India puts up its best Asiad show

India puts up its best Asiad show

Jakarta: Gold medallist India's Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar pose with the Indian tricolour after winning in bridge competition at the 18th Asian Games in Jakarta on Saturday, Sept 1, 2018. (PTI Photo/Shahbaz Khan) (PTI9_1_2018_000058B)

A brilliant gold in boxing and another one in bridge lifted India to their best-ever performance in Asian Games history on Saturday. 

Only triathlon is remaining on Sunday’s final day, when India won’t have any competitor in the fray. As such, their medals tally reads 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze for a total of 69 medals.

Amit Panghal’s boxing gold was the highlight on the day while India also had the oldest gold medallist of the Games in their ranks — the 60-year-old Pranab Bardhan, who partnered the 56-year-old Shibhnath Sarkar for the men’s pair gold in bridge. While their gold medal total equals the haul in the first Asian Games in 1951, the overall tally is four better than the 2010 showing. In the inaugural Asiad in New Delhi, India had won 15 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze for a total of 51 medals to claim the second spot on the table.

The events, medals and participating nations were much fewer at the time, with only 11 countries taking part.

India came close to matching the gold haul at the Guangzhou Games in 2010. In that edition, India had won 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze for a total of 65.

Just one of the seven countries to take part in all the Asian Games so far, India have been in the top 10 on all occasions barring the 1990 one. A miserable total of one gold, eight silver and 14 bronze medals in that edition is their worst show ever.