India surges past 100 medals at Asian Games
text size

India surges past 100 medals at Asian Games

Basketball legend Yao Ming lambasts China 'slackers' after disappointing bronze

An Indian national flag is seen on an arrow of India's Abhishek Verma. (Photo: AFP)
An Indian national flag is seen on an arrow of India's Abhishek Verma. (Photo: AFP)

HANGZHOU, China - India surged past a landmark 100 medals at the Asian Games in Hangzhou with golds in archery and kabaddi on Saturday, on a bumper final full day of competition in Hangzhou.

The curtain comes down on the biggest Asian Games in history, boasting 12,000 athletes, on Sunday after two weeks of competition across 40 sports.

Saturday looked set to be the most action-packed of the fortnight, with gold medals up for grabs in 24 sports including football, cricket, badminton and hockey.

The men's football final has the potential to be one of the highlights, with South Korea facing Japan as they pursue a third title in a row.

The first medals in Asian Games history are at stake in breakdancing, ahead of making another landmark debut at next year's Paris Games.

In early action on a grey and damp day in Hangzhou, India swept up two golds in archery and another by defeating Taiwan in women's kabaddi.

The Indian team have surpassed all expectations back home by breaching the century mark of medals, with more expected to come as the day plays out.

India face Iran later Saturday in the men's kabaddi final, while their men's cricketers are in action for gold against Afghanistan.

It bodes well for Paris, which is less than 10 months away.

"A momentous achievement for India at the Asian Games!" tweeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

"The people of India are thrilled that we have reached a remarkable milestone of 100 medals."

The country's highest previous medal haul at an Asian Games was 70 in Indonesia in 2018.

India have been especially successful in the archery competition in Hangzhou, snaring five golds.

India will, however, still finish a long way behind China in the overall medals table when the Games wrap up on Sunday.

The hosts are well ahead of the rest with 364 medals in total, 192 of them gold.

China 'slackers'

It was not all good news for China.

They won bronze in men's basketball but it was far less than fans and their legendary eight-time NBA All-Star Yao Ming wanted.

Yao, now president of the Chinese Basketball Association, was scathing of their performance having lost to eventual champions the Philippines in the semi-finals.

China also flopped at last month's World Cup, missing out on a qualifying spot for the Paris Games.

Yao said China found it "hard to adjust quickly" after their World Cup disappointment but warned they would have to face reality.

"There are two types of slacking — one is the indisciplined kind and the other is wanting to eat your opponent in just one bite," he told Xinhua news agency.

"This is also a type of slacking."

Yao, who starred for the Houston Rockets from 2002 to 2011, said other countries were "progressing very fast", noting that regional rivals Japan had qualified for Paris.

"The pain comes from the huge gap between China's basketball and world basketball," he said, pledging "an open platform" to thrash out where it was all going wrong.

Do you like the content of this article?