India hail most successful Asian Games, Myanmar celebrates its first gold in Hangzhou

  • India
  • Wednesday, 04 Oct 2023

India's Jyothi Surekha Vennam (right) and Ojas Pravin Deotale celebrate their victory in the archery compound mixed team final between India and South Korea during the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou in China's eastern Zhejiang province on Monday, October 4, 2023. - AFP

HANGZHOU, China: India celebrated its most successful Asian Games on Wednesday with a gold medal in archery as the continental showpiece in Hangzhou was hit with another doping case.

Having won a national record 70 medals at the Jakarta Games five years ago, India grabbed their 71st in Hangzhou when Ojas Pravin Deotale and Jyothi Surekha Vennam pipped South Korean archers for gold in the mixed team compound event, a non-Olympic discipline.

"With 71 medals, we are celebrating our best-ever medal tally, a testament to the unparalleled dedication, grit and sporting spirit of our athletes," India Prime Minister Narendra Modi wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

India added to the tally with minor medals in boxing. More gold may be in store for the nation at the athletics later on Wednesday when Olympic champion Neeraj Chopra competes in the javelin.

The rising Asian power has work to do to catch China, though, with the hosts hurtling toward 170 gold medals after winning titles in boxing and freestyle roller skating.

China's Li Qian, runner-up in women's middleweight boxing at the Tokyo Olympics, beat India's world champion Lovlina Borgohain for gold in the 66-75kg division with an unanimous decision.

It was a case of Li turning the tables on Borgohain who beat the Chinese boxer in the semi-finals on the way to the middleweight world championship in March.

Pakistan's first athletics world championship medallist Arshad Nadeem pulled out of the Games with a knee injury, foiling a javelin showdown with Chopra, the man who beat him for the world title at Budapest.

Another athlete out of the Games is Saudi Arabian distance runner Yousef Mohammed Alasiri, who tested positive for darbepoetin and was provisionally suspended.

Darbepoetin is a re-engineered form of erythropoietin, also known as EPO, a common blood-booster.

Alasiri, 34, was entered in the men's 10,000 metres but did not start the race. He was also entered in the 5,000m but is no longer on the start list for the event later on Wednesday.

Afghanistan boxer Mohammad Khaibar Nooristani was provisionally suspended last week for a positive test.

China completed a sweep of the race walking events, picking up gold in the mixed team 35km early on Wednesday, with Japan taking silver ahead of bronze-winning India.

Chinese walkers dominated the men's and women's individual events, taking gold and silver in each.

Myanmar claimed their first gold of the Games, beating Indonesia for the men's quadrant title in sepak takraw, the traditional kick volleyball sport popular in Southeast Asia.

Qatar's Olympic champion Mutaz Barshim will bid for a third Asian Games gold in the high jump later on Wednesday, 13 years after winning his first in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou.

Four-times Asian Cup champions Japan play Hong Kong in the semi-finals of men's soccer and will be expected to cruise into the gold medal decider.

South Korea meet Uzbekistan in the other semi-final. (Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford). - Reuters

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