India achieved their biggest haul in Asian Games history, both in terms of the number of total medals and gold medals, in Hangzhou on Wednesday.
The nation’s athletes collected 12 medals alone on October 4, the 11th day of the competition, to reach a tally of 81 total medals. The three gold medals on the day took their yellow metal tally to 18.
Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, compound archery duo of Ojas Pravin and Jyothi Surekha as well as 4x400m relay quartet comprising Muhammad Anas, Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Ajmal and Rajesh Ramesh stood first on the podium to add three gold to the 15 India had by Tuesday.
Chopra faced stiff competition from compatriot Kishore Kumar Jena, who threw till 87.54 metres. But Chopra’s throw of 88.88 metres won him the first place.
India started Wednesday with 69 medals in their kitty, one less than their previous best medal haul in the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games where they got 70 medals. The 2018 Asiad was also their best gold medal haul with 16 gold medals.
The country surpassed both the marks on Wednesday.
Besides the gold medallists, India netted five silver medals through boxer Lovlina Borgohain, 5000 metre runner Avinash Sable, 800 metre runner Harmilan Bains, javelin thrower Kishore Jena and the 4x400m women’s relay quartet comprising Vithya, Aishwarya, Prachi and Subha.
The four bronze medals on Wednesday came through the mixed doubles squash duo of Abhay Singh and Anahat Singh, boxer Praveen Hooda, wrestler Sunil Kumar and 35 km race-walk mixed team – Ram Baboo and Manju.
Immediately after India crossed the 70-medal mark on Wednesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted, “India shines brighter than ever before at the Asian Games! With 71 medals, we are celebrating our best-ever medal tally, a testament to the unparalleled dedication, grit and sporting spirit of our athletes. Every medal highlights a life journey of hard work and passion. A proud moment for the entire nation. Congrats to our athletes.”
Union Sports Minister Anuraj Thakur had predicted India would win 100 medals in the Hangzhou Asiad. There are still three more days to go for India’s competitors at the Games and there is a possibility India will finish very close to the milestone if not reach it. October 7 could see another medal rush for India.