Asian Games 2018 in Jakarta And Palembang Day 10: India’s track and field athletes took to the Asian Games by storm, with Manjit Singh stealing the show with a historic gold-winning display in Jakarta on Tuesday. The Haryana-based athlete ended India’s 36-year drought in the men’s 800-metre competition of the Asian Games, bringing the ninth gold into India’s kitty. He pipped the more fancied compatriot Jinson Johnson in the same event, who bagged the silver even as the other Indian track and field athletes continued to raise the bar on Day 10 of the continental extravaganza.Also Read - Badminton: PV Sindhu beats Akane Yamaguchi in Semifinal of BWF World Tour Finals, Set to Face An Seyoung in Title Clash

With one gold, six silver and two bronze medals, the Indian contingent swelled the nation’s medal tally in the Asian Games 2018 to 50. Also Read - Sindhu Gets First Round Bye in World C'ships, Tai Tzu in Line in Quarters

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At the age of 31, Manjit was never considered a medal contender. The Haryana-based runner did not even have a national gold to his credit and was never acclaimed with any high-profile medals. However, Singh battled against all odds and finally found the limelight with his spellbinding performance on Tuesday.

Coached by India Army’s Amreesh Kumar, Manjit bettered his personal best mark of 1:46.24s set in Guwahati this year at the Nationals to claim his maiden major international medal. While others did not give him a chance, Manjit said he was determined to do prove his worth.

“I saw videos of my races at national and international competitions and analysed the mistakes. I was motivated to improve myself,” Manjit, who lives in Jind, said to ANI.

It is not first time that Manjit beat Johnson as he had defeated the Kerala athlete in Pune also in 2013.
“I was very hopeful. I had prepared accordingly. I never thought of bettering the national mark. I just wanted to give my best. I don’t have a job but my coach is from the Army,” Manjit said.

Surprising everyone, the 28-year-old Manjit pipped countryman Johnson with a timing of 1:46.15s, 0.20s faster than the Asian Championship medallist from Kerala.

With four of the eight athletes running parallelly, Manjit shocked everyone as the Haryana he displayed a stunning run in the final 40 metres.

Manjit said he trained in Ooty for the last one-and-a-half years apart from Bhutan for three months ahead of the Asian Games.

“I had prepared well. I had strategised to follow runners initially and then push towards the last 100-150m. I did it and won gold for my country,” an elated Manjit added

First-Ever Mixed Relay Medal:

In the debut event of the 4x400m mixed relay, Indian team comprising Muhammed Anas, Rajiv Arokia, Hima Das and M.R. Poovamma claimed the silver medal.

The quartet clocked 3:15.71 minutes to finish second behind Bahrain, which grabbed the gold medal in 3:11.89 minutes. Finishing third was Kazakhstan, who took the bronze with the time of 3:19.52.

P.V Sindhu Wins Silver:

The Indian ace PV Sindhu bagged silver after she was defeated by World No 1 Tai Tzu Ying 21-13, 21-16 in the women’s singles event. Meanwhile, compatriot Saina Nehwal lost to Tzu Ying finishing third to settle for bronze.

Sindhu was outplayed by the tricks and wit of the Chinese Taipei girl, who displayed her full repertoire against the Indian.

The two shuttlers had played against each other on 12 occasions in the past with Ying leading 9-3. Today’s final was the 13th contest between Sindhu and Ying.

Dutee Chand in 200m Finals:

Star Indian athlete Dutee Chand stormed into the women’s 200 metres final after topping the semi-finals.

Dutee emerged on top of the overall table after clocking 23 seconds, followed by Bahrain’s Edidiong Odiong with a timing of 23.01. China’s Lingwei Kong finished third after clocking her personal best of 23.32 seconds.

In the Heat 4 round, Dutee recorded a time of 23.37 seconds which earned her a direct spot in the semi-finals.

She was second in the overall standings at the end of the first round, behind Nigina Sharipova of Uzbekistan, who won Heat 3 with a personal best time of 23.31.

Hima Das Disqualification: 

India’s teen sensation Hima got a red card and was eliminated after she committed a foul by leaving her blocks before time. Hajar Alkhaldi of Bahrain also met a similar fate at the second whistle of the event.

Soon after, India protested against Hima’s disqualification saying that she was obstructed Bahraini athlete. The hearing on the issue is scheduled for Wednesday.

Earlier, 18-year-old Hima clocked 23.47 to finish fourth in Heat 2, just 200th of a second short of a direct semis berth as Marie Knot of the Philippines took the third spot with 23.45.

But the sprinter from Assam earned a berth in the semi-finals as one of the fastest losers in the heats as she was seventh in the overall standings.

India’s Medal Tally: 

Here is what India’s medal tally looks like at the end of day 10:

3Republic of Korea324046118
5IR Iran17161649
6Chinese Taipei13142047
7DPR Korea128727
13Hong Kong, China4121632
16United Arab Emirates36312
25Kingdom of Saudi Arabia1214
25Macau, China1214
30Lao PDR0224

At the end of day 10, India’s medal tally hit the half-century mark after the tally swelled to 9 Golds, 19 Silvers and 22 Bronze in the 18th edition of the Asiad. India will look to add more to the tally on day 11th, starring Dutee Chand in the 200m final event.