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Asian Games

India roller skating team trained for 3 years, missed silver by 5 seconds

The India men's and women's relay teams were confident of clinching a few unusual medals for the country at the Asian Games. Both the teams ended up with bronze medals.

India roller skating team trained for 3 years, missed silver by 5 seconds

The Indian speed skating teams with coach Shripad Shinde 


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 2 Oct 2023 7:12 PM GMT

Indian roller skaters, who are featuring in one of the marquee sports featuring at the Asian Games, got the prizes which had eluded them so far - medals. The men's and women's speed skating 3000m relay teams both won bronze medals on Monday, returning one of the more unexpected medals to the nation.

The women's trio of Karthika Jagadeeswaran, Heeral Sadhu and Aarathy Kasturi Raj clocked 4:34.861 to finish behind Chinese Taipei (4:19.447) and South Korea (4:21.146). The men's trio of Vikram Rajendra Ingale, Siddhant Rahul Kamble and Anandkumar Velkumar clocked 4:10.128 to finish behind Chinese Taipei (4:05.692) and South Korea (4:05.702).

Coach Shripad Shinde, who has been training both the men's and women's teams, said that the preparations for these medals had started almost three years ago.

"We started training for the Asian Games around two-three years ago. We used to train at our respective places and then gather once in every three months to take a stock of where everyone was," the Maharashtra-based coach told reporters after the event. Most of the speed skaters from India hail from the state of Maharashtra.

"We were confident of a medal this time. The men's team missed the silver medal by just 5 seconds. We are confident that this feat will inspire future generations of roller skaters and that this success helps us make another appearance at the Asian Games in 2026 as well," the coach said.

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Skater Siddhant Kamble said that while the men's team had their sights set on a silver medal, they will treasure this bronze medal as it was won at the highest level available for their sport.

"This is the biggest platform that our sport has got, we wanted to give it our best shot as something like this comes once only in four years. We were confident of a medal because we had beaten the same teams and won silver and bronze medals at the Asian Championships in 2018," Kamble told reporters.

The two bronze medals are India’s first medals in roller skating since the Asian Games in 2010.

In individual events, Aarthy Kasturi Raj finished fifth in women's speed skating 10000m point-elimination race. Anandkumar Velkumar and Siddhant Rahul Kamble came in sixth and seventh in men's speed skating 10000m point-elimination race. Karthika Jagadeeswaran finished fifth in women’s speed skating 1000m sprint.

The closest an Indian has reached to getting an individual medal is Vikram Rajendra Ingale, who was 4th in the men's speed skating 1000m sprint event.

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