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10 Oct, 2023 04:30

Modi hails Indian athletes’ record medals haul at Asian Games

The country's sports men and women collected 28 golds among 107 placings at the world’s second largest multi-sporting event
Modi hails Indian athletes’ record medals haul at Asian Games

The Indian contingent at the recently-concluded Asian Games came in for some high praise from the country’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 

At the Asiad held in Hangzhou, China since mid-September, India’s athletes won an unprecedented haul of 107 medals that included 28 gold, 38 silver, and 41 bronze, marking the first time that the country crossed the three-figure milestone at the games. 

The entire nation is overjoyed that our incredible athletes have brought home the highest ever total of 107 medals, the best ever performance in the last 60 years,” Modi posted on X (formerly Twitter).

The unwavering determination, relentless spirit, and hard work of our players have made the nation proud. Their victories have given us moments to remember, inspired us all, and have reaffirmed our commitment to excellence,” the PM added.

Notably, the Indian contingent in attendance, comprising 655 athletes competing in 41 disciplines, was the largest ever in the history of the Asian Games. At the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta, Indonesia, India had sent 570 athletes and returned with 70 medals, including a haul of 16 gold medals. It remained India’s best medal haul until the 2023 Hangzhou Asiad.

India’s Sports Minister Anurag Thakur recently hailed the Asian Games as a “turning point” for the country, crediting the record overall performance on robust sports infrastructure developed, he said, by the Modi-led government. “The 107 medals tally, the highest in 60 years, is not just a historic feat but a turning point in Indian sports,” Thakur told The New Indian Express. He paid tribute to the “hard work and determination” of the athletes in winning medals for their country and also praised India’s “holistic sports ecosystem.” 

At the 2023 games, the Indian shooters were a major revelation, returning home with seven gold medals, the most gold medals won by India. Four of their golds came with world records. Neeraj Chopra, the country’s lone gold medalist at the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2021, also didn’t disappoint at Hangzhou, walking away with the gold after launching a season-best throw of 88.88 meters. Kishore Jena, who threw a personal best of 87.54 meters, took home the silver. 

India topped the medal table in four different events – archery, cricket, kabaddi and hockey.

Hosts China completed the Asiad with a record 201 gold medals, before handing over the reins to Japan for the 2026 games. With about 12,000 athletes in total, the Hangzhou games were the biggest Asian Games in the history of the event.