India’s Kartik Kumar and Gulveer Singh stayed focused in a tactical 10,000m race to win silver and bronze, respectively, on Saturday at the 19th Asian Games in Hangzhou.
With two medals on Saturday, the medal tally in athletics has swelled to three. On Friday shot putter Kiran Baliyan won bronze.
Both Kumar and Singh sprinted home in the last 200m of the 25-lap race to post a personal best of 28:15.38 and 28:17.21, respectively.
In preparation for the Hangzhou Asian Games in China, the core group of Indian distance runners, Including Ajay Kumar Saroj, Kumar and Singh, have attended a 10 weeks training camp in the high altitude of Colorado Springs in the USA since July. “The distance runners directly reached China from Colorado Springs to compete at the Asian Games,” Adille Sumariwalla, president of Athletics Federation of India (AFI) said. “Good preparation gave us two medals in the 10,000m event.”
Way back at the 1998 Bangkok Asian Games in Thailand, India’s Gulab Chand won bronze in the men’s 10,000m. While at the 2018 Jakarta Asian Games, Govindan Lakshmanan was in contention for a medal but stepped inside the track in the closing stages of the 10,000m event and was later disqualified. Lakshmanan finished fifth in the 5,000m.
Earlier in the women’s 400m final, Aishwarya Mishra clocked 53.50 seconds to finish fourth, while Muhammed Ajmal finished fifth in the men’s 400m. He clocked 45.97 seconds.
In heptathlon, at the end of the first four events—100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m—India’s Nandini Agasara was at fourth position with 3328 points, while Swapna Barman was sixth with 3312 points.
Earlier, in the morning session, Murali Sreeshankar and Jeswin Aldrin qualified for the medal round. India’s middle-distance runners—Ajay Kumar Saroj and Jinson Johnson, defending champion, advanced to the final of the 1500m.
National record holder and 100m hurdles specialist Jyothi Yarraji and Nithya Ramraj also entered the medal round in the women’s 100m hurdles.