India creates history tops medal tally at Asian Athletics

In a stunning show of dominance, India clinched five gold to top the medal tally for first time in the history of Asian Athletics Championships, pushing China to second spot, in their most successful campaign in the continental flagship event on 09 July 2017. With five gold, one silver and three bronze, India ended the four-day championships on top with their highest ever medal haul of 29 medals (12 gold, five silver and 12 bronze). India’s best came way back in the 1985 Jakarta edition where they had won 22 medals (10 gold, five silver, seven bronze).

China ended this edition on second position with eight gold, seven silver and five bronze. They won three gold, one silver and one bronze on 09 July 2017. Japan topped the medal tally in the first five editions of the Asian championships from 1973 to 1981. China’s domination began from 1983 at Kuwait City and continued till the previous edition at their home venue in Wuhan two years ago. India snapped China’s monopoly this time though their northern neighbours had fielded only a second string team here as their athletes are reserving their best for the upcoming World championships in London next month.

The host country, however, suffered a huge setback after 800m runner Archana Yadav was disqualified, after being initially declared as the gold medal winner, for pushing Sri Lankan rival Nimali Waliwarsha Konda from behind near the finishing line. The gold medal was then awarded to Konda and thus, India lost a yellow metal in dramatic circumstances. It was heptathlete Swapna Barman who gave India the first gold of the day (as Archana was qualified) as she collected a total of 5,942 points from the seven events. The 20-year-old from Bengal collapsed just after crossing the 800m race, the last of the seven events, and was taken for immediate medical attention. Japan’s Meg Hemphill was second with 5,883 points while another Indian Purnima Hembram was third with 5,798 points.

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