Pune, July 8: India clinched a gold medal in women's 4X400m relay in a sensational race to finish sixth overall as the curtains were drawn on the 20th Asian Athletics Championships with China confirming their supreme status in the continent, here on July 8.
The home team came up with a rich haul of eight medals -- one
gold, three silver and four bronze -- on the fifth and final day to
give the housefull Shivchhatrapati Stadium crowd a lot to
India ended the Championships with two gold, six silver and nine bronze, a much improved performance than the last edition in 2011 in Kobe, Japan where they had finished seventh with one gold, three silver and eight bronze.
Vikas Gowda had won India's other gold in men's discus throw on the second day on Thursday. Besides the gold from relay team comprising M R Poovamma, Tintu Luka, Anu Mariam Jose and Nirmala, India won a silver and a bronze in men's triple jump through Renjith Maheswary and Arpinder Singh.
India also bagged a silver and bronze in women's 200m through Asha Roy and Dutee Chand respectively.
Jithin C Thomas bagged another silver in men's high jump while Luka and Satinder Singh added a bronze each in women's 800m and men's 400m hurdles respectively.
The women's 4x400m relay team, which was caught in a controversy after India wanted to include dope-tainted Ashwini Akkunji only to be rejected by competition technical delegate, also made it to next month's World Championships in Moscow as they went past the qualifying time of 3:33.00.
With the gold in women's 4x400m relay, India continued its domination in the continent having won a gold each in the 2005 and 2007 editions of the Asian Championships while finishing second in 2009 and 2011. India have also won gold in the last three Asian Games since 2002 in Busan.
As expected, China, who had been ruling the Asian Championships for the last 15 editions, finished at the top spot with 16 gold, six silver and five bronze.
Bahrain were a distant third with five gold, seven silver and three bronze while Japan jumped to third with a strong performance today with four gold, six silver and 10 bronze. Saudi Arabia (4 gold, 2 silver, 1 bronze) were fourth while Uzbekistan (3 gold, 4 silver, 1 bronze) finished fifth.