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The 18th edition of Asian Games is set to begin in Indonesia from next week and Indian fans will be eager to see how many medals the country can win this time in Asia’s biggest multi-sport event. After a successful Commonwealth Games, in which India finished in third position with a total of 66 medals – 26 Gold, 20 Silver and 20 Bronze – the expectations from Indian contingent are high to register another successful stint at the Asian Games.
India have always been known to be a strong competitor in the multi-sport tournament. In spite of finishing in the top three position on only three occasions in 17 attempts since the tournament’s inception in 1951. With plenty of strong talent travelling to Indonesia this year, the fans will be hoping that the country could finish top three this year as well.
History of India in Asian Games
In the first Asian Games in 1951, the newly-independent India managed to finish second on the medal tally with 15 gold, 16 silver and 20 bronze medals. The country delivered their best performance in athletics with 10 gold in the discipline. The remaining gold came in Diving (2), Football (1), Swimming (1) and Water Polo (1). The next time India managed to finish in the top three position was in 1962 games, when India won 10 gold, 13 silver and 10 bronze medals (total 33 medals).
The country delivered their best performance in the Games in 2010 in Guangzhou. India created history by finishing with 64 medals, including a record 14 gold medals. But it was not enough to give them their best ever ranking position in the game, and the country remained in the sixth position, with China leading the table with 197 gold, 117 silver and 98 bronze medals (total 412 medals).
India’s worst performance in the Games was back in 1990 when the country managed to win only a single gold medal in Kabaddi along with 8 silver and 14 bronze medals and finished in the 12th position.
India record at Asiad – Sports-wise
In 17 Asian Games tournament, India has won a total of 139 gold medals, 178 silver and 299 bronze. The country has lifted maximum medals in athletics events, with 72 gold, 77 silver and 84 bronze in track-and-field events. The performance has dropped in the discipline in the past two decades. But this year, with javelin thrower star Neeraj Chopra leading India’s contingent as flag bearer, the country will hope to regain their previous glory in Athletics.
In the past few years, India have gained big success in Wrestling, with nine gold, 14 silver and 33 bronze medals. With the likes of Sushil Kumar, Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik and Vinesh Phogat leading the country’s contingent, India could hope to increase their tally in the event.
Another event where India will hope to win a medal would be Hockey. The team defeated Pakistan 4-2 in shootout in Asian Games final in 2014 to win the gold, and a revamped Indian side will hope to repeat history once again. After a poor performance in CWG, where India could not win a medal in the event, an Asiad gold would be the ideal way for the side to redeem themselves.
India won a total of 16 medals in shooting at CWG, and the contingent will hope to repeat the performance in Jakarta. In Asian Games, the country has won 7 gold, 17 silver and 25 bronze medals, and the country will hope to increase the tally.
India has won only a single gold in Badminton along with one silver and 10 bronze medals. With the likes of Kidambi Srikanth, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal leading the contingent, India would hope to increase the numbers. Boxing has reaped rewards for the country with 8 gold, 16 silver and 31 bronze, while Tennis brought 6 gold, five silver and 13 bronze medals. While India look set to increase the tally in boxing with Shiva Thapa, Vikas Krishan and Sarjubala Devi leading the contingent in Mary Kom’s absence, winning a medal in Tennis appears difficult.
After winning the World Cup earlier this year, beating Iran in the final, India can hope to easily win their 10th Kabaddi gold this year. The country has not won a single gold medal in weightlifting in Asian Games, but with CWG gold medallists Mirabai Chanu and Sathish Kumar Sivalingam leading the squad, first yellow medal in the sport could be on the way.
India’s medals in other sports
Billiards – 5 gold, 4 silver, 6 bronze
Sailing – 1 gold, 6 silver, 10 bronze
Rowing – 1 gold, 5 silver, 14 bronze
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