The juggernaut of Indian athletes performed exceptionally and exceeded everyone’s expectations with a total of 107 medals in the Asian Games 2023. This is the best performance by India in the 72-year history of Asian games.
“Sport has the power to change the world, to inspire, and to unite people in a way that nothing else does. It speaks to the youth in a language they understand. Sports can create hope where once there was only despair. Overall, sports is a gem!”Nelson Mandela
Mandela’s wordings are absolutely true as whenever we talk about a nation’s progress indicator, one thing you can look at is how it is performing in sports. And here, as Indians, we all must feel jubilant and proud as our Tiranga is shining like never before on the world stage of Asian Games 2023. India has etched its name in the annals of the sporting world with an extraordinary performance at the 19th Asian Games 2023 held in Hangzhou, China.
The final medal tally for India is as follows: 28 gold, 38 silver, and 41 bronze medals, and this has propelled India to its highest-ever Asian Games ranking, securing fourth place behind other Asian powerhouses China, Japan, and South Korea.
- Athletics and Shooting led the charge of a committed juggernaut at Asian Games 2023!
- Notable Performances from memorable games
- Controversy of Neeraj’s win – The Golden boy of Indian Athletics
- Hockey and archery too kept the Indian flag flying high in Asian Games 2023
- Some historic “Firsts” at the Asian Games 2023
- The fire to bounce back stronger in wrestling
- India’s increased Asian Games Ranking, rising its status on the world stage
- The Future Awaits more Medals and looks brighter than ever before
Now that the Asian Games 2023 are over, it’s time to look at some notable performances, take an overview, and even look at some of the contributions and moments that made this game memorable. Let’s start with athletics and shooting.
Athletics and Shooting led the charge of a committed juggernaut at Asian Games 2023!
At the heart of India’s remarkable Asian Games ranking at the Asian Games 2023 are two sports that shined commendably: athletics and shooting. With 7 golds, 14 silvers, and 9 bronze medals, the Indian shooting contingent brought laurels to India from the Asian Games in Hangzhou. The athletics team was not far behind, and with a haul of 6 gold and a total of 29 medals, they contributed handsomely to the overall and a significant portion of India’s medal tally at the Asian Games 2023.
Notable Performances from memorable games
Athletics has always been one of India’s weak points in big world-stage sporting events. However, things changed this year, and the progress was on display at the Asian Games 2023. The leader of the pack was none other than Neeraj Chopra, who won gold in the javelin throw with a range of 88.88 m, which also happens to be his best throw of this season.
This victory was combined with the notable performance of Parul Chaudhary, who made India proud by securing the gold medal in the women’s 5000m event with a time of 15:14.75. Another athlete followed in the footsteps of Neeraj Chopra was Annu Rani, who won the gold medal in the javelin throw with a remarkable range of 62.92 meters.
Controversy of Neeraj’s win – The Golden boy of Indian Athletics
No discussion of India’s performance at the Asian Games 2023 would be complete without mentioning Neeraj Chopra. Why would it be as he is the only man in the history of Indian athletics to have won gold in the Olympics!
Naturally, the hopes were sky-high as more than 100 billion people in India were praying for him to kill at the Asian Games 2023. And boy, he did not disappoint! He clinched gold in the javelin throw with the season’s best throw of 88.88 metres.
However, it was not without its share of controversy because in Neeraj’s first attempt, officials failed to measure the range accurately, and many thought it was a deliberate attempt to make him distracted. However, it proved inconsequential, as despite the disruption, Neeraj roared back with his season-best performance and gold medal.
What made this moment even more special was Neeraj’s heartwarming gesture towards Kishore Jena, who is also an Indian javelin throw athlete winning the silver medal in the same event as Neeraj. She admired Neeraj to which he replied: “Peeche kyu? Saath saath rahenge” (Why behind? We are together.)
Hockey and archery too kept the Indian flag flying high in Asian Games 2023
Athletics and shooting were not the only sports to capture the national attention at Asian Games 2023 as the Indian men’s hockey team too secured a gold by convincingly defeating Japan with a score of 5-1 in the final. This performance is not only praiseworthy because of the gold medal but also significant because it gave them a direct spot for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
Archery has been another arena where India showcased its progress. The Indian men’s archery team clinched silver after a hard-fought competition against South Korea, while the women’s team secured bronze in the Recurve Archery Women’s Team event, overcoming Vietnam at the Asian Games 2023.
In archery, the names of those who won gold are Jyothi Surekha, who clinched the gold medal in women’s compound archery, and Ojas Pravin Deotale also went on to win gold in men’s compound archery at Asian Games 2023.
Some historic “Firsts” at the Asian Games 2023
The Asian Games 2023 witnessed many historic “firsts” for India. These include the first gold medals in air rifle shooting, the first gold medal for the women’s cricket team marking a significant breakthrough in these sports. Another highlight was the gold in equestrian sports (dressage team event), which happened after a 41-year long wait and clearly showcased the nation’s diverse sporting talent.
The fire to bounce back stronger in wrestling
Wrestling has always been a strong point of India’s performance in the past years. There were some notable performances this year as well in the Asian Games 2023 with the wrestling team winning six medals in total, 1 silver and 5 bronze.
Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia’s defeat in the semifinals of the Asian Games 2023 missed a gold but we will bounce back stronger next year.
India’s increased Asian Games Ranking, rising its status on the world stage
We as a nation should be proud of the performance of our athletes at the Asian Games 2023, as India has outperformed previous games by a considerable margin. In 2018, India won a total of 70 medals, including 16 gold, 23 silver, and 31 bronze and in the Asian Games 2023, India shattered its previous records by scoring over 100 medals, emphasizing dominance in the arena of Asian sports.
India’s success at the Asian Games ranking in 2023 can be attributed to a combination of factors like increased funding, focused training plans, better infrastructure, increasing recognition for other sports apart from cricket, and increased exposure to athletes in foreign conditions. All this increased the expectations in medal tally, but bagging 100 medals is exceptional. Clearly, momentum generated by India’s impressive showing at the Tokyo Olympics two years prior helped achieve this feat.
Moreover, an increase in the number of female athletes on the podium and the medals bagged by them is another achievement as 10 years back, India had a little or no history of females playing dominantly.
The Future Awaits more Medals and looks brighter than ever before
Life is all about moving ahead stronger than before, and sports are no different. India is proud of its grand success at the Asian games 2023. With the increased Asian Games ranking and the impressive performances of Indian athletes in Hangzhou, India clearly has the potential to make a mark on the global stage.
We are all set for the upcoming Paris Olympics to prove our spirit again. More than a billion people’s eyes look at Indian athletes in admiration as India stands poised for greater sporting achievements in the years to come.
If you loved reading this success story of our nation at the Asian Games 2023, then do give a read to the story of 5 slum kids from Dharavi who found spotlight.
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