pistol team event consisting Sarabjot Singh, Arjun Singh Cheema, Shiva Narwal staged an incredible comeback to bag top spot. The Indians shot a combined score of 1734 in the 10m air pistol team final to win the first Indian gold medal of the day.
China bagged the silver medal while Vietnam settled for bronze to complete the podium.
After their team gold, Sarabjot and Arjun, however failed to add to their medal tally in the men’s 10m air pistol individual final. While Sarabjot finished fourth with a score of 199.0, Arjun scored 113.3 to rank eighth.
Vietnam’s Pham Quang Huy won gold, Wonho Lee of the Republic of Korea claimed silver and Uzbekistan’s Vladimir Svechnikov settled for bronze in the men’s 10m air pistol event.
Meanwhile, in wushu, Naorem Roshibina Devi bettered her 2018 Jakarta Games’ bronze to a silver in the Hangzhou edition. Roshibina crashed to a 0-2 defeat in the women’s 60kg gold medal bout, losing to China’s Wu Xiaowei.
The 22-year-old Indian athlete, however, bagged the silver medal, equalling Sandhyarani Devi’s feat from the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou. Naorem Roshibina Devi had defeated Kazakhstan’s Aiman Karshyga and Nguyen Thi Thu Thuy in the previous rounds at Hangzhou.
Indian swimmers Tanish George Mathew, Vishal Grewal, Anand AS and Srihari Nataraj clocked 3:21.22, to set a national record time, in the men’s 4x100m freestyle relay heats and advanced to the final. The team will swim in the relay final later in the day.
Elsewhere, the women’s badminton team reached the quarterfinals after beating Mongolia 3-0. India will face Thailand in the last eight stages on Friday.
Two-time Olympic medallist shuttler World No 15 PV Sindhu led India’s charge beating 775th-ranked Myagmartseren Ganbaatar 21-2, 21-3 in the opening match of the tie. Ashmita Chaliha, a South Asian Games women’s singles champion, also won 21-2, 21-3 against Kherlen Darkhanbaatar to give India a 2-0 lead. In the third match, the 18-year-old Anupama Upadhyaya clinched a 21-0, 21-2 victory against Khulangoo Baatar to make it 3-0 for India.
In men’s football, Khalil Marran’s brace at the start of the second half saw Saudi Arabia beat India, thus ending the hopes of the Sunil Chhetri-led side in the pre-quarters of Asian Games 2023.
In Artistic Gymnastics, Pranati Nayak finished with a score of 12.350 to rank eighth in the women’s vault final at the Asian Games 2023. The 28-year-old scored 12.100, with -0.3 penalty points, in vault 1 and notched 12.600 in vault 2. She had qualified sixth in the subdivision 1 round at Hangzhou.
In golf, India’s Aditi Ashok shot a five-under 67 to share the second spot with four players as Japan’s Saki Baba shot a superb seven-under 65 to grab the early lead. Among Aditi’s teammates, Pranavi Urs was T17 with one-under 71 while Avani Prashanth was T21 at even-par 72. With the best two scores being counted towards the team total, India are in the fifth position in the team competition with a combined total of 138.
Among the men, two-time Olympian Anirban Lahiri scored 65, -7 to par, to finish T9 (tied for ninth place) in the men’s individual golf round 1. Meanwhile, SSP Chawrasia (67), Shubhankar Sharma (68) and Khalin Joshi (70) are T19, T22 and T31, respectively. The Indian men’s golf team is T5, along with Hong Kong China, after the first round with a score of 200. The men’s and women’s round 2 events will be played on Friday.