‘No help from the Govt in time of need’: Divya Kakran to CM Kejriwal

Asian Games medallist Divya Kakran, who won a Bronze medal in the recently held 18th Asian Games in Jakarta, lashed out at the Delhi government for not extending any help to her before the games. Divya Kakran who was present at the felicitation event held by Delhi government said, “Nobody helps us when we need it and had I got assistance, I could have even won a gold medal.”

Kakran defeated Taipei’s Chen Wenling in the women’s 68 kg freestyle wrestling category at the international event.

During an interaction with Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Delhi Secretariat, the wrestler said the city government offered her help only after she won the medal, but no assistance came her way “at the time of need”.

“I won the medal in Commonwealth Games and you called me and assured me help…when I asked help to prepare for the Asian Games, it (the help) did not come. I gave in writing, but no one even answered my call,” Kakran said.

She appealed the chief minister to help poor children.

“Although I am poor, I have the fire to do something in wrestling. If you will support, it will be very good,” the bronze-medallist said.

Taking another dig at the Kejriwal-led dispensation, Kakran said athletes from neighbouring Haryana shone in the Asian Games because they received support from their state.

“Just see how many Haryana athletes have won because they have support,” she told the chief minister.

Kejriwal, who gave a patient hearing to the wrestler, said he agreed with her but said his government was facing numerous obstructions at work.

“There were several shortcomings in the sports policies of Delhi government. We have made several efforts to reform them since coming to power. You read in newspapers how obstructions are created in our work. All our policies were stopped at the higher level for one or the other reason,” he said.

The chief minister said his government was able to take decisions on administrative matters only after the recent Supreme Court verdict which upheld the Delhi government’s power to legislate and govern on key issues.

He also announced a hike in cash prizes for medal winners.

“The announcement we made today is because of the Supreme Court judgement. It would have not come without the Supreme Court verdict,” Kejriwal said.

The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) supremo announced that the Delhi government had last week amended its policy and substantially enhanced the cash incentives for medal winners at international events.

He said gold medal winners at the Asian Games will now be given Rs 1 crore instead of Rs 20 lakh which they were getting earlier.

Similarly, silver medal winners at the Asian Games will now get Rs 75 lakh in place of Rs 14 lakh and bronze medal winners will get Rs 50 lakh in place of Rs 10 lakh, the chief minister added.

Asian Games 2018: List of India’s Medal Winners in Jakarta

India brought home a total of 69 medals – 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze from the Asian Games 2018 in Indonesia to surpass the medal count from 2010 Games in Guangzhou, China. This is also India’s best ever overall medal tally, equalling country’s joint-best effort at the Asian Games since the inaugural edition in 1951. The total of 24 silver medals is also the highest ever in Asiad history for India.

Here is how India fared in key sporting events and disciplines at the Asian Games 2018:

  • Athletics

Medals: 17 (7 gold, 10 silver and 2 medals)

The results turned out to be better than how India fared at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games where they picked 13 medals in total.

Neeraj Chopra and Swapna Barman won gold medals in the javelin throw and heptathlon respectively. India continued their dominance in women’s team relay, bagging gold. Jinson Johnson’s gold was first 1500m medal in 20 years, while Manjit Singh’s 800m gold was possible after 32 years and Arpinder Singh’s triple jump gold came after 48 years.

  • Archery

Medals: 2 (2 silver medals)

The India Men’s team comprising of Rajat Chauhan, Aman Saini and Abhishek Verma, failed to grab the yellow metal after a rare stroke of bad luck.

  • Badminton

Medals: 2 (1 silver and 1 bronze medals)

With PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal bagging a medal each in the individual event, it is safe to say that the badminton campaign was a successful one.

  • Boxing

Medals: 2 (1 gold, and 1 bronze medals)

They won two medals, with Amit Panghal bagging gold on the final day.

  • Shooting

Medals: 10 (2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze medals)

Teenagers Saurabh Chaudhary and Shardul Vihan made headlines after excellent performances.

Rahi Sarnobat secured the second gold medal for India in the women’s 25m pistol event. Sanjeev Rajput won a silver in 50m rifle 3 positions men, while Heena Sidhu secured bronze in 10m air pistol event. Ravi Kumar and Apurvi Chandela won the bronze in 10m air rifle mixed team event, while Abhishek Verma won the bronze in 10m air pistol. India claimed silver in men’s trap thanks to Lakshay and Deepak Kumar added a silver in 10m air rifle.

