by Elton Gomes
The Indian men’s and women’s hockey teams managed to go down in the history books despite losing in their respective finals in the five-a-side competition of the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
While the men’s team lost 2-4 to Malaysia, the women’s team suffered a 1-3 loss at the hands of Argentina in match that took place on Sunday night. The silver medals claimed by the Indian contingent are India’s first set of hockey medals in the Youth Olympics.
The Malaysian men’s and Argentina women’s team made history of their own by winning their first-ever gold medals at the Youth Olympic Games. Argentina men and China women secured the bronze medals after 4-0 and 6-0 wins over Zambia and South Africa, respectively.
India vs Argentina
The Indian women’s team got off to a flying start. India’s Mumtaz Khan (1’) opened the scoring in the match after just 49 seconds, but Argentina scored thrice within five minutes through Gianella Palet (7’), Sofia Ramallo (9’) and Brisa Bruggesser (12’) to clinch the gold medal.
Indian women started the first period well as they attacked the hosts right from the start. However, Argentina put the pressure on their opponents to find the equalizer in front of their home crowd.
Argentina enjoyed a lion’s share of possession in the second period. The hosts rarely allowed the Indian team to find space or create chances. Argentina’s Brisa Bruggesser had the first real chance in the second period in the 12th minute. The Argentine ensured that she had a shot on target and gave her team a 3-1 lead.
Argentina, backed by their crowd, saw to it that they handle the game effectively and kept possession as they saw themselves through to the final whistle to clinch gold.
India vs Malaysia
In an evenly-contested final, both India and Malaysia started well. But India who struck first through Prasad in the 3rd minute. However, Malaysia did not trail for long as Rosdi struck the equaliser in the 5th minute in his second attempt to bring the game on level terms.
Prasad then managed to beat the Malaysian goalkeeper Shahrul Saupi in the same minute to give India the lead again.
In the second period, however, Malaysia looked threatening with every move. After being denied several attempts, Indian goalkeeper Prashant Chauhan was beaten for the second time in the match in the 14th minute after Akhimullah Anuar scored to level things at 2-2.
Rahul Kumar Rajbhar, Sanjay, Shivam Anand, Rabichandra Moirangthem, and Sudeep Chirmako, all had chances in the next couple of minutes but failed to convert any of them. Malaysia then took the lead in the 17th minute.
Having taken a 3-2 lead, the Malaysians now began to dominate, and they sealed a 4-2 victory after Anuar’s shot was on target in the 19th minute.
Suraj Panwar wins silver in 5,000m race walk
In another first for India, Suraj Panwar won India’s first medal in athletics at the Youth Olympics. His timings of 20.35.87 and 20.23.30 in the two stages of the 5,000m race walk saw him occupy the second spot on the podium, behind Ecuador’s Oscar Patin. Puerto Rico’s Jan Moreu finished third to win the bronze medal.
Panwar finished second in the first stage and eventually finished in the same position. Despite topping the second stage, Panwar’s overall time of 40:59.17 was seven minutes slower than Patin’s 40:51.86.
India’s performance so far
The Youth Olympics Games, which will end on October 18, have thus far seen India winning a total of 11 medals – three gold and eight silver. While Manu Bhaker and Saurabh Chaudhary have won two gold medals in shooting, weightlifter Jeremy Lalrinnunga won gold in the tournament and broke a national record as well.
Indian shooter Mehuli Ghosh won a silver medal in the women’s 10m air-rifle shooting event at the Games. The 18-year-old, who ended up shooting 248.0, was marginally short of the gold medal which was won by Denmark’s Stephanie Grundsoee.
Thangjam Tababi Devi won India’s first-ever medal in judo at the Olympic level after claiming a silver at the Games. In the finals of the women’s 44 kg category, Tababi Devi lost to Venezuela’s Maria Giminez 0-11.
Elton Gomes is a staff writer at Qrius
Stay updated with all the insights.
Navigate news, 1 email day.
Subscribe to Qrius