Asian Games 2023: India's remarkable and unprecedented firsts
India had unprecedented achievements, groundbreaking victories, and a growing presence across various disciplines at the Asian Games 2023.
The Asian Games 2023 marked a historic moment for Indian sports, as the nation soared to new heights with its best-ever medal haul, surpassing the coveted 100-medal mark for the very first time. What sets this achievement apart is the diversification of sports that contributed to India's medal tally, extending beyond the traditional domains of athletics and shooting.
This edition of the Asian Games witnessed a multitude of firsts for the Indian contingent, ranging from gold in badminton to cycling and swimming milestones, breaking national records and leaving a resounding impact on India's sporting landscape.
Here's a comprehensive list of the pioneering achievements by Indian athletes at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou:
Historic gold in Badminton:
One of the most remarkable firsts in Indian sporting history was the gold medal triumph in badminton. The men's doubles duo of Satwik Sairaj Rankireddy and Chirag Shetty secured the first-ever gold by any Indian athlete in this sport at the Asian Games. Their victory also propelled them to the coveted status of the world's number-one men's doubles pair.
Archery had a miraculous run at the Asian Games, propelling India to the pinnacle of the archery medal tally for the very first time in the event's history. India clinched an impressive nine medals, including an astounding five gold, two silver, and two bronze medals. The clean sweep of gold medals in compound archery contributed significantly to this historic achievement. Among these medals, a silver in the men's recurve team event marked the first-ever silver for India in the recurve team competition.
Indian equestrian athletes achieved an unexpected gold medal in the Dressage team event. This marked the first-ever gold for any Indian Dressage team at the Asian Games. Anush Agarwalla, a member of the winning team, also secured an individual Dressage bronze medal, marking India's first-ever individual medal in Dressage.
Aditi Ashok's milestone:
Aditi Ashok scripted history by becoming the first Indian female player to secure a medal at the Asian Games. She won the silver medal in the Women's Individual event, leading the tournament after three rounds. Although she fell to the silver medal position following a challenging final day, her performance was a remarkable achievement, especially after a heart-breaking fourth-place finish at the Tokyo Olympics.
The pair of Sutirtha Mukherjee and Ayhika Mukherjee secured a bronze medal in Women's Doubles in table tennis. This marked the first-ever Women's Doubles medal for India at the Asian Games. What added to the significance of this achievement was their victory over the reigning World Champion Chinese pair of Chen Meng and Wang Yidi, at their home ground.
The Asian Games 2023 also witnessed a series of other remarkable firsts by Indian athletes, including:
- A record-breaking number of national swimming records being shattered.
- Kiran Baliyan securing India's first female shot put medal in 72 years.
- Cyclist David Beckham's historic first-time qualification to the finals in a cycling event.
- India's first-ever top-two finish in a shooting event.
- A maiden gold in cricket.
- The first-ever medal for the Indian women's Sepak Takraw team.
- Annu Rani achieved India's first gold in Women's Javelin at the Asian Games.