Back in 2014, when 17th edition of Asian Games took place, India won 57 medals. These 57 medals included 11 gold medals, 10 silver and 36 bronze medals.
Jitu Rai, Yogeshwar Dutt, Seema Punia, and Mary Kom, became the highlight of India's presence at 2014 Asian Games (XVII Asiad).
Big things were expected at 2018 Asian Games
As the 2018 Asian Games schedule was announced, we had great expectations from team India, which comprised of 572 athletes.
They were all prepared and boosted to present a better score at the medal tally as the Asian Games 2018 draw close.
And team India bagged total 69 medals
Yes, they did it. Compared to the past collection of 57 medals, these 69 medals, which included 15 gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze, is a clear 17.39% rise in India's performance.
India lived to our expectations at Asian Games 2018 (XVIII Asiad). This total of 69 medals won by India at Asian Games 2018, has made the nation stand at 8th position in the medal table this year.
Coincidentally, in the previous Asian Games (2014 Asian Games), India was at the 8th position in medals table. The only difference is that India had 57 medals then and has 69 medals now.
Let us take you back to 1951, to the first Asian Games
The 1st Asian Games, which were held in 1951, came to known as the First Asiad and were held in New Delhi, India.
Various celebrated names such as Nawab of Pataudi, Maharaja of Patiala, and General K. M. Cariappa were a part of the then organizing committee.
There was a total of 489 atheles, representing 11 nations, participating in 8 sports, for a total of just 57 events that were a part of the first Asian Games.
And guess what? India stood 2nd at the 1951 Asian Games medals table with 51 medals then. At the first spot was Japan with 60 medals, but that was a close competition.
Just 9 medals short of the 1st place.
Coming back to 2018 Asian GamesAlso known as Jakarta-Palembang 2018, or the 18th Asian Games, or XVIII Asiad, the 2018 Asian Games had a total of 11,646 athletes, representing 45 nations, in 465 events, of 40 sports.
There is a phenomenal rise in competition over just 67 years and then too, we have our athletes bringing home 69 medals. Commendable job!
Here's a brief about Indians who won at Asian Games 2018:
1. INDIAN WOMENS HOCKEY TEAM: Silver-medal
The Indian Women's team played some excellent hockey on the way to the final, but were outclassed by Japan in the gold medal match and ended up losing 2-1. They won a silver medal for their efforts.
2. VARUN THAKKAR-GANAPATHY CHENGAPPA: Bronze-medal
Varun Thakkar and Ganapathy Chengappa of India finished third in the 49meter Men category to win a bronze medal in sailing, after an event that spanned fifteen races. The two were formerly rivals, but recently became teammates.
3. SWETA SHERVEGAR-VARSHA GAUTHAM: Silver-medal
Varsha Gautham and Sweta Shervegar of India finished in second place and won a silver after fifteen races in the Women's 49ers FX category of sailing.
4. WOMEN'S SQUASH TEAM: Silver-medal
The Indian women's team, comprised of Dipika Pallikal Karthik, Joshana Chinappa, Sunayna Kuruvilla and Tanvi Khanna lost their final against Hong Kong to win the silver medal.
5. INDIAN MEN'S HOCKEY TEAM: Bronze-medal
The men's hockey team won a bronze medal after beating Pakistan 2-1, with Akashdeep Singh and Harmanpreet Singh scoring. The Indians lost their semi-final match in a shootout, after drawing 2-2 against Malaysia.
6. PRANAB BARDHAN-SHIBHNATH SARKAR: Gold-medal
Even as boxer Amit Panghal was clinching gold in the boxing ring, 60-year-old Pranab Bardhan and 56-year-old Shibhnath Sarkar earned the country another gold in the men's bridge pair event!
7. AMIT PANGHAL: Gold-medal
Amit Panghal beat Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov in the final of the 49kg weight class to bring India a gold. He’s edged this bout by a split decision of 3-2.
8. VIKAS KRISHAN: Bronze-medal
Vikas Krishan was forced to end his campaign with a bronze medal after being declared medically unfit due to an injury he sustained earlier. He'll return with the bronze in the men's 75kg category.
