The 19th edition of the Asian Games, held from September 23 to October 8 in Hangzhou, not only offered medals but the chance to win quotas for next year’s Paris Olympics in some of the events.
Here is the list of Indians who booked their spots for the 2024 Summer Games in the French capital:
Indian Men’s Hockey Team
In hockey, the Asian Games works as a qualifying event as the winners in both men’s and women’s categories automatically get a spot at the Olympics. Indian men’s team finished third at the 2018 edition and therefore, had to take part in FIH qualifiers to progress to Tokyo Olympics where it won bronze.
However, this time in Hangzhou, Harmanpreet Singh-led side made no mistake as it topped the group stage with five wins out of five matches. In the semifinals, the ‘Men in Blue’ defeated South Korea 5-3 to set up the summit clash with 2018 champion Japan.
India dominated the final and led 3-0 against Japan after third quarter. Japan did manage to open its account but it was not enough as India sealed the gold medal with a 5-1 win and qualified for Paris Olympics.
Nikhat Zareen (Boxing – Women’s 45-50kg)
Reigning world and commonwealth champion Nikhat Zareen made her Asian Games debut in Hangzhou. Women’s 45-50kg, the category in which Nikhat competed, offered Olympic quota to all the four semifinalists.
The 27-year-old became the first Indian boxer in China to book her spot for Paris 2024 as she defeated Jordan’s Hanan Nassar via RSC (Referee Stops the Contest) in the quarterfinals.
Nikhat clinched bronze after a 2-3 loss to Thailand’s Raksat Chuthamat in the semifinals.
Lovlina Borgohain (Boxing – Women’s 75kg)
In the women’s 75kg category, only the finalists were guaranteed Olympic quotas. India’s Lovlina Borgohain, the bronze medallist from Tokyo Olympics, booked her ticket for Paris by reaching the summit clash in Hangzhou.
Lovlina overwhelmed Thailand’s Maneekon Baison 5-0 in the final-four clash before suffering defeat with the same scoreline against home favourite Li Qian in the final to finish with a silver medal.
Preeti (Boxing – Women’s 54kg)
India’s Preeti Pawar beat Zhaina Shekerbekova of Kazakhstan 4:1 on points to seal her berth in the semifinals of the women’s 54kg and with it, a spot for Paris Olympics.
Preeti eventually bowed out with a bronze after her 0-5 loss to China’s Yuan Chang in the final-four bout.
Parveen Hooda (Boxing – Women’s 57kg)
Parveen Hooda became the fourth Indian boxer to win a Paris Olympics quota at the Asian Games after her victory over Uzbekistan’s Sitora Turdibekova in the women’s 57kg quarterfinals.
Like Nikhat and Preeti, Parveen too finished with a bronze medal after a 0-5 loss to Chinese Taipei’s Yu Ting Lin in the semifinals.
Kishore Kumar Jena (Men’s Javelin Throw)
India’s Kishore Kumar Jena pushed defending champion and compatriot Neeraj Chopra to the limit before eventually finishing with a silver medal in men’s javelin throw.
Jena took silver with a new personal best of 87.54m, comfortably past the automatic qualification mark of 85.50m for next year’s Paris Olympics.