Asian Games 2018: Jinson Johnson, Women's Relay Clinch Gold; Men's Hockey Flip-Flops

Asian Games 2018: Jinson Johnson, Women

India exceeded the total count of 57 from its previous edition by remaining at 59 with two more days of competition to play. The country also brought its gold account to 13, two more than in 2014.

Johnson, who surprisingly lost the gold to his compatriot Manjit Singh in the 800 meters, more than made up for that blip with a brilliant rally. Johnson clocked 3: 44.72 seconds to get the highest honors ahead of Iranian Amir Moradi, who converted a time of 3: 45.62 seconds, the best effort of his season. And then, the 4x400m women's relay team won a fifth consecutive gold medal to continue their remarkable command of the event. The Indian quartet of Hima Das, M R Poovamma, Saritaben Gayakwad and Vismaya Velluva Koroth scored 3: 28.72 seconds to claim the gold.

The men's team did not achieve the first position, but managed a decent silver with the quartet of Kunhu Muhammed, Dharunn Ayyasamy, Muhammed Anas and Arokia Rajiv timing 3: 01.85 seconds to finish behind Qatar, who won the gold in an Asian record of 3 : 00.56sec

Adding a bronze was veteran discus thrower Seema Punia. The 35-year-old earned the best record of 62.26 million in six years and finished third. Punia won a gold in the 2014 edition. Asian champion P U Chitra also won a bronze in the women's 1500m race.

Chitra entered the race as Asian leader this season, but had to settle for a bronze medal with a time of 4: 12.56 seconds. But losing the men's hockey semifinal against Malaysia was a heavy blow for the country, which was not only looking for a gold medal but also a direct Olympic qualification with a good result here.

The Malaysians delivered a heartbreaking 6-7 defeat to India in a sudden death after an exhausting playoff.

India will face the eight-time champion of Pakistan in the tiebreak of the bronze medal. Pakistan lost 0-1 to Japan in the other semifinals.

Malaysia, which had defeated India in the last stage eight years ago in Guangzhou, made its wasteful opponents pay for their mistakes, both in regulation time and in the tie-breaker. Both teams tied at 2-2 after 60 minutes.

In the tiebreaker, it was anyone's game and Malaysia handled the nerves better to make its second Asian final. India, which had scored a record 76 goals in the group stage, was stunned after S V Sunil missed his sudden death attempt. Only Akashdeep and Harmanpreet scored in the first five shots of the tiebreaker, while Manpreet Singh, Dilpreet Singh and Sunil failed.

"Malaysia is worthy of the winners, we made too many unforced errors and we paid the price, we did not simplify things, we tried to show our Indian skills and in doing so we lost momentum, it's a big setback for Indian hockey." The road to the Olympic Games it's much more irregular now, we lost the easier opportunity to qualify, "Indian coach Harendra Singh acknowledged.

There was no end to disappointments in sports such as volleyball, sepaktakraw, where the Indians continued to fail and could not find any gain.

In squash, the Indian women's team lost the all-important match against Hong Kong 1-2 to finish second in Group B, which resulted in a tougher semifinal opponent in Malaysia, defending champion.

Top players Dipika Pallikal and Joshna Chinappa lost their games against Joey Chan and Annie Au, 1-3 and 0-3, respectively. Sunayna Kuruvilla, cousin of Pallikal, kept India in the quest with a fight win over Tze Lok Ho in the second singles.

Kuruvilla, making her debut in the Games, was losing 0-2 in the match and 7-10 in the fifth and decisive game, but she never gave up despite some arguable calls by the referee. She fought to the last point for the biggest victory of her career, prevailing 5-11, 13-15, 11-6, 11-9, 14-12. In table tennis, the Commonwealth Games rowers A Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra advanced to the quarterfinals of the singles. The two had girded a historic bronze double doubles.

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