9. MEN'S 4X400 RELAY TEAM: Silver-medal
The Indian team ran a great race in the Men's 4x400 relay to come away with a sliver medal. Kunhu Muhammed and Dharun Ayyasamy could not close down the gap between themselves and Qatar but Muhammed Anas Yahiya pulled off a great run to pass two runners and Arokia Rajiv managed to maintain the second position.
10. JINSON JOHNSON: Gold-medal
Jinson Johnson did not give his rivals a chance, winning the men's 1500 metres in 3 minute 44.72 seconds. He crossed the finishing line after creating a huge opening in the last 80m stretch.
11. JINSON JOHNSON: Silver-medal
Despite being a favorite for gold prior to the event, Jinson Johnson clinched the silver medal in men's 800 metres, losing to compatriot Manjit Singh and clocking clocking in at 1:46.35 minutes.
12. WOMEN'S 4X400 RELAY TEAM: Gold-medal
The Indian women's quartet of Hima Das, MR Poovamma, Sarita Gayakwad and VK Bismaya won gold in the women's 4x400 metres relay, beating favourites Bahrain by a considerable distance thanks to a strong first run from Das.
13. CHITRA UNNIKRISHNAN: Bronze-medal
23-year-old Chitra Unnikrishnan secured her first-ever Asian Games medal after winning a bronze in the women's 1500m event, clocking a timing of 4:12.56 minutes.
14. SEEMA PUNIA: Bronze-medal
The 35-year-old Seema Punia cleared a best distance of 62.26m in the women's discus throw event, her best in six years, which was enough to win her a bronze medal.
15. SHARATH KAMAL & MANIKA BATRA: Bronze-medal
The Indian table-tennis contingent's run at the Asian Games resulted in the mixed doubles pairing of Sharath Kamal and Manika Batra winning a historic bronze, which was only India's second table-tennis medal at the Games.
16. MALAPRABHA YALLAPPA JADHAV: Bronze-medal
The teenager Malaprabha Yallappa Jadhav won a bronze medal in the women's Kurash 52 kg weight class. She had to sponsor herself as she was a part of the non-recognised Kurash Association of India (KAI).
17. PINCKY BALHARA: Silver-medal
The teenager Pincky Balhara won a silver medal in the women's Kurash 52 kg weight class. Questions were raised about the team's participation at the Games and the Indian Olympic Association had said the athletes would have to pay for their kits as they come from the non-recognised Kurash Association of India (KAI).
18. MANJIT SINGH: Gold-medal
Manjit Singh pipped pre-race favourite and national record holder Jinson Johson to take the gold in the Men's 800 metres with a time of 1:46.15.
19. ARPINDER SINGH: Gold-medal
Arpinder Singh clinched India's first men's triple jump gold medal in 48 years with a jump of 16.77m which he came up with in his third attempt.
20. SWAPNA BARMAN: Gold-medal
Swapna Barman produced her career-best performance by logging 6,026 aggregate points in the women's heptathlon to win a gold medal. She fought through intense pain during the event, competing with a tape on her right cheek to lessen pain arising out of tooth infection.
21. FOUAAD MIRZA: Silver-medal
Fouaad Mirza topped the dressage and cross-country qualifiers with a score of 22.40 and went into the jumping finals as a favourite. In the medal round, he notched up 26.40 to bag silver in the three-day competition.
22. DUTEE CHAND: Silver-medal
Indian sprinter Dutee Chand won a silver medal in the women's 100m in Jakarta. Dutee clocked 11.32 seconds, a little below her national record of 11.29 seconds.
23. NEERAJ CHOPRA: Gold-medal
Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian javelin thrower to win an Asian Games gold medal as he shattered his own national record of 87.43 by throwing 88.06m at Jakarta.
24. MUHAMMED ANAS YAHIYA: Silver-medal
Muhammed Anas Yahiya bagged a silver in the men's 400m final, finishing the race in 45.69 seconds.
