Asian Games Diary


Asian-Games-in-GuangzhouLet us do it for Sangwan
The Indian rowing squad, which won one gold, three silver and one bronze at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou, China, not only wish to improve on that total but also pay tribute to former India rower Dharmesh Sangwan, an Asian Games silver medallist in 2006. Sangwan, who became a coach in 2009, was killed while serving the UN Peacekeeping Force in Sudan last year. It was Sangwan’s subsequent success with Satish Joshi at the 2007 Asian Rowing Championships in Incheon that sparked off a revolution in Indian rowing. They won a gold in coxless pairs. A year before at the Doha Asiad, Sangwan and Joshi were part of the team that won silver as part of the coxless fours. Another member of that team, Jenil Krishnan, is now coaching the current side.


Double delight for Sania
Sania Mirza had initially thought of giving the Asian Games a miss because she was worried about missing the bus to the lucrative BNP Paribas WTA Finals in Singapore next month as she did not have enough points. But she changed her mind saying she wanted to play for the country. Soon after that, Sania and her partner Cara Black won the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo for their second title of the season. That triumph ensured their qualification for the WTA Finals. Sania had missed the team event at Incheon as she was playing in Tokyo, but arrived in time for the individual events. “Cara and I are excited to have qualified for the WTA Finals and look forward to the opportunity to compete against the best doubles teams in the world,” said Mirza. “I will be making my first appearance at the season finale, while for Cara, it is the first time since she became a mother, so we have lots to celebrate already. We are having a great year on the court, and we hope to continue that success with a great run in Singapore.”


Kuwaiti ‘Messi’ beats Ghosal for gold
In squash, Kuwait’s Abdullah al Mezayen came back from the brink to snatch the men’s singles gold from India’s Saurav Ghosal. The diminutive al Mezayen was once called the ‘Lionel Messi of squash’. When asked about it, the softspoken star smiled and said, “I remember that. It was in Malaysia and I liked it because I like Messi. Who does not like Messi? It was a very nice feeling.” Though small in size, the 26-yearold has some amazing shots and one of the slowest racquet swings, which forces his opponents to commit to the shot, before changing the ball’s direction at the last minute. Al Mezayen thrives under pressure as Ghosal, who was just one point away from victory, learnt to his grief.

Light as a feather
Qatari weightlifter Essa Saleh al Buainain set a very dubious record while competing in the men’s 77 kg competition. His sequence of lifts was the lightest for either men or women at the Incheon Games. Al Buainain opened with 55 kg, raised it to 60 kg in snatch. In clean and jerk, he hoisted 80 kg for a total of 140 kg, which was 90 kg lower than the next worst competitor. For the record, the last-placed woman in the 48 kg class recorded a total of 26 kg more than the 30-year-old al Buainain — and she was only 1.40 m tall.


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