Indian wrestler Bajrang Punia snatched the spotlight on the Day 1 of the 18th Asian Games by opening India’s gold medal account. Punia won his maiden Asian Games gold in the 65kg category by defeating Japan’s Takatani Daichi 10-8 in an exciting bout. However, India’s first medal at the Games was won by the nation’s mixed rifle team comprising Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar, who had to settle for bronze after they were defeated by China.
India’s first medal was won by shooter Deepak Kumar, who won the much-deserved silver in the men’s 10m air rifle finals event. Indian shooter Lakshay, who made his Asian Games debut, helped India secure its second medal of the day with a score of 43/50. The 19-year-old shooter bagged a silver medal at the finals of the men’s trap event. Shooter Manavjit Singh Sandhu, who had a lot of hopes riding on him, finished fourth.
Wrestler Vinesh Phogat, who entered the quarterfinals of the women’s 50kg weight category after beating China’s Sun Yanan 8-2, brought home the second gold medal for India. Phogat earned the medal with a 6-2 win over Japan’s Irie Yuki in women’s 50kg freestyle wrestling.
In other wrestling matches, India’s Pooja Dhanda lost 3-1 to Sakagami Katsuki of Japan in the bronze medal playoff and Sakshi Malik, who had also raised medal hopes for India, fought hard but in the end lost on technical superiority to DPR Korea’s Rim Jong Sim in her Bronze medal bout. Wrestler Sumit Malik also lost his bronze medal bout against Uzbekistan’s M Davit in the men’s 125 kg category.