Comeback wins in any sport pump up your adrenaline like nothing and the recently concluded Asian Games 2023 saw quite a few of them from the Indian contingent, as the nation finished the quadrennial showpiece with a whopping 107 medals.
Sportstar takes a look at few of those moments:
Parul Chaudhary’s 5000m heist
Parul Chaudhary became India’s third track and field athlete to win a gold at the Hangzhou. The gold was an enormous achievement in the first place but the manner in which she won was even more impressive. Parul came into the women’s 5000m race after winning silver in women’s 3000m steeplechase the previous day.
Parul trailed Ririka Hironaka for most part of the race but the Indian’s late flourish near the finish line helped her race past the Japanese to clinch top honours with the timing of 15:14.75.
Prannoy puts an end to 41-year wait
The 1982 Asian Games was the last time someone from India won a medal in men’s singles badminton, when Syed Modi finished third in that edition. It was HS Prannoy, who ended the 41-year-long wait in Hangzhou and the match that assured him of a medal, was nothing short of a thriller movie. Prannoy was ruled out of the team event final due to unspecified reasons as India lost 2-3 to China to settle for a silver. But the 31-year-old came roaring back into the men’s singles event and clinched bronze after going down 21-16, 21-9 to world No. 8 and reigning All England badminton champion Li Shifeng of China in the semifinals.
But the match that stood out was his penultimate contest. Playing with a taping on his lower back and a belt under his shirt, Prannoy battled severe back spasms to dish out a performance for the ages, outshining Malaysia’s Lee Zii Jia 21-16, 21-23, 22-20 in the quarterfinal to assure India of a medal.
Double delight for Harmilan Bains:
Yet another come-from-behind win for India came via Harmilan Bains, who clinched silver in the women’s 800m event. She managed a 2:03.75s run after trailing behind at the 400m mark. She pipped China’s Wang Chunyu in the last few metres to finish second. Sri Lanka’s Tharushi won gold with 2:03.20s.
Bains also won silver in the 1500m event with a time of 4:12.74s.
Athletics runs in Harmilan’s family. Her father Amandeep Bains is a South Asian Games medallist in 1500m, and mother Madhuri Saxena is a 2002 Asian Games silver medallist in 800m.
Abhay Singh reigns supreme
India’s men’s squash team scripted history on September 30 as it clinched a gold medal in the event in a thrilling contest against Pakistan. The win saw India’s Abhay Singh save two match points to clinch gold for India in the decisive singles tie against Noor Zaman. He won four straight points from 7-9 down in the fourth game to force the fifth game and then won four straight points from 8-10 down in the fifth to win India its 10th gold medal.
Sreeshankar’s historic silver:
Murali Sreeshankar became the first Indian in 45 years to finish on the podium in men’s long Jump at the Asian Games. The 24-year old registered his best jump of 8.19m to win the silver medal in the event. Sreeshankar started his event with a failed attempt. However, he recovered well in his third attempt and crossed the 8-metre mark and landed a jump of 8.01m. With this leap, he jumped up to the second position.
Sreeshankar registered yet another 8+ jump but his jump’s legality was checked. After a long clarification with the technical officials, it was deemed legal and he finished with 8.19, just three centimeters shy of the gold-medal-winning jump of 8.22m by home favourite Wang Jianan.