The 2010 Guangzhou Games was India’s best performance until now. The medal tally dropped in the 2014 Incheon Games, but the 2018 Jakarta Palembang Games raised the bar higher again. India had its best haul with 69 medals – 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze this year. In 2014, we won a total of 57 medals, with 11 gold, 10 silver, and 36 bronze. This year, the number for golds has also gone up.
Did You Know?
Twitter recorded a staggering 12 million tweets on Asian Games! Not surprisingly, the host nation, Indonesia sent the most tweets. India was a close second and badminton was the most tweeted sport of the Asiads!
India at the Asian Games( Medal Tally)
This year India came 8th in the overall medal tally. China continued its domination, while Japan and the Republic of Korea were distant followers. Over the years, some sports have turned into our fortes, while others have seen fluctuating results. Just comparing two consecutive editions of the games, gives an interesting picture. To make things a lot clearer, we have compared the Incheon Games and Jakarta Games on two factors. First is the sportwise comparison and the second one is statewise. How have we fared in most sports when compared to 2014? Is the higher number of medal tally solely the indication of good performance? Keep reading to know answers to all your questions!
With a total of 15 GOLD 24 SILVER & 30 BRONZE medals, India has recorded it's BEST EVER RUN in the history of #ASIANGAMES at #ASIANGAMES2018.
Hats off to our athletes, who accomplished this feat with sheer tenacity, determination and hard work. We r all proud of them! #KheloIndia pic.twitter.com/vfcEOzHIGU
— Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) September 2, 2018
Sportwise Comparison between Asian Games 2014 and 2018
|Sport||Medal Tally – 2014||Medal Tally – 2018|
The 2018 edition of the games was all the more special for India, as several records were broken. The country had many of its firsts as well. Let us have look at the spectacular feats in various events and how they compare with the 2014 edition.
- Sania Nehwal and PV Sindhu brought home first individual medals in badminton. Sindhu was knocked out in the finals and had to settle for the silver. Sania won the bronze.
- An unexpected and pleasant victory came from the debutant sport, bridge. The Indian bridge contingent was as diverse as it could. There were retired professionals from different fields in the team. However, all of them had only one goal – to make the most of their second innings! Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath Sarkar won the gold in the men’s pair event and the men’s, as well as mixed teams, won a bronze medal each.
Bridge players proved that sports are not only for youngsters. Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath Sarkar made us proud at bridge’s debut in the Asiads.
- Athletics continued to be the major medal hotbed just like the year 2014. Even back then, it had the major share with 13 medals in the medal tally. This time our athletes went a step higher to win 19.
- The Incheon Games brought a lot of cheer to all hockey fans. The men’s team won the gold after 16 years! The picture was completely opposite in the 2018 edition of the games. Both the men’s and women’s teams lost in the finals in a heartbreaking manner.
Hockey was a big disappointment this time. Let us hope that both the men’s and women’s teams soon recover from the debacle and come back stronger.
- The same scenario was seen in kabaddi this year. Both the men’s and women’s teams had won the prestigious gold in the Incheon Games. Unfortunately, the whole nation was stunned after their defeat to Iran. It was a big jolt for the teams that were absolute favorites. While the men returned home with a bronze, the women got a slightly better deal with a silver.
- Fouaad Mirza made the entire country proud by winning the silver in equestrian. The last medal had come in 1982. The discipline did not win a single medal in 2014. His victory has brought the illustrious sport in the limelight and opened many doors for it.
- The women’s 4 x 400 meters relay team continued its golden run in 2018 as well. The team has been winning top honors since the 2002 Busan Games. They are now a constant contributor in India’s medal tally.
The golden girls of relay celebrating their stunning victory in the Jakarta Palembang Games. The girls continued the winning streak that started in 2002 Asiads.
- In Incheon Games, Jitu Rai won the gold in men’s 50 meters and captured the imagination of the entire nation. In 2018, it was the turn of a female to bring the first Asiad gold in shooting. The talented and experienced Rahi Sarnobat achieved this spectacular feat in women’s 25 meters pistol event.
- The Jakarta Games were truly golden for the wrestling team. Both men and women got the top honors for the country. Vinesh Phogat and Bajrang Punia won in freestyle wrestling in 50 kg and 65 kg respectively. At the previous edition of the games, Yogeshwar Dutt had achieved the same feat. It isn’t surprising that Bajrang is training under Dutt! Vinesh became the first women to win the Asiad gold with the achievement.
- Swapna Barman had come quite close to getting a podium finish in the heptathlon at the Incheon Games. However, she missed narrowly and had to settle for the fifth rank. Not one to make the same mistake again, she gave a stunning performance to win the gold this year. Mind you, this isn’t some ordinary result. It is India’s first gold in the event.
- For the squash team, both the editions of the games were similar. They brought the silver to the medal tally in both editions.
- The Asian Games 2018 were better for the sailing team as they added three medals to their tally compared to the one in 2014. Varun Ashok Thakkar and KC Ganapathy dropped out of school to pursue a career in sailing. After their bronze-winning feat, I am sure the decision was absolutely worth it! Harshita Tomar was another athlete who won the bronze. The duo of Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar got the sparkling silver after losing out to Min Kimberly Lim and Rui Qi Cecilia Low from Singapore in the finals.
In conclusion, we can say that 2018 was definitely a better year for the Indian contingent at the Asiads. Though some traditional fortes turned out to be disappointing, respite came from unexpected quarters. It is heartening to see newer sports getting the recognition they deserve. Another important aspect of this is the influx of financial and infrastructural support that comes with tangible results.
Statewise Comparison between Asian Games 2014 and 2018
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- This year the medalists are from 21 states in total and Haryana has topped the list once again. It is commendable that more and more states are producing champions which are increasing our medal tally. Of course, some of them have a long way to go.
- The sporting culture in Haryana is propelling its medal glory. Most of the wrestling champions are from the northern state. The perfect example is the Phogat family. The single-family has produced six female wrestlers in last few years! The facilities in the state have also improved tremendously in the last few years. Haryana is the top scorer in other prestigious tournaments like Commonwealth Games as well.
The golden girl of wrestling, Vinesh Phogat, is from the Phogat family of wrestling from Haryana. Her elder sisters Babita and Geeta have already won numerous tournaments. Other sisters Priyanka, Ritu, and Sangita are also wrestlers.
- “The present crop of athletes and performances that you see are entirely because of government policies. In 1994, there were only three or four of our training as boxers. We used to practice at Nehru Stadium in Gurgaon and believe me when I say that we did not even have a ring. We would erect a make-shift one with segments of broken aluminum water pipes”, Akhil Kumar, a Commonwealth gold medalist from Haryana, told Live Mint in an interview.
- Punjab is also not behind, especially if we consider the gold medals coming from the state. All other states have a long way to go. Better results will come if the government offers more opportunities to budding athletes. However, another crucial factor is our tendency as a society o opt for conventional career options. No sportsperson can ever achieve fame without inherent struggle and dedication. Just talent can never be enough to reach the pinnacles of success.
Seeing the slow and steady positive changes, we can hope that the medal tally keeps on increasing every Asiad. The people’s support and interest in the games are also commendable. As viewers, the biggest form of encouragement we can provide is by watching such tournaments and cheering loudly for our champions.