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Medal meter: on India at Asian Games 2018

Asian Games 2018
With 69 medals, India’s performance at the Asian Games has many lessons going forward
India’s best-ever Asian Games medal haul at Jakarta has brought much cheer(जयकार/उत्साहित). The Indiancontingent(आकस्मिक ) raked in 69 medals, including(समेत) 15 gold. It may have lagged at eighth place on the medals table, way behind China with its 289 medals — but compared to recent Asiads, India registered significant(महत्वपूर्ण/सार्थक)progress in many events, with heroic(वीरतापूर्ण) performances among both women and men. These will go a long way ininspiring(प्रेरणादायक/उत्साह देना) others, and also hopefully making the sports administration more responsive to the needs of athletes. Track and field was a happy hunting ground, with India picking up 19 medals, including seven of its total 15 golds. Javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, whose gold-winning 88.06m makes him among the world’s best, particularly shone(महत्व प्राप्त करना/जगमगाना). As did Swapna Barman, who kept ahead of the pack to win gold in heptathlon even as she coped with a painful tooth infection and shoes far from ideal for her six-toed feet(पैर की अंगुली ). Boxer Amit Panghal shocked Uzbekistan’s Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov with a split verdict(फ़ैसला/विचार) in the men’s 49 kg category. Shooting and wrestling seized two gold medals each while table tennis broke its Asian Games drought(सूखा/अकाल) with two bronze medals. P.V. Sindhu claimed the country’s maiden Asiad silver in badminton and Saina Nehwal got a bronze. There weredisappointments(निराशाओं) too, especially(विशेष रूप से) in kabaddi, in which for the first time both the men’s and women’s teams finished without a gold medal. In men’s hockey, India, the defending(मौजूदा ) champion and favourite, slumped(फिसल गया/संमिलित करना) with a bronze, missing automatic qualification for the Olympics in Tokyo.

While India improved on its previous best of 65 at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, it remains miles behind Asian powerhouses like China and Japan, the top two in Jakarta. The fact(तथ्य) that one woman swimmer from Japan, Rikako Ikee, who was adjudged(घोषित) as the Asiad’s Most Valuable(मूल्यवान ) Player, could win six golds gives a fair idea of where India stands. While the competition in track and field had audiences(दर्शकों ) riveted, it is a sobering(बुद्धिमत्ता) reality check that independent India has not won a single medal in athletics at the Olympics; China already has 32, including eight golds, and Japan has 25, with seven of them gold. Hope of this equation changing rests on Chopra, who could excel in global events in the years to come, and perhaps on under-20 world champion Hima Das, whose time of 50.79s got her the 400m silver. India should now build(बनाना ) on its Asiad success to do better at the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games than it did in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, when the contingent returned with just two medals. It also needs to ensure(पक्का करना/सुनिश्चित करना) that the sport is clean.


Important vocabulary

1.Contingent(आकस्मिक ) 
Synonyms: unforeseen, accidental, chance, dependent, incidental
Antonyms: designed, essential, planned, certain, definite

2.Shone(महत्व प्राप्त करना/जगमगाना)
Synonyms: beam, blink, burn, dazzle, flash
Antonyms: darken, dull

3. Slumped(फिसल गया/संमिलित करना)
Synonyms: collapse, deteriorate, droop, drop, fall
Antonyms: ascend, build, go up, increase, rise

4. Sobering(बुद्धिमत्ता) 
Synonyms: dangerous, deep, difficult, far-reaching, grievous
Antonyms: calm, easy, facile, friendly, insignificant

5. Drought(सूखा/अकाल)
Synonyms: lack, scarcity, aridity, dearth, deficiency
Antonyms: abundance, excess, surplus, plenty, sufficiency




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