  • Hockey

Medals: 2 (1 silver and 1 bronze medals)

The women’s team reached their first final in 20 years, where they lost to Japan. The men’s team, however, took the bronze medal.

  • Kabaddi

Medals: 2 (1 silver and 1 bronze medals)

India failed to win gold in a sport they have dominated since it was introduced for the first time in the tournament in 1990.

  • Rowing

Medals: 3 (1 gold, and 2 bronze medals)

The rowers fought back on the final day to secure a gold and two bronze medals after Dattu Bhokanal, who was expected to win a medal in men’s singles sculls had a horrible final, in which he finished in the last position.

  • Squash

Medals: 5 (1 silver and 4 bronze medals)

In the women’s team event, Joshna Chinappa, Dipika Pallikal, Sunanya Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna won the silver medal. Saurav Ghoshal came home with a bronze in the men’s singles department.

  • Table tennis

Medals: 2 (2 bronze medals)

India secured two medals with Sharath Kamal, G Sathiyan along with Manav Vikash, Anthony Arputharaj and Harmeet Desai winning the bronze medal in men’s Team event. Kamal combined with Manika Batra to win the bronze in mixed doubles.

  • Tennis

Rohan Bopanna and Divij Sharan won the men’s doubles gold, while Prajnesh Gunneswaran won bronze medal in the men’s singles event. Ramkumar Ramanathan faced an early exit.

Medals: 3 (1 gold, 2 bronze medals)

  • Weightlifting

CWG gold medallist Sathish Kumar Sivalingam, finished 10th in the men’s 77kg weight class with a total lift of 314 kg (144 kg Snatch + 170 kg Clean-and-Jerk). Ajay Singh finished in the 5th position in the same event with a total lift of 327 kg.

  • Wrestling

Medals: 3 (2 gold, and 1 bronze medals)

Bajrang Punia won gold in 65 kg freestyle and Vinesh Phogat clinched gold in the women’s freestyle 50kg category. Phogat outplayed Japan’s Yuki Irie to take a 6-2 win and become the first Indian female wrestler to win an Asiad gold. Divya Kakran also won the bronze medal in freestyle 68 kg wrestling for India.

  • Bridge

Medals: 3 (1 gold, and 2 bronze medals)

Pranab Bardhan and Shibhnath Sarkar took India’s gold medal count to 15.

  • Equestrian

Medals: 2 (2 silver medals)

Fouaad Mirza ended India’s 36 years of wait to win an individual medal in the equestrian event since 1982. He won the silver medal in individual jumping with a score of 26.40, just four seconds behind Japan’s Oiwa Yoshiaki. The Indian team comprising of Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Malik, and Jitender Singh, apart from Mirza, also claimed the silver with a score of 121.30 in the team event.

  • Martial Arts (Kurash, Wushu)

Medals: 6 (1 silver and 5 bronze medals)

India picked up six medals with one silver and bronze coming in Kurash while four bronze medals arrived in wushu. Pincky Balhara and Malaprabha Jadhav won silver and bronze respectively in Kurash women’s 52kg event. In wushu, Roshibina Naorem won bronze in women’s Sanda 60kg; men’s trio of Santhosh Kumar, Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh, Narender Grewal won in men’s Sanda 56kg, 60kg and 65kg categories respectively.

Asian Games 2018: Rani Rampal, India’s Flag-bearer in Closing Ceremony

India ended their Asian Games campaign with a total of 69 medals, including 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze medals. Women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal has been named India’s flag-bearer for the closing ceremony of the Asian Games 2018. With this medal haul at the 2018 Games, India surpassed their highest Asian Games tally of 65 medals at the 2010 Guangzhou edition.

Rani Rampal led India to a successful Asian Games campaign as they came agonizingly close to winning Asiad hockey gold after 36 years. However, India, who made their first final in 20 years, failed to go past Japan, losing the final 1-2 to clinch the silver medal. In the tournament, Rani scored three goals.

India ended their Asian Games campaign with a bang, winning two gold medals on Day 14. While debutant Amit Panghal clinched gold in boxing by defeating Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the final, India won gold in men’s pair bridge event.

The Indian hockey men’s team, who were favourites to bring home the gold medal, lost to Malaysia (6-7 via penalty shoot-off) in semifinal. However, India ended their campaign with a 2-1 win over arch-rivals Pakistan to take home the bronze. This is the second time in the last three months that India have beaten Pakistan.

