The Indian athletes at the 2018 Asian Games being held in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia had a fairly successful outing on Day 8 as they added seven medals to the total medal tally. The seven medals for India came in three sporting categories - Athletics, Bridge and Equestrian. Two bronze medals were won in Bridge, two silver medals in equestrian and three silver medals in different running events for the Indian athletes.
The two bronze medals won in the equestrian individual and team jumping events were historical being the first equestrian medals for India at the Asiads since the 1982 Asian Games. Fouaad Mirza was the winner in the individual jumping and also was a part of the team jumping contingent that grabbed the bronze medal.
Bridge was introduced for the first time at the Asian Games this year and India won the bronze medals in Men's team and Mixed team events. The Men's team lost their semifinal match against Singapore whereas the mixed team lost their match against Thailand.
Indian athletics competitors were in action in gold medal matches and produced a decent return as Hima Das, Dutee Chand and Mohammad Anas Yahiya won silver medals in their events.
Reigning 400m world champion Hima Das was a strong favourite to win the 400m title but fell just seven-tenths of a second behind the eventual winner Salwa Naser from Bahrain. The 18-year old young sprinter had broken the Indian record during her qualification run at 51.00 seconds and managed to break it again in the final when she clocked 50.79 seconds becoming the first Indian women ever to run a sub-51 seconds 400m run.
In the men's 400m final, Mohammad Anas Yahiya finished second with a time of 45.69 seconds as he grabbed the silver medal. Fellow Indian sprinter Arokia Rajiv just fell short of a bronze as he had to settle for the fourth position.
Dutee Chand was the third sprinter to grab a silver medal for India today as she finished just 0.02 seconds behind Bahranian runner Edidiong Odiong. The 22-year old runner from the state of Odisha won the first medal in the 100m dash for India in the past 20 years at the Asian Games. Back in 1998, it was Rachita Mistry who had won the bronze in the event. \
The Day 9 of the Asian Games will see stars of the Indian contingent like Saina Nehwal, PV Sindhu, Neeraj Chopra and a lot of other athletes compete for top honours. We take a look at a few probables who might end up on the podium and flourish the tricolour in Indonesia.
PV Sindhu - Women's Singles (Badminton)
The World No. 3 ranked PV Sindhu will be in action in the Women's singles badminton semifinals after her quarterfinal win over Thailand's Jindapol Nitchaon in three sets (21-11, 16-21, 21-14). She is already assured of a bronze medal finish but will be hoping to improvise the medal and possibly set up a finals clash with fellow Indian shuttler Saina Nehwal. Sindhu will face former World No. 1 and current World No. 2 Yamaguchi Akane in a tough semifinal clash but will be raring to grab her individual Asian Games medal after having won the bronze in the Women's team event at the 2014 Incheon Games.
Saina Nehwal - Women's Singles (Badminton)
The second medal probable in the women's singles badminton and World No.10 ranked player Saina Nehwal will be in high spirits after defeating World No. 4 Ratchanok Intanon in straight sets (21-18, 21-16) in the quarterfinals to progress into the final four and assure India of at least the bronze medal. She will take on the world's top ranked shuttler Tai Tzu-ying from the Chinese Taipei for a place in the gold medal match. The prospect of an all-Indian medal match and the hunt for the first Individual medal for Nehwal at the Asian Games makes her a solid contender for winning today.
Neeraj Chopra - Men's Javelin Throw (Athletics)
The 20-year old Neeraj Chopra took the Athletics world by storm when he won the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games 2018 gold medal with a throw of 86.47 metres. He has won gold medals at the Asian Championships, the South Asian Games and the World Junior Championships thus establishing himself as a credible threat for the competition in Indonesia today. At the IAAF Diamond League event in Doha, Chopra lodged the National record with a personal best throw of 87.43 metres and will be a strong contender for a possible gold medal finish at the Asian Games this year.
Sudha Singh - Women's 3000m Steeplechase (Athletics)
The two-time Olympian Sudha Singh will be a contender for a podium finish in the Women's 3000 metres steeplechase event. She had won the gold medal at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games in the event but finished fourth in the 2014 Incheon Games and will be hoping to repeat her feat from eight years ago and finish with a medal again.
Which of these probables do you think will end up with the gold on the podium? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.