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Men's hockey team grabs gold after 16 years, India paces to ninth place


Incheon (Oct 2, 2014): The Indian men's hockey team regained the gold medal after a gap of 16 years while the women's 4x400m relay team also picked up a yellow metal as India added four medals to jump to the ninth position in the overall standings in the 17th Asian Games here on Thursday.

The men's hockey players hogged the spotlight with the thrilling victory over arch-rivals Pakistan to ensure a berth in the 2016 Rio Olympics.

The women 4x400m relay team, comprising Priyanka Panwar, Tintu Luka, Mandeep Kaur and M R Poovamma, then added to the euphoria by clinching the gold medal with the Asian Games record timing.

Boxers Satish Kumar (+91kg) and Vikas Krishnan (75kg) contributed to the medal collection as they settled for bronze medals on a relatively good day for the Indians.

With the addition of four medals, India, overnight at 11th position, jumped to the ninth spot with a total haul of 54 -- 9 gold, 9 silver and 36 bronze. Powerhouse China maintained their supremacy with a tally of 321 medals followed by South Korea (211) and Japan (184).

India also kept themselves on course for the gold medals in men's and women's kabaddi after making it to the finals.

A spirited Indian team prevailed over arch-rivals and defending champions Pakistan 4-2 in a nerve-wracking shoot-out to end its 16-year gold medal draught. The last time India had won a gold medal in Asian Games was in Bangkok in 1998.

It turned out to be a humdinger of a contest between the two sub-continental foes as both India and Pakistan refused to give an inch to each other in the entire 60 minutes of a keenly contested tussle.

It took a shoot-out to determine the winner as both the teams were locked 1-1 in the regulation time of the summit clash at the Seonhak Hockey Stadium.

Pakistan started brightly and broke the deadlock as early as the third minute of the match through Muhammad Rizwan Sr before Kothajit Singh (27th) equalised for India in the second quarter.

The two teams continued their battle after change of ends but failed to breach the rival citadels inspite of creating numerous scoring chances, forcing the match into the shoot-off.