India added two more golds to its kitty on Thursday to come out with its best ever Asian Games performance in close to seven decades on Day 12 of the 18th edition of the Games being held in the twin Indonesia cities of Jakarta and Palembang.Also Read - Video: India Proud of You, Don't Cry, Says PM Modi To Rani Rampal-Led Women Hockey Team
India’s medal tally at the end of Day 12 stands at 59. This is more than India’s previous highest of 57 which had come in the 1982 Asiad in New Delhi. Also Read - PM Narendra Modi speaks to Skipper Manpreet Singh, Coach Graham Reid After Olympic Hockey Bronze; Applauds Hard Work
The seasoned Jinson Johnson and the women’s 4x400m relay team were the joint stars with their golden show on the final day of the track-and-field competition in which India signed off seven gold, 10 silver and two bronze medals, the country’s best haul since 1951. Also Read - Tokyo Olympics: Skipper Manpreet Singh Dedicates Men's Hockey Team Bronze Medal to COVID Warriors of India
Johnson, who surprisingly lost the gold to compatriot Manjit Singh in the 800m, more than made up for that blip with a brilliant rally today. Johnson clocked 3:44.72sec to claim the top honours ahead of Iran’s Amir Moradi, who turned in a timing of 3:45.62sec, his season’s best effort.
Read here Day 13 Schedule of Asian Games 2018
And then the 4x400m women’s relay team notched up a fifth successive gold to continue their remarkable dominance of the event. The Indian quartet of Hima Das, M R Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and Vismaya Velluva Koroth clocked 3:28.72sec to claim the gold.
The defending champion men’s team could not get the top position but pulled off a creditable silver with the quartet of Kunhu Muhammed, Dharunn Ayyasamy, Muhammed Anas and Arokia Rajiv timing 3:01.85sec to finish behind Qatar, which won gold in an Asian record of 3:00.56sec.
Adding a bronze was veteran discus thrower Seema Punia. The 35-year-old cleared a six-year-best of 62.26m for a third-place finish. Punia won a gold in the 2014 edition.
Asian champion P U Chitra also won a bronze, in the women’s 1500m race.
Chitra entered the race as Asian leader this season but had to settle for a bronze with a timing of 4:12.56 sec.
But losing the men’s hockey semifinal to Malaysia came as a massive blow for the country, which was not just aiming for a gold but also direct Olympic qualification through a top finish here.
The Malaysians handed India a heartbreaking 6-7 loss in sudden death after an exhausting shoot-off. India will play eight-time champions Pakistan in the bronze medal play-off. Pakistan lost 0-1 to Japan in the other semifinals.
Day 13 will witness the Indian boxers aiming for a place in the final in two weight categories. Sailing will also see its closure with the final race of the event in various categories. The Indian women’s hockey team will be in action for the final time at the Asian Games 2018, as a gold medal will be at stake. Roller Skaters Amitesh Mishra, Harshveer Singh Shekon will go for gold along with women’s team.
(With PTI inputs)