Asian Games: Sania and Saketh grab mixed doubles gold, India maintain 9th place
Incheon: Sania Mirza and Saketh Myneni combined well to clinch gold medal in the mixed doubles event as India's tennis campaign at the Asian Games concluded with a rich haul of five medals at the Asian Games, here today.
The second seeds overwhelmed the top-seeded Chinese Taipei pair of Hao Ching Chan and Hsien Yin Peng 6-4 6-3 in the summit clash in only 69 minutes.
Myneni though could not make it two out of two as he lost the men's doubles final with Sanam Singh to settle for a silver. The Indians lost the keenly-contested final 5-7 6-7(2) to Korea's Yongkyu Lim and Hyeon Chung earlier in the day.
Gold medallists India's Saketh Sai Myneni (L) and Sania Mirza celebrate after victory in their mixed doubles tennis final against Taiwan's Chan Hao Ching and Peng Hsien Yin at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon on Monday. Pic/AFP
The defeat for the fifth seeded Indian men meant that Sanam could not win a second consecutive gold at the Asian Games, having won gold with Somdev Devvarman at the Guangzhou Games in 2010.
India had won five medals at the 2010 Games too but with two golds. It was a commendable show by the young Indian players, who performed in the absence of top players. Star players -- Leander Paes, Somdev Devvarman and Rohan Bopanna -- had to pull out of the Asian Games to salvage their season on the professional circuit.
Yuki Bhambri won twin bronze medals in the men's singles and double with Divij Sharan while Sania and Prarthana Thombare won bronze in the women's doubles event. Interestingly, Sania, now has eight Asian Games medals to her credit.
Myneni, playing Asian Games for the first time, was not only terrific with his big service game he was very agile at net, firing a lot of volleys for winners. The Indian pair targetted Hao and many a times the Taipei girl took the furious shot hit by Myneni on her body.
With the addition of seven medals today, India maintained their ninth position with a total of haul of 42 -- six gold, seven silver and 29 bronze. China maintained their supremacy with a tally of 238 (112-72-54) followed by hosts South Korea 146 and Japan 132.