25. HIMA DAS: Silver-medal
18-year-old Hima Das became the country’s first woman quarter-miler to finish inside 51 seconds, breaking the women’s 400m National record twice in two days. clocking 50.59 seconds to win the silver in 400 m.
26. DHARUN AYYASAMY: Silver-medal
21-year-old Dharun Ayyasamy from Tamil Nadu won a silver in men's 400m hurdles in national record time, completing the race in 48.96 seconds.
27. SUDHA SINGH: Silver-medal
Veteran long-distance runner Sudha Singh completed the women's 3000 metres steeplechase event in 9 minutes 40.03 seconds to win her second Asian Games medal.
28. MEN'S TABLE TENNIS TEAM: Bronze-medal
The Men's team, comprising of Gnanasekaran Sathiyan, Achanta Sharath Kamal and Anthony Amalraj, lost in the semi-finals to South Korea and settled for bronze. The Indians enjoyed a tumultuous ride to the medal, losing to Chinese Taipei but also beating favourites Japan.
29. PV SINDHU: Silver-medal
PV Sindhu loses the women's singles final 21-13, 21-16 against Tai Tzu Ying. With this, India have claimed two medals in the women's singles event: Sindhu's silver and Saina Nehwal's bronze.
30. MEN'S COMPOUND ARCHERY TEAM: Silver-medal
Indian men's compound archery team wins silver, losing to South Korea in a shoot off. The men’s team led for much of the final but after four ends, the score was level at 229. In the shoot off too, the scores were level. But the Koreans had more arrows in the center circle.
31. WOMEN'S COMPOUND ARCHERY TEAM: Silver-medal
The Indian archery team of Madhumita Kumari, Muskan Kirar and Jyothi Surekha Vennam have won the silver medal in the women’s compound archery team event after losing 228-231 to South Korea in the final.
32. TAJINDERPAL SINGH TOOR: Gold-medal
Tajinderpal Singh Toor shattered the Asian Games record in men's shot put with a throw of 20.75 to open India's medal account in athletics in the Asian Games.
33. SAURAV GHOSAL: Bronze-medal
Top seed Saurav Ghosal lost to Chung Ming Au of Hong Kong China 12-10 13-11 6-11 6-11 6-11 in the men's singles semifinals to pick up the bronze medal in men's singles squash. Ghosal had won a silver in the men's singles in the 2014 Asian Games.
34. JOSHNA CHINAPPA: Bronze-medal
Joshna Chinappa failed to match up to the level of her 19-year-old opponent, losing 1-3 (10-12 6-11 11-9 7-11) in the semi-final to pick up a bronze medal
35. DEEPIKA PALLIKAL KARTHIK: Bronze-medal
Squash star Dipika Pallikal Karthik ensured another bronze medal for India in women's singles event. She lost her semi-final to Nicol David, but with both semi-finalists assured a bronze, she took India's medal tally to 26.
36. WOMEN'S KABADDI: Silver-medal
Defending champions India go down fighting to Iran in the final 24-27 to clinch the silver medal.
37. HEENA SIDHU: Bronze-medal
Heena kept her calm under tremendous pressure to avoid elimination and brought out her A game just when it mattered.
38. ROHAN BOPANNA AND DIVIJ SHARAN: Gold-medal
Bopanna and Sharan beat Aleksandr Bublik and Denis Yevseyev of Kazakhstan 6-3, 6-4 to clinch India's sixth gold medal.
39: MEN'S QUADRUPLE SCULLS TEAM: Gold-medal
Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh win India's first gold of Day 6 after finishing first in the men's quadruple sculls event with a timing of 6:17.13.
40. ROHIT KUMAR AND BHAGWAN SINGH: Bronze-medal
Despite making a slow start, Rohit and Bhagwan finished third behind Japan and South Korea with a timing of 07:04:61 to win India's second bronze on Day 6.
41. DUSHYANT CHAUHAN: Bronze-medal
2014 Incheon Games bronze medallist Dushyant repeats his feat in 2018 by finishing third in the men's lightweight single sculls with a timing of 7:18.76.
