Bhubaneshwar, July 10: India on Sunday scripted a history after clinching 29 medals including 12 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze in Asian Athletics Championships which was held in Bhubaneshwar. Notably, at the final day of the championship, India continued its dominance and bagged a total of 9 medals including five gold, 1 silver and 3 bronze.
India, however, suffered a major setback as their 800-metre runner Archana Adhav was disqualified, after being initially declared as the gold medal winner, for pushing Sri Lankan rival Nimali Waliwarsha Konda from behind near the finishing line. Sri Lanka won their protest and the gold medal was awarded to their athlete Konda.
Later, Heptathlete Swapna Barman gave India the first gold of the day as she collected a total of 5942 points from the seven events. Japan's Meg Hemphill was second, while another Indian Purnima Hembram was third in the event. Lakshmanan Govindan grabbed his second gold of the championships by winning the men's 10,000-metre event in 29 minute and 55.87 seconds. His Indian compatriot Gopi Thonkanal won the silver winner. Lakshmanan had already won a gold in the 5000 metre race on an opening day.
World junior record holder javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra clinched the gold with a final throw of 85.23 metres. Devinder Singh Kang came third in the event. India fittingly wrapped up the championships by winning gold in the men's and women's 4x400 metre relay races to send the packed crowd to wild celebrations. In men's 800 metre race, India won a bronze through Jinson Johnson.
China ended this edition with a tally of 8 gold, 7 silver, 5 bronze. Kazakhstan finished third with 4 gold, 2 silver, 2 bronze while Iran ended on fourth with 4 gold and 1 bronze. Interestingly, India's earlier best came way back in the 1985 Jakarta edition where they had won 22 medals which included 10 gold, 5 silver, seven bronze.
Japan had topped the medal tally in the first five editions of the Asian Championships from 1973 to 1981, while China's domination began from 1983 at Kuwait City and continued till the previous edition at their home venue in Wuhan two years ago.