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IndiaAsian Games Athletics: India bag 7 track and field medals on...

Asian Games Athletics: India bag 7 track and field medals on day marked by Neeraj Chopra-Kishore Jena battle


HANGZHOU, OCT 4: Star javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra prevailed in an intense and stirring duel with compatriot Kishore Jena after brushing aside a technical glitch to defend his Asian Games gold, while the men's 400m relay team also retained its title as snared 12 medals on Wednesday to record its best-ever show at the continental showpiece.

The track and field athletes delivered seven medals on the day took India's overall tally to 81 — the best-ever show by the country at the Asian Games. India's previous best medal haul of 70 came in the last edition at Jakarta.

India is assured of more medals in several competitions and the country is expected to breach the 90-medal mark, if not touch the coveted 100.

Neeraj Chopra was the overwhelming favourite in his event but Jena threw up a huge surprise when he heaved his spear to 86.77m to overtake his decorated compatriot, who had managed 84.49m in his second attempt.

This was after a dramatic start when Chopra's first effort was not recorded due to a malfunction in electronic distance measurement.

The Indian camp was jumping with joy with the two Indians locked in a thrilling battle to outdo each other.

Chopra then responded to the challenge like a true champion and came up with his season-best effort of 88.88m in his fourth attempt to regain the lead. Jena too gave his all to further better his personal-best mark by covering the distance of 87.54m but it was good enough only to finish second behind Chopra.

The two Indians could not better their throws after that and settled for a 1-2.

“I felt very good with my opening throw but unfortunately they could not record that. I am pretty happy for Jena. It really became a tough duel which I enjoyed thoroughly. We are used to such high-level competition.

“When he took lead it became very interesting. We have to keep telling ourselves that we can overcome the challenge and emerge as best,” Chopra said after winning gold.

With his stunning effort, Kishore thus sealed his berth for the Paris Olympics. The qualification mark was 85.50. Chopra has already qualified for the 2024 Games with a throw of 88.77 at the Championships in Budapest in August this year.

Indian quartet of Anas Muhammed Yahiya, Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Ajmal Variyathodi and Rajesh Ramesh also sealed the gold for India in the men's 4x400m relay with a timing of 3:01.58.

Indian quartet of Vithya Ramraj, Aishwarya Mishra, Prachi and Subha Venkatesan also claimed a silver in women's 4x400m relay.

The India quartet came up with an effort of 3:27.85 to finish second, while Bahrain dished out a Games record effort of 3:27:65 to claim the top position, while Sri Lanka won the bronze with a timing of 3:30:88.

It was third silver of the day for India in athletics.

Harmilan Bains and Avinash Sable won a silver medal each in women's 800m and men's 5000m respectively.

While Harmilan clocked an impressive timing of 2:03.75 to bag the silver, Sable produced an effort of 13:21.09.

Earlier during the day, Indian race walkers Manju Rani and Ram Baboo won the bronze medal in the inaugural 35km mixed team event.

In men's high jump, Anil Kushare produced a season best jump of 2.26m but it was not enough as he missed a medal, finishing at the fourth spot. He needed to clear the 2.29m mark to stay in the fight for a medal.

Jesse Sandesh produced a jump of 2.19m to finish 9th.

India's Sheena Varkey Nellickal finishes sixth in the Women's Triple Jump final with a throw of 13.34m.

The Northlines is an independent source on the Web for news, facts and figures relating to Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh and its neighbourhood.

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