Ali, meanwhile, had 52 net points from 14 races in the six-man final which was won by Korea’s Cho Wonwoo with Thailand’s Natthaphong Phonoppharat taking third place
India’s Neha Thakur with her coach Narender in Hangzhou yesterday. Pic/PTI
India’s sailing team bagged two medals on Day One of the competition on Tuesday, with teenager Neha Thakur, 17, winning silver in the dinghy ILCA-4 event and Eabad Ali picking up a historic bronze in the men’s windsurfer RS:X event.
Young Neha was a picture of sheer endurance against her more senior opponents as she worked tirelessly to register a net score of 27 points across 11 races. Thailand’s Noppassorn Khunboonjan won gold while Singapore’s Keira Marie Carlyle claimed the bronze.
Ali, meanwhile, had 52 net points from 14 races in the six-man final which was won by Korea’s Cho Wonwoo with Thailand’s Natthaphong Phonoppharat taking third place.
“It’s a great feeling to win this silver medal. It has always been my dream to represent India at the Asian Games, so to be honest, this medal is a bonus. But this silver has motivated me to go for gold next time,” said Thakur, who had won a bronze at the Asian Sailing Championships in Abu Dhabi in March to qualify for this Asiad.
Neha’s coach Narender was proud that she justified the effort put in by the federation and the sports ministry to ensure foreign exposure trips for sailors. “We had an aim and Neha has achieved it. I’ve been part of foreign camps with her, where she has put in a lot of effort. I’m glad that all that hard work has paid off,” he said.
Eabad, meanwhile, was simply happy to be part of history. “I entered this race thinking that I have to get a medal anyhow and I’m happy to have achieved that. This is India’s first-ever windsurfing medal at the Asian Games so I’m glad to be a part of history,” he said.