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6 Teenage Champions Who Bagged Medals for India at Asian Games

Asiad 2018 is the maiden triumph for the likes of Saurabh, Shardul & Lakshay at the senior level.

Updated
Asian Games
5 min read
6 Teenage Champions Who Bagged Medals for India at Asian Games
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With 69 medals that include 15 gold, India’s campaign at the 18th edition of the Asian Games in Indonesia has been the most successful one since the inception of the quadrennial event in 1951.

The great thing about the rich haul of medal in Indonesia has been that it has come from variety of sports and discipline, both on expected lines as well as from unexpected rather unknown quarters.

India’s list of medal winners at the 2018 Asiad not only include experienced and seasoned campaigners but many of them are young, unknown faces, who have tasted international success at the senior level for the first time.

The youngest medal winner from India at this edition of the Asian Games has been as young as fifteen years.

Here’s a look at the youngest medal winners for India at the Asiad.

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Shardul Vihan (15-year-old)

15-year-old Shardul Vihan won the Double Trap silver
15-year-old Shardul Vihan won the Double Trap silver
(Photo: AP)

Shardul Vihan became the youngest Indian shooter to win a medal at the Asian Games after he finished second in the men’s double trap event.

Coming into the final, the Meerut-based Vihan topped the qualification.

Vihan took to shooting seriously only four years ago, under Shamli-based coach Anwar Sultan, who was there with him at the Asiad.

He had a sensational 2017 when he won four National titles and also a medal at the ISSF Junior World Cup in Germany.

Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, who won an Olympic silver in the same event at Athens 2004 and India’s lone individual Olympic gold medallist Abhinav Bindra praised Vihan for his pre shot routine as he showed no signs of fatigue even though he was out in scorching sun for almost four hours.

Saurabh Choudhury (16-year-old)

Debutant teenager Saurabh Chaudhary got India the first shooting gold of the 18th Asian Games.
Debutant teenager Saurabh Chaudhary got India the first shooting gold of the 18th Asian Games.
(Photo: AP)

Saurabh Chaudhary is only India’s fifth shooter to clinch a gold in the Asian Games history, beating a field of multiple world and Olympic champions in the 10m air pistol finals.

Chaudhary, competing in his first senior event, showed maturity and calmness to take home the gold.

Chaudhary, who also set a Games record with his sensational effort, won a gold in the Junior World Cup in Germany few months back, where he again broke a couple of records.

Chaudhary, a student of class XI, will be off to the World Championships after the Asian Games.

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Roshibina Devi Naorem (17-year-old)

Roshibina Naorem (second from the right) with her bronze medal in Wushu.
Roshibina Naorem (second from the right) with her bronze medal in Wushu.
(Photo: AP)

Manipur’s Naorem Roshibina Devi won India’s first medal in Wushu at the 18th Asian Games. Roshibina lost 0-1 to Cai Yingying of China in the women's sanda 60kg semi-final to settle for a bronze.

In the quarter-final she had a comfortable win over Pakistan’s Mubashra 2-0.

Wushu is a type of martial arts, which is also known as the Chinese Kung Fu. , The full-contact sport looks like modern kickboxing or MMA, but has more grappling techniques.

There were six wushu players in the Indian squad, all from Manipur. Roshibina was the only medal winner.

Lakshay Sheoran (19-year-old)

India’s silver medalist Lakshay holds his medal aloft on the podium after the trap men shooting event.
India’s silver medalist Lakshay holds his medal aloft on the podium after the trap men shooting event.
(Photo: AP)

Lakshay Sheoran became the third Indian after Karni Singh (1974) and Manavjit Singh Sandhu (2006) to win the men's trap silver at the Asian Games.

Lakshay, a product of Sports Authority of India's Sonepat Centre of Excellence, made his Asian Games debut in this edition.

Lakshay has competed in many World Championships at the junior level, kept his cool to produce a perfect 5/5 to clinch the silver medal.

Laksay’s father Somvir is a former national champion wrestler.

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Pincky Balhara (19-year-old)

Pincky Balhara won silver in Kurash in the women’s 52kg category.
Pincky Balhara won silver in Kurash in the women’s 52kg category.
(Photo: PTI)

Pincky Balhara won the silver medal for India in kurash, a traditional martial art from Uzbekistan that is very much like wrestling.

Coming into the Asiad, she lost three of her family members, including her father, in space of three months.

Pincky, who hails from Delhi, is one of India’s most promising judokas. The two-time national silver medallist won a gold medal in the women’s 52kg category in this year’s Junior Asian Championships.

The teenager, however, narrowly missed out on being a part of India’s judo contingent to Jakarta. Instead, she was put in kurash, wherein she won the biggest medal of her career so far.

However, this is not the first time that Pincky has won a medal in kurash. In 2016 she had won the bronze at the Asian Beach Games in Vietnam. In the Asian Championships held in Pune this year, she finished third in kurash, prompting her selection for Jakarta.

Malaprabha Jadhav (19-year-old)

Malaprabha Jadhav won bronze in Kurash in the women’s 52kg category.
Malaprabha Jadhav won bronze in Kurash in the women’s 52kg category.
(Photo: PTI)

Malaprabha won India’s second medal in Kurash. She clinched bronze in Kurash that has been introduced in the Asian Games for the first time this year.

Malaprabha trained at the sports hostel in Belagavi and was training to be a judo player. Her coaches at the Belagavi sports hostel, spotted her talent and took her to the national sports academy in Noida. As a final round of preparations for Asian Games, she went to Uzbekistan where the coaches realised that she could be groomed into a Kurash player, as it combines the skills of judo and wrestling and she was eventually chosen to participate in the under 52 kg section at the Asian Games.

Prior to her Asiad triumph, Malaprabha had won four medals at national level, which include two golds, one silver, and a bronze. She was honoured with the Ekalavya award by her State.

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