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Asian Games 2018: Day 5 round-up as Shooting, Racquet Sports save India's blushes after Kabaddi suffers historic loss 

SENIOR ANALYST
Feature
753   //    23 Aug 2018, 22:53 IST

Shardul Vihan became India's youngest Asiad medal winner on Day 5
Shardul Vihan became India's youngest Asiad medal winner on Day 5

After four days of action-packed thrilling action, India landed fifteen medals. Once again, it was two of India's favourite sports- Shooting and Wrestling- who shone through the early days. However, it was a peripheral sport that stole the show during the early days. Wushu, surprisingly, brought back four medals!

As a result, Day Five was gearing up to be another exciting one for India. However, there were some big disappointments on the fifth day, which overshadowed the achievements.

Rowing was the big talk of the day in the early hours, as five different Finals saw an Indian representation. Men's Single Sculls, Men's Double Sculls, Men's Pair, Women's Double Sculls, and Men's Lightweight Four, all had Final 'A' (Medal Event) scheduled for today. However, one-by-one the Indian athletes fell behind their respective competitors and saw several medal opportunities slip out.

In the end, the rowing contingent finished with three Fourth-placed and two Sixth-placed finishes on the day. There is hope, however, as more events come our way tomorrow, August 24.

Sports Climbing is an event quite unfamiliar in India. It didn't stop the discipline from making it on to the Asian Games roster, however. Today was the first time an India was in action in this event.

In total, there were three Indian's participating over two events. Maibam Chingkheinganba and Bharat Pereira were present in Men's Speed event, while Shreya Nankar was there in the Women's Speed one. All the three youngsters did extremely well at the big stage. However, it was only Maibam who reached the final of his event. Once there, he finished Twelfth.

The frustration continued with Archery, with several Indians competing in the Recurve events. Amongst those were Atanu Das and Deepika Kumari.

Kumari suffered an early exit, along with almost the entire Archery contingent. However, the blame cannot fall to the Indian archer, as she put up a fight even to be in Indonesia after suffering from dengue not that long ago.

Atanu Das reached the farthest out of all the archers present. He did well to reach the quarterfinals but was on the losing side in that round.

On to some sports which went under the radar on Day 5 of the Asian Games.

Indian Women's team lost a closely contested match in Basketball 5x5. They were beaten by Indonesia, 69-66.

In Bowling Men's Trios, two Indian teams took part and finished in 21st and 27th place, respectively.

Bridge was back on Day 5. The Indian Men's team stood in the seventh position at the end of Round Nine. The Super mixed team was in the Fifth position at the end of Round Six, while the Mixed team was leading the pack after two rounds.

In Canoe/ Kayak Slalom, India's Champa Mourya qualified for the final. However, she finished Seventh in the medal event.

The earliest event of the day was Golf, where there were rounds involving both Indian Men and Women. After the combined efforts of the members, the Indian Women's team finished with a score of +2, while the Men's team finished with -3. Three more rounds will follow.

Elsewhere, the Indian Women's team lost to Kazakhstan in straight games in a Volleyball Preliminary Pool match.

The finals of many of the Artistic Gymnastics routines were also scheduled for the day. Aruna Buddha Reddy and Pranati Nayak were present in the Vault final. However, they both lost out on a podium finish after finishing Seventh and Eighth.

Day Five of the Asian Games saw the return of a big sport with different categories. Badminton returned to the fray, after finishing up with the Men's and Women's Team Finals. Unsurprisingly, there was a lot of Indian representation as the racquet sport headed into the Singles and Double rounds.

In Women's Singles, both Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu won their Round of 32 matches. While Saina cruised through her match, Sindhu had to struggle to make it through hers. In Women's Doubles, the pairing of Ponappa and Reddy won their match in straight games. However, the second pairing- Panda and Sunil- were beaten.

In Men's Doubles, Rankireddy and Shetty progressed, as did Attri and Reddy. In Mixed Doubles, however, both the Indian pairings lost.

Sticking with racquet sports, Squash was featured for the first time on Day 5. Both Saurav Ghosal and Harinder Pal Sandhu won two matches each to reach the Quarterfinal stage of Men's Singles event. Joshna Chinappa and Dipika Pallikal achieved the same result, as they also made it through to the Women's Singles Quarters.

Tennis, once again, surprised a few people. Ankita Raina had to settle for a Bronze after her amazing run in the Singles competition came to an end. She lost to China's Zhang Shuai. Things didn't get better for Raina, as she and Bopanna lost their Quarterfinal match by two sets to one.

There were better results in the Men's section. Bopanna and Sharan made it through to the Men's Doubles Semifinal, assuring India of another medal. Prajnesh Gunneswaran did the same in Men's Singles, as he beat South Korean Kwon Soonwoo.

There were more finals to contest in Swimming. Virdhawal Khade and Srihari Nataraj reached the finals of Men's 50m Butterfly and 200m Backstroke respectively. While Khade finished Eighth in his final, Nataraj ended the race in Sixth. 

Weightlifting made its 2018 Asiad debut on Day 5, although with only two medals in play. India's Ajay Singh and Sathish Shivalingam were both present in Men's 77 Kg but missed out on a medal.

The big shock of the day came through Kabaddi. While the Women's team qualified for the Final, the Men's team were defeated. They lost their Semifinal match to Iran, 27-18, and had to settle for a Bronze. It is the first time in Asiad, since the introduction of Kabaddi, that the Indian team will go home without the Gold medal.

Nevertheless, there was a silver lining, which was provided by Shooting. 15-year-old Shardul Vihan won the Silver medal in Men's Double Trap, becoming the youngest Indian ever to win an Asiad medal.

Day 5 was not the best for India. Here's hoping for a better Day 6!

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SENIOR ANALYST
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