Welcome to Spodcast, the sports update on Firstpost. India had another impressive day at the Asian Games yesterday.
In athletics, the women's relay team won a fifth consecutive Asian Games gold in the 4x400m race. Hima Das, MR Poovamma, Sarita Gayakwad and VK Vismaya faced little competition in the event and took the gold easily.
India have dominated this particular event since the 2002 Asian Games. Hima Das, who won a silver in the 400m race, began first and gave her team a healthy lead. MR Poovamma maintained the lead as she handed the baton to Sarita Gayakwad. Vismaya completed the race in first place. They finished the race in 3:28.72, and missed the Games record of 3:28.68 by a whisker.
Meanwhile, the men’s 4x400m relay team won a silver medal. Kunhu Muhammed, Dharun Ayyasamy, Muhammed Anas and Arokia Rajiv completed the race in 3:01.85 to finish in second place. Qatar set an Asian record of 3:00.56, winning the gold in the process. Japan took the bronze, completing the race in 3:01.94.
In the men’s 1500m event, Jinson Johnson completed the race in 3 minutes 44.72 seconds, bringing home the gold. Johnson took a big lead in the last 80m of the race. Amir Moradi of Iran took the silver while Mohammed Tiouali of Bahrain finished third to take the bronze.
Johnson was beaten by compatriot Manjit Singh to the gold in the 800m event. He had won a silver in that race. "I had run a good race, it's just that Manjit ran better. I was happy for him," said Johnson about the second place finish. Speaking about the 1500m race, he said, "I concentrated on the last spurt, nothing else. It was about calming the mind, and taking off. I can win gold with the right mindset." He dedicated his win to his home state of Kerala which is recovering from floods.
In the women's 1500m race, PU Chitra won the bronze with a timing of 4:12.56. Chitra, the Asian champion, had won the gold at the 2017 Asian Championships with a timing of 4:17.92. But she finished third at this Asian Games as Bahrain took gold as well as silver in the 1500m race. Kalkidan Befkadu finished first in 4:07.88 while Tigist Belay took silver with a timing of 4:09.12.
Some bad news in men's hockey for India. The defending champions lost 7-6 in penalty shootouts to Malaysia in the semi-final after the match ended 2-2. Their semi-final loss also means that India have missed the opportunity to qualify for the 2020 Olympics as Asian Games champions.
After 60 minutes, the two teams were level 2-2. Harmanpreet Singh had scored for India in the 33rd minute. Malaysia's Faizal Saari equalized in the 39th minute. Varun Kumar then scored another goal from a penalty corner in the 40th minute to give India a 2-1 lead. Muhammad Razie scored Malaysia’s second goal with less than two minutes to the final whistle. After Malaysia's equalizer, the semi-final saw a shoot-off.
Malaysia scored five goals in the shoot-off while India managed to score only four. SV Sunil missed his shot at the goal.
Discus thrower Seema Punia won a bronze after finishing third at the Asian Games. Seema, the defending champion, managed a distance of 62.26m. Chen Yang of China, the Asian champion, hurled the disc 65.12m in her final attempt to win the gold. Feng Bin, also from China, won the silver with a 64.25m throw.
Seema had won the gold at the 2014 Asian Games with a 61.03m throw. Her 62.26m throw yesterday was her best in six years but it was good enough for the bronze.
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Updated Date: Aug 31, 2018 11:44:00 IST