By Elton Gomes
On day 6 of the Asiad, top tennis players Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan won their maiden men’s doubles gold at the Games by beating Aleksander Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4. Adding to India’s medal tally was Heena Sidhu with a bronze in women’s 10m Air Pistol final. Iran stunned India’s women’s kabaddi team and emerged victorious 24-27 to win gold in the final.
Bopanna and Sharan clinch gold
The Indian men’s tennis pair of Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan won their first gold medal after defeating Kazakhstan’s Aleksandar Bublik and Denis Yevseyv 6-3, 6-4 in the men’s doubles final. The final match lasted for 52 minutes. Bopanna and Sharan added to India’s medal tally by wining the sixth gold medal at the Games. Earlier in the semi-final, Bopanna and Sharan outclassed Japan’s Kaito Uesugi and Sho Shimabukoro 4-6, 6-3, 10-8 in a three-set thriller that lasted for 72 minutes.
GOLD NUMBER 6
Indian tennis champs @rohanbopanna and @divijsharan have excelled themselves, and with their FANTASTIC performance, won a GOLD in Men’s Doubles!! #AsianGames2018 #KheloIndia #IndiaAtAsianGames pic.twitter.com/Z0wbs1QrmA
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) August 24, 2018
In the final match, in just under 20 minutes, Bopanna-Sharan took a 4-1 lead in the opening set with two breaks of serves under their command. Thanks to Bopanna’s powerful serves and Sharan’s confident play at the net, the Indian duo wrapped up the opening set in style. The Kazakhs had their moments, but inconsistent play led to their downfall. Playing from the back of the court, Bopanna was instrumental in the win due to his strong returns.
Heena Sidhu finishes third
Experienced Indian shooter Heena Sidhu had to settle for bronze in the women’s 10m Air Pistol final. Sidhu shot a near perfect 10.8 with just three shooters left in the field. However, with a 9.6 in her next attempt, Sidhu was unable to finish in a better position. Sidhu made an incredible comeback after being in 13th and 17th places in the qualification stage. She looked a bit discontent with the bronze medal as she managed to reduce the gap to 0.1 between her and the top spot.
— NDTV Sports (@Sports_NDTV) August 24, 2018
“It is all because of my efforts in the finals (that I have won a medal). The qualification was low. I am not happy with it at all,” Heena told PTI when asked about her effort in the finals. Sixteen-year-old Manu Bhaker was left disappointed after finishing fifth in the main event. Bhaker’s coach said that she should be given more time.
Rowers add to India’s medals
Indian rowers added to India’s medal tally after winning a gold and two bronze medals. The day started with Dushyant winning bronze in men’s Lightweight Single Sculls. Shortly after, Rohit Kumar and Bhagwan Singh added another bronze after finishing third in men’s Lightweight Double Sculls. The four-man Indian team of Sawarn Singh/Dattu Bhokanal/Om Prakash/Sukhmeet Singh won gold in men’s Quadruple Sculls.
Claiming a gold in men’s quadruple sculls team event,our rowers- #SawarnSingh,@DattuBhokanal, #OmPrakash & #SukhmeetSingh have brought immense pride to #India.
We congratulate them on this victory!#SAI #IndiaAtAsianGames #Rowing #TeamIndia #AsianGames2018 #KheloIndia🇮🇳🥇🚣♂️ pic.twitter.com/O30ioKttce
— SAIMedia (@Media_SAI) August 24, 2018
India’s gold in the men’s Quadruple event remained the highlight. India’s rowers clocked the best time in the two heats combined (6:15.18). With a time of 6:17.13, the four Indian rowers finished well ahead of silver medallist Indonesia (6:20.58) and bronze winners Thailand (6:22.41) in the final.
Iran defeat India in women’s kabaddi
The Indian women’s kabaddi team suffered a huge upset as they lost 27-24 to Iran in the final and settled for silver. India started off brilliantly and took a lead of 5 points – 13-8 at one stage in the first half. But Iran’s defence took three points in the closing minutes and reduced the gap to 13-11.
Iran stun India once again! A day after the men's team beat India in the men's semi-final, the women beat defending champions India to win the gold medal in the women's kabaddi event!
🇮🇳 24 – 27 🇮🇷#AsianGames2018
— Firstpost Sports (@FirstpostSports) August 24, 2018
In the second half, Iran’s defence continued to give trouble to India and barely left them any space to gain a point. Sakshi Kumari earned a super raid to get three points for India, and they managed to bring the score to a one-point difference. However, Iran held their nerve to win three more points before the final raid to script a huge upset and win gold.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius