Where India’s Asian Games Champions Stand Against the Olympic Mark

Here’s a comparison of India’s Asian Games gold medallists with Rio Olympic champions and world record holders.

Olympic Sports
4 min read
Manjit Singh, Neeraj Chopra and Amit Panghal.

The Indian athletics contingent produced its best-ever show at the Asian Games since 1978. India won 7 gold, 10 silver and 2 bronze medals in athletics. In total, the Indian team won 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze medals. Overall, this was India’s best-ever performance at the Asian Games with 69 medals.

Neeraj Chopra won a gold in the javelin throw event as expected, but we had some surprise champions such as Swapna Barman in the heptathlon and Manjit Singh in the 800m event.

Here’s a comparison of India’s Asian Games gold medallists with Rio Olympic champions and world record holders.

1. Neeraj Chopra

Neeraj Chopra bagged a gold in javelin throw with a best effort of 88.06m at the Asian Games. All of Chopra’s throws were better than silver medallist Qizhen Liu of China. But with this mega effort, Chopra would have managed only a bronze at the Rio Olympics.

Germany’s Thomas Rohler won the gold with a throw of 90.3m and Kenya’s Julius Yego clinched the silver with an effort of 88.24m at the Rio Games.

The javelin world record of 98.48 m, set by Czech Republic’s Jan Zelezny in 1996, is still far away for the Indian javelin star.

2. Manjit Singh

Manjit Singh defeated India’s national record holder Jinson Johnson to win the 800m gold with a timing of 1:46.15 minutes. The 29-year-old fell short of the world record by almost six seconds, which is held by Kenya’s David Rudisha. He clocked a time of 1:40.91 minutes at the 2012 Olympics.

If Manjit recorded the same timing in the 800m Rio Olympics final, he would have finished eighth in the race. Rudisha won the gold at Rio with a time of 1:42.15 minutes.

3. Jinson Johnson

After not being at his best in the 800m event, Jinson Johnson ensured that he returned with the gold in the 1500m event. He finished the race in 3:44.72, which is a much better timing than Rio Olympics champion’s (Matthew Centrowitz) 3:50.00 minutes.

If conditions suit Johnson in the next Olympics, we could have an Indian winning a gold in the 1500m event.

However, Johnson was well short of the world record time – 3:26.00 minutes. It was set by Morocco’s Hicham El Guerrouj at the Golden Gala competition.

4. Tajinderpal Singh Toor

Tajinderpal Singh Toor won the gold medal in shot put with a Games record throw of 20.75m. But with this attempt, Toor would have only managed a sixth place in the Rio Olympics shot put final. USA’s Ryan Crouser won the gold at Rio with a best throw of 22.52m.

Tajinderpal missed the world record throw of 23.12m by almost three metres. The world record was set by USA’s Randy Barnes at the Jack in the Box Invitational tournament in 1966.

5. Arpinder Singh

Arpinder Singh won the gold in the triple jump event with a best effort of 16.77m. With this attempt, Arpinder would have finished eighth in the Rio Olympics final. USA’s Christian Taylor bagged the gold in Rio with a jump of 17.86m.

Arpinder was way behind the triple jump world record, which is held by Great Britain’s Jonathan Edwards. He recorded an effort of 18.29m at the World Championships in 1995.

6. Women’s 4x400m Relay Team

The Indian women’s 4x400m relay team clinched their fifth consecutive gold at the Asian Games. They missed out on the Asian Games record of 3:28.68 minutes by four milliseconds.

However, with this timing, the Indian team comprising Hima Das, Saritaben Gayakwad, Vismaya Koroth and Poovamma Machettira would not have made it to the top eight in the 4x400m final at the Rio Olympics. The United States team won the gold at Rio with a timing of 3:19.06 minutes.

The 4x400m relay world record, held by the USSR team, is even further away for the Indians. USSR recorded a timing of 3:15.17 minutes in 1988.

7. Men's Quadruple Sculls Team

The Indian men’s quadruple sculls (rowing) team celebrate after winning a gold at the Asian Games.
The Indian men’s quadruple sculls (rowing) team celebrate after winning a gold at the Asian Games.
(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Deepmala Dimple)

The Indian men’s quadruple sculls (rowing) team comprising Sawarn Singh, Dattu Baban Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh won a gold medal with a timing of 6:17.13 minutes. They fell short of Rio Olympics champions’ (Germany) timing by around nine seconds. They recorded a time of 06:06.810 minutes at Rio.

The world record time in quadruple sculls by the Ukraine team. They finished the World Rowing Championship race in 5:32.26 minutes.

8. Amit Panghal Takes Down Olympic Champion

Amit Panghal defeated Rio Olympics champion Hasanboy Dusmatov of Uzbekistan in the 49 kg Boxing final at the Asian Games. The Indian won with scoreline of 3-2.

Hasanboy Dusmatov had won the gold at Rio after beating Colombia’s Yurberjen Herney Martinez 3-0 in the light flyweight (46-49kg) final.

Two years down the line, can India have an Olympic gold medallist in boxing?

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