New Delhi, 5 October:  Favorite Neeraj Chopra survived a mighty scare before he retained his title with India claiming a dramatic 1-2 finish in the Asian Games men’s javelin throw competition with Kishore Kumar Jena bagging the silver as Indian Track and field stars continued with their medal rush at the Hangzhou Olympic Sports Park Main Stadium, China on Wednesday.

India also added another gold to its kitty as the quartet won the gold medal in the men’s 4x400m relay. The team comprising Amoj Jacob, Muhammed Anas Yahiya, Rajesh Ramesh, and Muhammad Ajmal Variyathodi finished with a time of 3:01.58.

Neeraj was given a run for his money by understated Kishore Jena but the World champion managed a season’s best of 88.88m with his fourth attempt to successfully defend his Asian Games crown. 

The surprise of the night, however, turned out to be Kishore Jena, who not only won his first major international medal at Hangzhou but also reset his personal best not once but twice on the same night.

Jena, who briefly led Neeraj in the throw standings, registered 86.77m with his third throw to surpass his previous personal best of 84.77m, logged at the Budapest world championships earlier this year. He went on to improve it to 87.54m with his fourth throw, which eventually won him the silver medal in Hangzhou.

Japan’s Roderick Genki Dean took the bronze with an 82.68m mark, which came in his fifth throw.

Earlier some rather unexplainable scenes were witnessed in Javelin Throw final, as Neeraj stunning first throw was not counted by the organizers. The Olympic champion started with a massive throw that seemed above the 85-meter mark and something that could have secured gold, but there were no results provided by the organizers.

After a 10-minute delay with some long discussions taking place between the organizers, the Indian was asked to retake his throw, with the first throw not counting. As things stand, no official explanation has been provided by the Chinese organizers or the Olympic Council of Asia.

The second throw was not as good, and Neeraj only started with an 82.38-meter throw. His second throw saw him better the score with 84.49m. His throw was red-flagged.
That was not the end of the controversies for the night as Kishore Jena's second throw was red-flagged. However, replays showed that there was no Faul and Jena had not crossed the line.

Neeraj was quick to rush to the help of his fellow Indian and after review, the decision was reversed and the throw was white-flagged. Kishore impressed with a stunning 86.77m throw on the third attempt.

Earlier Avinash Sable won the 5000m silver medal as he clocked 13:21.09 in the final. Gulveer Singh finished fourth with a time of 13:29.93. Birhanu Balew Yemataw clinched the gold medal with an Asian Games record time of 13:17.40 while Dawit Fikadu settled for silver with a season-best 13:25.63.

The 29-year-old Avinash Sable had broken the men's 3000m steeplechase Asian Games record while winning the gold medal on Sunday.

Later Harmilan Bains clocked 2:03.75 in the women's 800m race and won the silver medal. Her teammate Chanda, meanwhile, finished seventh with a time of 2:05.69. Sri Lankan runner Tharushi Karunarathna won the gold medal while China's Wang Chunyu settled for silver with her season-best time.

The 25-year-old Harmilan had also bagged the 1500m silver at Hangzhou on Sunday. Her mother Madhuri Singh had clinched silver in the 800m at the 2002 Asian Games in Busan.

Manju Rani and Ram Baboo clocked a combined time of 5:51:14, winning the 35km race walk mixed team bronze medal. China won the gold medal with a time of 5:16:41 while Japan clocked 5:22:11 to secure the silver medal in the 35km race walk mixed team final.

Then women's 4x400m relay team, featuring Vithya Ramraj, Aishwarya Mishra, Prachi and Subha Venkatesan, won the silver medal. Despite beating the previous Asian Games record time (3:28.68 in 2014 Incheon), the Indian quartet were outrun by Bahrain, who secured the gold medal with a new record time of 3:27.65. Sri Lanka completed the women's 4x400m relay team podium with a bronze.

Sheena Nellickal Varkey, on the other hand, finished sixth in the women's triple jump final with a best leap of 13.34m

Indian track and field stars have so far won 31 medals gold, 17 silver and 19 Bronze.


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