Having grabbed the top spot on the medals tally with their impressive haul so far in the competition, the Indian contingent built on their fine performances to consolidate their position with a handful of medals on the seventh day of the 2019 South Asian Games in Kathmandu, Nepal.
The Indian track and field athletes were on the money as they fought hard to seal their places on the podium despite some stiff competition at the Dasarath Rangasala Stadium.
Hitting the road for the marathon in the early hours on Saturday, India’s Rashpal Singh and Sher Singh ensured that they made the most of the conditions to clinch the silver and bronze medals respectively, finishing behind local favourite Kiran Bogati.
While Bogati won the race in two hours, 21 minutes and 17 seconds, Raspal took the silver in two hours, 21 minutes and 57 seconds while Sher won the bronze with a timing of two hours, 22 minutes and seven seconds.
In the women’s category, Jyoti Gawate, the best Indian finisher at the 2018 Mumbai Marathon, won the bronze with a timing of two hours, 52 minutes and 44 seconds, while Sri Lanka’s Hurina Wijayaratne took the gold in two hours, 41 minutes and 24 seconds and Pushpa Bhandari of Nepal finished with a silver in two hours, 50 minutes and 11 seconds.
Shivpal comes close to Olympic mark
In the men’s javelin throw, India’s Shivpal Singh came ever so close to qualifying for the 2020 Olympics.
The Indian, who had to endure a below-par outing at the 2019 IAAF World Championships, was in his elements as he covered a distance of 84.43 metres for a silver medal. However, with the Olympic qualification standard set at 85 meters, the distance was not enough to help him seal a place at the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Meanwhile, Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem ensured that there were no hiccups on his part as he not only won the gold with a new Games record distance but also sealed his place for the 2020 Tokyo Games.
Nadeem managed a distance of 86. 29 metres for the top spot, obliterating the previous best held by India’s Neeraj Chopra at 82.23 metres set at the 2016 South Asian Games.
In the women’s section, India’s Sharmila Kumari had to be content with a bronze medal following an effort of 53.64 metres. Sri Lanka’s Nadeesha Dilhan won the gold with a throw of 55.02 metres, while her compatriot Nadeeka Lakmali took the silver with an effort of 54.41 metres.
Afsal, Lily win medals at South Asian Games
On the final day of the track and field events at the 2019 South Asian Games, the Indians had enough to cheer about on the track as well.
Competing in the 800m, India’s Mohammed Afsal won the silver medal with the timing of 1:51.25. While Sri Lanka’s Indunil Madhusha won the race in 1:50.52 with Som Bahadur Kumal of Nepal completing the podium.
In the women’s race, Sri Lankan Dilshi Maheesha won the gold in 2:06.18 with her fellow countrywoman Thu Gunathilaka taking the silver in 2:08.52 and India’s Lily Das the bronze in 2:08.97.
The 4x400m relays were no different either as both the men’s and the women’s team had to be content with a silver medal finish. The Indian quartet of K Jeevan, Santosh Kumar, Angrej Singh and MP Jabir clocked 3:08.21 for their silver while the women’s team clocked 3:41.08 for their silver medal finish.