Sprinters, two silver in equestrian & two bronze in bridge delight India

Jakarta, Aug 26 (IANS) Indian sprinters Muhammed Anas, Hima Das and Dutee Chand claimed silver medals, while two rare silver medals in equestrian and two bronze medals in the bridge event soared Indias medal tally to 36 at the end of ninth day at the 18th Asian Games on Sunday.

Among other success stories on the day, ace Indian singles shuttlers Saina Nehwal and P.V. Sindhu entered the semi-finals to assure two historic medals, while the mens and womens compound archery teams advanced to the finals and Indias mens hockey team defeated South Korea 5-3 to be on the verge of qualifying for the semi-finals.

The first medals in the day came from the equestrian competition. In the final of the jumping team event, the Indian team of Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Malik, Jitender Singh and Fouaad Mirza scored 121.30 points to finish second.

Fouaad also shone in the individual event, taking the silver with 26.40 points.

Then in the evening, the athletes took charge, with Anas and Hima claiming the silver medals in the mens and womens 400 metres races respectively, while Dutee finished second in the womens 100 metres race.

Reigning Asian champion Anas completed the race in 45.69 seconds to be second, while Hima clocked a national record mark of 50.79 seconds to take the second place in the womens race.

The other two Indian competitors in the races, Rajiv Arokia and Nirmala finished fourth. While Rajiv timed 45.84 seconds to complete the mens 400m race, Nirmala finished the race in 52.96 seconds.

Dutee clocked 11.32 seconds to earn the silver. The gold medal went to Edidiong Odiong of Bahrain, who clocked 11.30 while Chinas Yongli Wei took the bronze, clocking 11.33.

In the mens 10,000m category, Indias Govindan Lakshmanan missed out on a medal as he was disqualified following an official review.

Indias Anu Raghavan and Jauna Murmu qualified for the womens 400m hurdles final. Anu took a time of 56.77 seconds to finish at the third place in Heat 2, while Jauna clocked 59.20 seconds to take the fourth spot in Heat 1.

India collected two bronze medals in bridge which is making its debut at the Games. Indias mixed team and mens bridge teams lost their semi-final matches.

The mixed team, comprising Kiran Nadar, Satyanarayana Bachiraju, Hema Deora, Gopinath Manna, Himani Khandelwal and Rajeev Khandelwal, lost to Thailand in their semi-final match.

The mens team of Jaggy Shivdasani, Rajeshwar Tewari, Sumit Mukherjee, Debabrata Majumder, Raju Tolani and Ajay Khare, fell against Singapore in the semi-finals.

Indias success also continued in archery, with the mens and womens compound archery teams overcoming Taiwan teams in the semi-finals on Sunday to set up title clashes against South Korean teams.

The mens team, comprising Rajat Chauhan, Aman Saini and Abhishek Verma, beat Qatar (227-213), Philippines (227-226) and Taiwan (230-227) in the three matches on the day to be one win away from successfully defending their title.

The womens teams of Muskan Kirar, Madhumita Kumari and Jyothi Surekha Vennam got past Indonesia (229-224) and Taiwan (225-222) in the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

In badminton court, Olympic 2016 silver medallist Sindhu edged past Thailands Nitchaon Jindapol 21-11, 16-21, 21-14, while Saina defeated Ratchanok Inthanon of Thailand 21-18, 21-16 in their quarter-final matches.

In the semi-finals, Saina will meet Taiwanese top seed Tai Tzu Ying, while third seeded Sindhu will take on Japanese Akane Yamaguchi.

This is the first time Indian women singles shuttlers are assured of a medal in Asian Games. And India will have the first singles medals in badminton after the 1982 Asiad when Syed Modi won the bronze.

In mens hockey, India will only need a draw against Sri Lanka on Tuesday to end Pool A as the top ranked team and enter the semi-finals. Indias 5-3 win over South Korea was their fourth successive victory here.

It was drag-flicker Rupinder Pal Singh (1st minute), Chinglensana Singh Kangujam (5th), Lalit Upadhyay (16th), Manpreet Singh (49th) and Akashdeep Singh (56th) who contributed to Indias scoreline. For South Korea, Skipper Manjae Jung (33th, 35th) and Jhongyun Jang (60th) scored.

Meanwhile, the Indian womens table tennis team reached the quarter-finals. Team comprising Mouma Das, Ayhika Mukherjee and Sutritha Mukherjee, defeated Qatar 3-0 in the first match but lost to China 0-3 in the second match. In the third match of the day, India outplayed Iran 3-1 to join China in the quarter-finals.

The mens team of G. Sathiyan, Sharath Kamal and Harmeet Desai won their first match 3-0 against the UAE.

In handball action, India produced a spirited fight before going down 31-35 to Taiwan in Group 3.

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