42. SHARDUL VIHAN: Silver-medal
All of 15, Shardul Vihan clinched the silver medal in the men's double trap shooting event at the 18th Asian Games.
43. NARENDER GREWAL: Bronze-medal
Narender Grewal was beaten by Akmal Rakhimov of Uzbekistan 0-2 in men's sanda 65 kg semi-final bout. He wins the bronze by virtue of reaching the last-four round.
44. SURYA BHANU PRATAP SINGH: Bronze-medal
Surya Bhanu Pratap Singh lost to Iran's Erfan Ahangarian 0-2 in men’s Sanda 60kg semi-final bout. He gets the bronze medal.
45. SANTOSH KUMAR: Bronze-medal
Santosh Kumar was no match to Truong Giang Bui of Vietnam as he lost 0-2 in the men’s Sanda 56kg category semifinal bout. By reaching the semis, he ensured he comes back home with a bronze.
46. ROSHIBINI DEVI: Bronze-medal
Roshibini Devi lost to Cai Yingying of China 0-1 in women’s Sanda 60kg semifinals, thus clinching a bronze medal.
47. ANKITA RAINA: Bronze-medal
Ankita Raina clinched the bronze medal in the women's singles tennis event after losing her semi-final clash against China's Zhang Shuai.
48. RAHI SARNOBAT: Gold-medal
Rahi Sarnobat clinched gold in the 25m pistol women's event with a thrilling win. She survived a shootoff to end up with the gold medal.
49. DIVYA KAKRAN: Bronze-medal
Having lost top the eventual silver medallist from Mongolia, Divya Kakran won bronze medal in the women's freestyle 68 kg category via the repechage rounds.
50. MEN'S SEPAKTAKRAW TEAM: Bronze-medal
The men's team lost to Thailand in the semis, but not before they had clinched a historic bronze medal in the men's team regu event.
51. SANJEEV RAJPUT: Silver-medal
In an Asian Games edition where young shooters have brought India glory, the veteran Rajput claimed silver in the 50m rifle 3 positions men's event.
52. ABHISHEK VERMA: Bronze-medal
While 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary stole headlines with his gold medal, Abhishek Verma clinched bronze in the 10m air pistol event.
53. SAURABH CHAUDHARY: Gold-medal
Saurabh Chaudhary, at just 16 years of age, won gold in a field of experienced shooters. Chaudhary, who hails from Meerut, started his career in the sport just three years ago.
54. DEEPAK KUMAR: Silver-medal
Deepak Kumar clinched silver in the men's 10m air rifle event even as compatriot Ravi Kumar came frustrating close to winning bronze.
55. VINESH PHOGAT: Gold-medal
Vinesh Phogat beats Japan's Irie Yuki 6-2 to win the gold medal in women's 50kg freestyle wrestling. Vinesh who became the first Indian women to win a gold medal at Asian Games, had cruised through the initial rounds to reach the final.
56. LAKSHAY SHEORAN: Silver Medal
Indian teenager Lakshay Sheoran wins silver medal in Men's Trap shooting event. He finished with a score of 43, five behind the gold medalist but 13 ahead of the shooter in third place.
57. BAJRANG PUNIA: Gold-medal
Wrestler Bajrang Punia opened India's gold medal account at the 2018 Asian Games with a thrilling 11-8 win in the gold medal bout against Japan's Takatani Daichi. He won all his previous bouts till the final by technical superiority.
58. APURVI CHANDELA-RAVI KUMAR: Bronze-medal
India's first medal at the 2018 Asian Games is a bronze, which comes courtesy Apurvi Chandela and Ravi Kumar. The duo won the bronze medal with a score of 429.9.
But we still feel, if better infrastructure is provided to these athletes, India can perform hundred times better. Regular practices, good coaches, play grounds and sports areas, health monitoring, etc. are some of the many things that these athletes need in order to increase the medals in the next Asiad, 2022 Asian Games.
We can only request the government and past reputed sportsperson to come forward and guide them.
We are happy to see new faces representing India and winning medals for India, in new sports.
We want this thing to be never ending.
We want to bleed blue, every time a sport is played by an Indian.