India on Thursday won a historic gold in women’s 4×400 relay race at the ongoing Asian Games 2018 being held in the twin Indonesian cities of Jakarta and Palembang. The Indian women’s team, comprising of Hima Das, Poovamma Raju Machettira, Saritaben Laxmanbhai Gayakwad and Vismaya Velluva Koroth, finished the race in 3 minutes 28.72 seconds. Bahrain bagged silver with a timing of 3 minutes 30.61 seconds while Vietnam finished third with a timing of 3 minutes 33.23 seconds. Also Read - Hima Das Writes to Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju For Access to Outdoor training at NIS Patiala
India chose to start with Das in the first position, a strategy which in the end paid dividends. The 18-year-old was several metres ahead of her opponents at the first exchange. From there on, it was smooth sailing for the other three Indian women, who kept their tempo steady despite having a huge lead and at the end clinched the gold quite comfortably. Also Read - Year-Ender 2019, Athletics: A Year of Controversies as Neeraj Chopra And Hima Das Struggled With Injuries
This is India’s fifth Asian Games 4x400m Gold in a row. Also Read - Guwahati to Host Khelo India Youth Games in January 2020
The gold medal is Hima’s third medal in Indonesia after clinching silver in women’s 400m and a second-place finish in the 4x400m mixed relay event. It could have been her fourth, had she not been disqualified from 200m semifinals.
Earlier, sprinter Jinson Johnson clinched the gold medal in Men’s 1500m race. The 27-year-old ran a very tactical race, sticking to the coat-tails of the early pace-setters Adnan Taes Agar of Iraq. The sprinter from Kerala ran in the third position till most of the race, choosing to make his move in the final 300 metres stretch, clocking a winning time of 3 minutes and 44.72 seconds. 0.10 second ahead of Amir Moradi of Iran. Ending with a bronze was Bahrain’s Mohammed Tiouali (3:45.88sec).
Earlier, PU Chitra and Seema Punia had also added to India’s tally, winning bronze in the women’s 1500m and discus throw events respectively. Chitra finished third in the 1500m event with a timing of 4:12.56 seconds, behind Bahrain’s Kalkidan Befkadu and Tigist Belay. Seema’s bronze in the discus throw was won with an attempt of 62.26m.
India are currently at the eighth spot (58 medals) in the medals tally which includes 13 gold, 20 silver and 25 bronze medals.