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.
India’s mixed equestrian team made history on Tuesday by clinching the gold medal in the dressage event at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou. This remarkable achievement marks India’s inaugural team gold in dressage.
Anush Agarwalla, Hriday Chheda, Divyakriti Singh, Sudipti Hajela, along with their respective horses, combined to achieve a remarkable score of 209.205. Their outstanding performance secured India’s first gold medal in the equestrian event in a span of 41 years. The last time India tasted success in dressage was during the 1986 edition when they won a bronze medal. Notably, at the 1982 Games in New Delhi, Raghubir Singh had secured a gold in the eventing individual category.
Anush Agarwalla, hailing from Kolkata, began his equestrian journey at the tender age of three. His passion for the sport led him to compete in local events as a child. At 11, he moved to Delhi to pursue his equestrian dreams while continuing his education in Kolkata. In 2017, Anush relocated to Germany for advanced training and better horse facilities. During the challenging COVID-19 lockdown, he remained in Germany to stay dedicated to his training. With the team gold secured, Anush now sets his sights on qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Mumbai’s Hriday Chheda discovered his love for equestrianism during a playful pony ride near his Juhu residence. He honed his skills at the Japalouppe Equestrian Centre near Pune before joining the Amateur Riders’ Club at Mahalaxmi Racecourse in Mumbai, where he gained exposure to state and national-level competitions. Over the past decade, the 25-year-old has trained and competed across various parts of Europe. His partnership with the 14-year-old gelding horse, Emerald, leased from Dutch international Ilse van Cranenbroek, proved formidable at the Asian Games in Hangzhou.
Jaipur-born Divyakriti Singh Rathore has represented India in numerous international competitions across Europe and national events. A 23-year-old international dressage rider, Divyakriti pursued her passion while studying psychology at Jesus and Mary College, University of Delhi. She embarked on extensive training in Europe, including countries like the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, and Austria. In 2020, she made Europe her training base, and her dedication earned her the No.1 spot in Asia earlier this year. Divyakriti looks ahead to the individual final on Wednesday.
The youngest member of the gold-winning dressage team, Sudipti Hajela, was born in Indore on May 10, 2002. Her equestrian journey began as a hobby at the age of six, which eventually became her career. She completed her schooling at Daly College, Indore, which played a pivotal role in her equestrian development. Sudipti then moved to Paris for training, where she crossed paths with her current trainers, who are integral members of India’s Olympics and national teams.