indian sport

Up and running: India’s Purnima Hembram wins pentathlon gold at Asian indoor meet

Four Indian athletes finished on the podium on day three of the event.

India’s Purnima Hembram clinched the gold medal in the pentathlon event at the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan on Monday.

24-year-old Purnima, who is the Asian championship bronze medalist in 2015 and 2017 and Asian Junior Champion in 2012, scored a total of 4062 points to finish at the top of the 10-athlete field with Thailand’s Winatho Wrtaf Wassana (3915 points) and Sunisa Khotseemueang (3093 points) finishing 2nd and 3rd respectively.

Here’s a breakdown of her individual events:


In other events, Tajinderpal Singh Toor (men’s shotput) and Sanjivani Jadhav (women’s 3000m) won silver medals while Neena Varakil won bronze in the women’s long jump.

Tajinderpal, who finished fifth at the World University Games 2015 and a silver medal in the Asian championships 2017 in Bhubaneswar, threw a best of 19.26m to finish behind Ivan Ivanov from Kazhakstan. Om Prakash Karhana finished fifth in the event with a best of 18.80m.

Sanjivani, the other silver medallist, clocked 9:26.34 in the 3000m race and finished behind Alia Mohammed from the United Arab Emirates. The 21-year-old is a silver medalist in World University Games 2017 (10000m) and also won a bronze medal in the Asian championships (5000m) earlier this year in Bhubaneshwar.

In the women’s long jump event, Neena recorded a best of 6.04m (in her fifth attempt) to finish third. The long jump Asian championships silver medalist, Neena also won the Jiaxing leg of the Asian Grand Prix this year.

With the four medals won today, India is now at 11th spot in the medals tally, which is led by hosts Turkmenistan (26 gold, 21 silver, 12 bronze).

Indian tennis players progress

Sumit Nagal and Vijay Sundar Prashanth opened their respective campaigns at the Asian Indoor and Martial Games with fluent wins on Monday in Ashgabat.

Second seed Nagal, who has won four ITF Futures singles titles this season, defeated Vanatau’s Leniker Thomas 6-0 6-1 in the opening round encounter. He will next take on Thailand’s Palaphoom Kovapitukted. Prashanth, seeded third, also came up with a good show, getting the better of Pakistan’s Heera Ashiq 6-1 6-4.

Each of the 15 countries, participating in the indoor tennis event, have fielded two players each in the draws.

The women’s singles will be played on Tuesday. India’s top singles player Ankita Raina, ranked 260 in the world, has been given the top billing. She will open her campaign against Hong Kong’s IP Katherine while national champion Riya Bhatia faces Vanatau’s Rosalie Molbaleh.

Ankita and Prarthan Thombare are top seeds in the women’s doubles and have got a first round bye. In the men’s doubles, Vishnu Vardhan and Prashanth have also been given the top billing.

“Indian tennis team has always done well at the Asian level and these games gives us another shot at winning medals for the country,” Ashutosh Singh, India’s coach for the men’s squad told PTI.

“Our team is strong with Olympians Vishnu and Prarthana along with in-form Sumit. I am expecting the players to play to their potential. Medals will come if they perform well. We had a very good camp in Delhi, where we practised under flood lights as it is an indoor event. So we have given ourselves enough time to shape up and be ready.”

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