The final day of the 2019 edition of the South Asian Games in Kathmandu saw India set a new record with 312 medals, beating the previous record of 309 that they set in the 2016 edition in Guwahati and Shillong.
India started the day with 281 medals and quickly added two more golds to their tally thanks to the men’s and women’s basketball teams’ emphatic wins in their respective finals.
The men’s side beat Sri Lanka comfortably by a scoreline of 101-62, while the women’s team hammered host nation Nepal 127-46 to bring home the gold.
Earlier in the day, the Nepal men’s basketball team beat Bangladesh 81-59 while the Maldives women’s basketball team defeated Bhutan 83-46 to win the bronze medal in basketball.
Boxers bag medals at South Asian Games
In the men’s 91kg category, India’s Narender won gold, beating Nepal’s Ashish Duwadi in the final. Vikas Krishan also won the top prize in the men’s 69 kg category by defeating Pakistan’s Zaib Gul in the gold medal bout.
Sparsh Kumar was the third Indian men’s boxer to capture gold, seeing off Pakistan’s Asif Syed Muhammad in the final. Varinder Singh had to settle for silver after being beaten in the final of the men’s 60 kg bout by Nepal’s Sanil Shahi while Sachin Kumar won bronze in the men’s 81 kg category.
Over in the women’s category, it was a hat-trick for India as Pinki Rani, Sonia Lather and Manju Bombariya won gold in 51 kg, 57 kg and 64 kg respectively.
A flurry of medals in Judo
Judo was one of the most fruitful events for India as it yielded 15 medals, including 10 golds, 4 silvers and a bronze.
In the men’s category, Vijay Kumar Yadav (60 kg), Jasleen Singh Saini (66 kg), Anmoldeep Singh (81 kg) and Pramod Kumar (90 kg) won gold, while Ajay (100 kg) and Surender (100+ kg) captured the silver. Vishal Ruhil (73 kg) was the only Judo bronze medalist for India.
In the women’s category, Sushila Likmabam (48 kg), Suchika Tariyal (57 kg), Laishram Nirupama Devi (63 kg), Garima Choudhary (70 kg) and Tulika Maan (78+ kg) captured the top prize for India while Navneet Kaur (78 kg) and Gayatri Tokas (52 kg) had to settle for silver.
India also pipped the rest of the pack to win gold in the Judo team event.
Gold and silver in squash
The Indian women’s squash team of Tanvi Khanna, Sunayana Sara Kuruvilla, Sanya Vats and Urwashi Joshi dominated proceedings, winning all three matches to capture the gold medal.
The men’s teams of Harinder Pal Singh, Abhay Singh, Abhishek Dhruva Pradhan and Abhishek Agarwal won three of their four matches, but their defeat at the hands of Pakistan meant that they had to settle for silver.
An historic day
India’s 174 gold, 93 silver and 45 bronze medals ensured that they continue their run of finishing atop the medals tally in each edition of the South Asian Games since its inception in 1984.
India is also the only country to win 300 medals in a single edition of the South Asian Games, achieving this feat twice (2016 and 2019).