The women’s 4x400m relay quartet lived up to their expectations by clinching a gold after a brilliant race as India ended their athletics campaign with an impressive haul of 13 medals in the 17th Asian Games here on Thursday.
The quartet of Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and M R Poovamma won an easy race in 3:28.68 to improve upon the earlier Games record of 3:29.02 which was also in the name of the gold-winning Indian team in 2010.
Japan won the silver in 3:30.80, while China bagged the bronze in 3:32.02 as athletics events almost came to an end today with just men’s marathon scheduled for tomorrow.
20-year-old Inderjeet Singh also made a mark by winning a bronze in men’s shot put with a throw of 19.63m, a tad below his personal and season’s best of 19.89m, to record his first big achievement in his senior international stage.
The up-and-coming youngster had won a silver in World Universiade last year.
The biggest disappointment of the day was Arpinder Singh, finishing a poor fifth in men’s triple jump with a best effort of 16.41m, well below his season’s and personal best of 17.17m. Arpinder, who went into the Games as the Asian season leader, was considered a sure-shot medal prospect but came a cropper as he could have only two legitimate jumps out of six.
Today’s gold in women’s 4x400m relay was the second for India from the blue-riband discipline after Seema Punia bagged the yellow metal in women’s discus throw.
India ended athletics campaign with 13 medals (2, 3, 8), one more than in Guangzhou in 2010 though they won three gold lesser than the last edition.
In 2010, India had won five gold, two silver and five bronze from athletics.
By winning gold in women’s 4x400m relay, India continued their stranglehold in this event in the Asian Games as this was the country’s fourth yellow metal on the trot. The country has been winning gold in this event since the 2002 Busan Games.