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Asian Games 2018

Winds of change: India's string of stunning comeback victories at Asiad suggestive of improved mentality

Winds of change: Indias string of stunning comeback victories at Asiad suggestive of improved mentality
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Fast&Up

Published: 29 Aug 2018 3:53 PM GMT
The eighteenth Asian Games have been quite remarkable for India. Agreed, that there hasn't been a flurry of medals some would have expected. However, the Games have still thrown to the fore, some brilliant moments. Athletics has, by far, been the most pleasant of surprises. Going into the pan-Asian competition, some of India's track and field athletes were expected to do well. There were the usual suspects- Neeraj Chopra and Hima Das- attached to whom were medal hopes. What nobody expected, however, was the sheer number of Indian athletes who would end up on the podium. Ten Indian track and field athletes have obtained a podium finish in four days of Athletics so far, making the sport the biggest contributor to India's medal tally.
Some of the other sports have done well, too. Racquet sports have contributed heavily to the medal tally. All four sports- Table Tennis, Squash, Badminton, and Tennis- have got at least one medal. Moreover, some non-mainstream sports, such as Wushu, Rowing, Kurash, and Sepaktakraw have also achieved podium finishes. However, a sport is nothing without a sportsperson. And it is they, who have been the main force behind the Asiad revolution. So far, a number of Indian sportspersons have turned around a losing situation into a winning one; a trait that was previously missing. This new and improved mentality has been the main reason behind some of the most wonderful performances we have seen at the 2018 Asian Games.

Manjit Singh is one of the advocates of this change...

...as he showed with his run in the Men's 800m Final. Having spent most of his energy being in the trailing party, Manjit Singh was fifth when the athletes ran through the final bend. With less than 100m to go, the Indian was out of contention of a podium finish. Nevertheless, Manjit turned on his thrusters and outran the front four to finish first! Compatriot Jinson Johnson did the same, as he outran his opponent to finish first. Singh and Johnson showed a side which Indian fans have previously been somewhat oblivious to. The two runners were not the only ones to achieve comeback victories, however. One of India's earliest Gold medalists at the 2018 Asian Games,
Rahi Sarnobat
put a bad qualifying performance behind her and went on to finish first in Women's 25m Pistol. Our two remarkable Women's shuttler displayed the same trait as well. Both Saina Nehwal and Sindhu have been in situations previously, where a loss early in the game has seen them falter. Nevertheless, both shuttlers showed a definitive change, by overturning matches in their favour at crucial junctures. Sindhu displayed much better mental strength at the earliest stage of the competition. She put a bad game behind her to win the match against Vietnam's Vu. She then followed it up by putting in spirited performances against tough opposition. The third-seeded shuttler beat Jindapol in a hard-fought quarterfinal, where once again, she came back from a game down. Sindhu then went on to beat a higher-ranked Akane Yamaguchi in the semifinal. However, PV Sindhu wasn't the only one to put up such brilliant displays.
Her compatriot, Saina Nehwal did the same as she won matches after being in a difficult situation.
Staying with racquet sports, the Indian Men's Table Tennis also showed resilience, as they put early defeats behind them to reach the Quarterfinal. Once there, they faced a much higher-ranked Japan and held their nerve to defeat them on their way to a medal. In wrestling, Bajrang Punia also displayed a brilliant fighting spirit after a less-than-satisfactory opening match. He then went on an absolute carnage, destroying every single opponent of his, as he won the Gold medal. These were just some instances that showcase a much different side of Indian sportspersons. The sportspersons themselves have put behind themselves, India's habit of faltering at big stages. The result is visible. There is hope, that with this new found physiological and psychological strength, India is ready to move forward. (Fast&Up represents the latest innovations in sports nutrition from around the world being available to every Indian who aspires to maintain an active lifestyle)
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