Day 14 also saw the Indian women’s squash team, who had shocked powerhouse Malaysia in semifinals, winning the silver after losing to Hong Kong 0-2 in the team final.

Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra was India’s flag-bearer for the opening ceremony of the 18th Asian Games.

Neeraj Chopra won the gold medal with a throw of 88.06 metres. Neeraj’s gold is India’s only second medal in javelin throw in Asian Games history after Gurtej Singh won a bronze in 1982 in New Delhi.

Asian Games 2018: High stakes for India in Women’s Hockey Finals

The Indian women’s hockey team made its first Asian Games final in 20 years, outlasting three-time champions China 1-0 in a fiercely-contested battle in Jakarta on Wednesday. India’s only title at the Asiad came way back in 1982 when women’s hockey made its debut.

Gurjit Kaur’s strike from a penalty corner in the 52nd minute was the difference between the two sides, in a match that lacked the quality of a high-profile semifinal. Nonetheless, the erratic show was good enough for India’s first appearance in the final since the 1998 Bangkok Games.

India will now face Japan, who upset five-time champions South Korea 2-0 in the other semifinal.

It was not the most fluent of matches with both India and China failing to create opportunities in the field.

“The team surely did not play to its potential in the first half. They stepped up in the second half and I am really happy for these girls. I know how much work they put in to be here. They trained really hard for this event. Japan will be a tough challenge but the team is up for it,” said India coach Sjoerd Marijne.

India earned their first penalty corner in the eighth minute but Gurjit Kaur’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper.

India created four scoring opportunities in the first quarter but failed to finish. The closest they came to scoring was in the 13th minute but Navjot, standing at the goal mouth, failed to put it past the custodian.

Against the run of play, China secured a penalty corner at the start of the second quarter in the 18th minute, but Zixia Ou did not get the deflection she was aiming for.

Both teams were not fluent in their play though China showed more intent. India’s only big opportunity came in the 29th minute but Monika, following

India got a penalty corner right at the start of the third quarter but drag-flicker Gurjit did not get the desired result.

The umpires thought her shot hit the leg of a Chinese defender and gave India a stroke. The Chinese went for the review and it was successful, much to India’s disappointment.

A third penalty corner was awarded to India in the 39th minute but Gurjit could not do much again, flicking it wide.

Two minutes later, another opportunity was squandered as Gurjit’ shot to the right did not have the power to fly past the Chinese goalkeeper.

Reena Khokar went for a reverse hit at the stroke of third quarter but the rasping shot missed the target.

Otherwise, it was another drab 15 minute session with both teams lacking the fluidity in their game.

In the do-or-die fourth quarter, India earned as many as three corners in a jiffy. On the third attempt, Gurjit finally got it right as her shot flew past the goalkeeper and found the top of the net.


Asian Games 2018: Rickshaw puller’s daughter wins Gold in Heptathlon

Swapna Barman created history by winning the women’s heptathlon title at the 18th Asian Games. Swapna’s triumph in the women’s heptathlon is the first ever gold for India in this event at the Asiad; she posted a score of 6026 points. Wang Qingling of China scored 5954 to take silver while Japan’s Yuki Yamasaki produced her personal best of 5873 to bag the bronze medal. Purnima Hembram, the other Indian in the fray, finished fourth with 5837 points.

She did not just overcome 10 other athletes to win the heptathlon gold in Jakarta on Sunday. The list of obstacles she jumped over is long. Her father, a rickshaw puller, suffered a stroke when she was a kid and has been bed-ridden since. Her mother, a tea-estate worker, supported the family and was also entrusted with taking her to practise sessions.

Swapna was born with six toes on each foot, meaning she had to wear customised shoes — something she could not afford. All her life, she has trained in pain thanks to shoes that weren’t an ideal fit. As if all that wasn’t enough, she came down with a tooth infection just before the Asian Games and competed in the gruelling event with a tape on her right cheek to reduce the pain.

Despite all this, she confirmed India’s first-ever gold in the event, something that looked inevitable on Wednesday morning when she built up a healthy lead over her nearest competitor — China’s Qingling Wang — with just the 800m event left. She finished fourth in the final event, but that was good enough for her to finish on top of the pile.

After the final, Barman said she could do better if someone provided her with customised footwear. “I use normal shoes worn by people who have normal five toes. It really pains during training. It is very uncomfortable, whether I wear spikes or normal shoes,” she said.