India’s equestrian star Anush Agarwalla expresses gratitude to his parents and coaches after winning the country’s first individual dressage bronze at the Asian Games
India's Anush Agarwalla with his horse Etro at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre
- Anush Agarwalla doubled his medal count and added his name to the history books
- Astride Etro, Agarwalla, won India’s first ever bronze in dressage individual event
- Agarwalla finished with a score of 73.030 for his third place finish
Less than 48 hours after securing a historic team dressage gold medal for India at the Asian Games for the first time in 41 years, rider Anush Agarwalla doubled his medal count and added his name to the history books once again on Thursday. Astride his majestic horse Etro, Agarwalla, won India’s first ever bronze medal in the dressage individual event at the Asian Games.
Agarwalla finished with a score of 73.030 for his third place finish at the Tonglu Equestrian Centre while the gold medal went to Malaysia’s Mohammad Qabil Ambak (75.780) and silver was picked up by Hong Kong’s Jacqueline Wing Ying (73.450).
“This is the culmination of six years of hard work and sacrifice. My family and coaches have also sacrificed a lot. It has been a very difficult journey, full of ups and downs, but in the end, it was worth it. If anyone asked me if I’d want to do this again, I would say, ‘of course, yes’,” said Agarwalla after his win.
The Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) has come under severe criticism from all quarters this year due to selection issues. They were not keen on sending the dressage team to these Games as India had never won a medal in this discipline for four decades. The dressage team comprising Agarwalla, Hriday Chheda, Divyakriti Singh and Sudipti Hajela had to knock on the court’s doors for relief.
Interestingly, while the EFI were not expecting a medal from the dressage team, Agarwalla insisted he was always confident of finishing on the podium. “To be honest, I always knew I would win a medal here. I did not know what colour it would be. In fact, this morning, when I woke up, I sent my mum a text saying ‘Today we will get something. I know it for sure’. I know I’ve worked hard enough, I know I’m good enough,” added Agarwalla, who along with his teammates had to train in Europe for the last few years at their own expense, which ran into a few crores, in order to continue their dream of riding for India.