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Asian Games Invitational Tournament: India record historic second-place finish

612   //    16 Feb 2018, 12:03 IST

Devinder Singh started off in fine fashion, winning India's first gold of the tournament
Devinder Singh started off in fine fashion, winning India's first gold of the tournament

What's the story?

The Indian contingent that took part in the recently concluded Asian Games Invitational tournament finished second on the points table, recording the best ever finish for India in the history of the tournament.

The tournament, which was contested as a litmus test ahead of the Asian Games later this year saw India clinch a total of 43 medals which comprised of 20 gold medals, 8 silver medals, and 15 bronze medals. Meanwhile, China has finished far behind on sixth, with a total of eight medals, (6 golds, 1 silver, 1 bronze).

In case you didn't know

The Asian Games Invitational was held between the 8th of February 2018 to the 15th of February 2018 at Jakarta Indonesia. The tournament attracted participation from a total of 17 countries who sent some of their best athletes to train for the Asian Games in August and September.

The heart of the matter

Day 1 of the competition was a bright spark in India's future at the Games as the duo of Devinder Singh Kang (Javelin Throw) and Sonia Baishya (400m) bagged gold medals while three more silver medals and one bronze medal were added to the tally from various other events.

Sarita Gayakwad and Jabir Madari added to the gold tally with impressive wins in the 400m hurdles for women and men respectively while the 1500m category gold medals were swept away by Kumar Saroj (Men's 1500m) and PU Chitra (Women's 1500m) respectively.

In the 57kg category of Taekwondo, Kashish Malik bagged the top honors after beating Roslan Ali in the finals of the competition.

On Day 3, Jinson Johnson outran his opponents in the 800m race to bag the gold medal while in the 400m relay, the men's contingent of Jithu Baby, Kunhu Mohammad, Sumit Kumar and Jeevan Suresh complemented the gold medal win by the women's 400m relay quartet of Hima Das, Sonia Baishya, Saritaben Gayakwad and Nithya Shree Anand, the only team which ran unopposed to win guaranteed gold to add to the tally.

In the end, the Indian team did extremely well to ward off stiff competition and clinch 20 gold medals apart from 8 silver medals and 15 bronze medals, finishing one spot below Indonesia, which claimed 67 medals in all.

What's next?

Following excellent returns from the invitational tournament, the Indian contingent will be looking to perform even better in the Asian Games later this year.

Author's take

Training is one of the essential needs of a sports person. Given that the Indian team performed exceedingly well in the test competition, it will hold the athletes in good stead to bring home laurels to the country with performances in the Asian Games.

Sports. Sports and a whole lot of sports.
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