Asian Games 2018: Day One Round-up
The eighteenth Asian Games have finally arrived.
Over 550 sportspersons have made their way to Indonesia to take part in the 2018 Asian Games. Over the next two weeks, they will participate in over 40 sports which will take place in the cities of Jakarta and Palembang.
Day One of the pan-Asian multi-sport games brought little success and a lot of progress for India. However, there were a few disappointments as well as tournament favourites bowed out.
India started the day with a win in Badminton Team event. The Men's team, comprising of Kidambi Srikanth, HS Prannoy, Sameer Verma, Sai Praneeth, and others took on the Maldives Men's team. It was an easy win on this occasion, as the Indian team ran out three-nil winners.
Rowing was another early sport which yielded favourable results for the Indian contingent. Dattu Baban Bhokanal was representing Indian in the Men's Singles Sculls and moved to the finals easily after finishing 4th overall. Om Prakash and Sawarn Singh also moved into the finals of their event, Men's Doubles Sculls. The third Indian representation to move on to the final of their event was the pair of Gurinder Singh and Malkeet Singh, who finished third overall in their heat. The remaining Indians moved on to the Repechage rounds.
There was further disappointment for India teams in the Handball and Basketball events. Both the Women's teams lost their respective matches. The Indian Women's Basketball team lost to Chinese Taipei, 84-61. The Women's Handball team, on the other hand, lost 21-36 to China. Indian's Women Volleyball team also lost to South Korea, losing in straight games.
There was also disappointment for the Sepak Takraw Women's and the Taekwondo Poomsae Women's team, as they both lost to their respective opponents.
Tennis brought relative success to India, as the Mixed Doubles pair of Karman Kaur Thandi and Divij Sharan progressed to the Round of 16. Thandi and Sharan defeated the Philippines pair of Capadocia and Lim in straight sets (6-4, 6-4).
Going into the games, Shooting and Wrestling were the two sports most likely to bring India some medals. And they did not disappoint.
Four Qualification events and two Final matches made up Day One of Shooting. Shreyasi Singh and Seema Tomar finished strongly in their Women's Trap Qualification. Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Lakshay did the same in the Men's Qualification. The event will continue in the following days.
There were high expectations going into the tournament from the pair of Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma. However, there was disappointment for the duo as they were eliminated in the 10m Air Pistol Qualification.
In the 10m Air Rifle Mixed Team event, however, there was success for India. The pair of Apurvi Chandel and Ravi Kumar won India's first medal of the 2018 Asian Games, as they finished third behind Chinese Taipei and China.
Wrestling brought the second of the two medals for India, as Bajrang Punia won the Gold in 65 Kg weight category. Punia dominated in his weight category throughout the day and ended on a high by winning India's first Gold medal of the 2018 Asian Games.
The big shock of the day came when Sushil Kumar was knocked out by Bahrain's Adam Batirov. Batirov defeat in the subsequent round meant that Kumar couldn't even make the Repechage round.
Pawan Kumar was the only other grappler who progressed to a medal bout. However, he was thrashed in the Bronze medal bout. All the other grapplers were eliminated in the early rounds.
There was success for the Indian Women's Hockey team as well, as they defeated Indonesia by eight goals to nil. Gurjit scored a hattrick for the Women, while Vandana and Navneet bagged a brace each. Udita scored the remaining goal.
Kabaddi saw both the Men's and the Women's team in action. The Indian Women's team defeated Japan, 43-12. The Men's team, on the other hand, defeated neighbours Bangladesh and Sri Lanka by 50-21 and 44-28, respectively.
Finally, there was a broken record in Swimming, as Srihari Nataraj created a new National Record in 100m Backstroke event. The youngster complete 100m in 55.86 seconds, breaking Arvind Mani's record.
Srihari and Sajan Prakash made it through to the final of their respective events. However, they couldn't achieve a podium finish.
The action is set to continue tomorrow, on Day Two of the 2018 Asian Games.