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AG Diaries: Beer in dope control, living on ramen and the medals that weren't

There was plenty of stuff that went on at the Asian Games that couldn't be documented as a story. Some of it was fun, others not so much.

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Five things we never thought we'd see: No kabaddi golds, two sprint medals and TT glory

ESPN picks out five results -- one each from athletics, TT, kabaddi, gymnastics and kabaddi -- we did not see coming at the 2018 Asian Games.

ESPN's favourite moments: Wonder Barman, Vinesh's redemption and Dutee's double

Fifteen days, 572 athletes and 69 medals later, ESPN India staff members pick out their favourite moments from the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang.

Best of Asian Games 2018

Asian Games

The Bhojpuri connection: Meet the man behind Japan's stunning hockey win

India may have won the group-stage hockey match against Japan comprehensively, but Siegfried Aikman had the last laugh, coaching Japan to an historic win over Malaysia in the final of the Asian Games.


Sterling moments, Day 15

Asain games 2018


Joshna happy with first medal, win in David vs Goliath battle

Joshna Chinappa will remember Jakarta for her first-ever individual Asian Games medal and her win over eight-time world champion Nicol David.

Asian Games, Day 14

September 1

Hook, line and sinker: How Amit Panghal took down a monster

Uzbekistan's Hasanboy Dusmatov is the meanest boxer of the lot, and the stuff nightmares are made of. Thankfully for India, Amit Panghal doesn't believe in monsters.

AP Photo/Lee Jin-man

eSports and the Asian Games - the future is now

Jonathan Selvaraj dives into the world of eSports as he tries to understand how it's taking the world of sports by storm.

Asian Games, Day 13

August 31

Rani Rampal and the sadness of silver

While her teammates put on brave faces and fake smiles, captain Rani Rampal could barely hide her tears as the reality of the loss in the final sank in.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

Vengeance on the waters: Thakkar, Ganapathy land bronze after cheating accusations

Varun Thakkar and KC Ganapathy believe they could have finished higher but for accusations made against them by the Oman team on day three of the 49er men's event.

Asian Games, Day 12

August 30

Jinson finds silver lining in 1500 gold after narrow 800 miss

The 27-year-old had come into the Asian Games as the undisputed king of Indian middle-distance running and the leading runner across both distances amongst Asian competitors this year.


'Weak link' Vismaya anchors India to relay gold

The inexperienced Vismaya Velluva Koroth taking on one of Asia's best runners was supposed to an athletic mismatch of Goliath proportions. Except, it wasn't.

Asian Games, Day 11

August 29

Meet Arpinder Singh - King of Instagram, and of Asia

Arpinder is more than happy with a gold medal. How does he plan to celebrate? With a photo session of course. That's #bobstyle.


Wonder woman Swapna Barman overcomes pain barrier

Born with six toes, pain has been Swapna Barman's constant companion ever since she could walk. It makes her victory in the heptathlon that much more impressive.

Asian Games, Day 10

August 28

Manjit Singh returns home Asiad champion, proud father

What must one sacrifice to make their dreams come true? For Manjit Singh Chahal, it was leaving his family and newborn son behind to train for an Asian Games medal.


Flawless Tai in a league of her own as Sindhu has no answers

She dispatched Saina Nehwal in 36 minutes in the semifinals, and crushed PV Sindhu in 34 minutes in the final. There is no stopping Tai Tzu Ying at the moment.

Asian Games, Day 10

August 28

Manjit Singh wins 800m gold, Jinson Johnson takes silver

Manjit Singh won India's ninth gold with a mark of 1:46.15 minutes in the men's 800 metre, while Jinson Johnson came a close second with 1:46.35 to claim silver.


Sindhu falls to World No. 1 Tai, wins India's first Asiad silver

PV Sindhu won silver after losing in straight games to world No. 1 Tai Tzu Ying in the final of the Asian Games on Tuesday.

India's compound archery teams win silver

The Indian women's compound team lost 231-228 to favourites South Korea in the final on Tuesday.

Asian Games, Day 9

August 27

Neeraj heads towards the stratosphere

Neeraj Chopra absolutely annihilated the field at the Asian Games and showed his capabilities far exceed the level of competition the continent can provide.


Neeraj: Now the target is World C'ships and Olympics

With a winning throw of 88.06m, Neeraj Chopra clinched gold in Jakarta, shattered the national record, and finished a whole six metres ahead of the pack. He has now set sights on the Olympics and World Championships.

Asian Games, Day 9

August 27

'Feels like an Olympic medal' - Sathiyan after maiden TT medal

India reached the medal rounds of table tennis for the first time in Asian Games history by upsetting Japan in the quarter-finals.

'One big win is all I need' - Srikanth

After an early exit from the Asian Games, Kidambi Srikanth says that 'one big win' can help him turn the bland year around.

Asian Games, Day 8

August 26

Ugra: Dutee sets magic mark in race of redemption

Ostracised by the establishment for four harrowing years, Dutee Chand finally spun her story the way she wanted - with a magic marker for Indian athletics in the 21st century.


Hima's superhuman sprint lands quick silver

On Sunday, nobody got close to Salwa Eid Naser, the best runner in the world and a superhero by herself. Nobody, except Hima Das.

Asian Games, Day 7

August 25

Spurred by ill father, Tajinder makes his golden mark

Tajinderpal Singh Toor's road to Asian Games glory has been anything but straightforward. It required several sacrifices from his end, the hardest of which was leaving the side of a father suffering from throat cancer.

'A national travesty': The farce behind India's swimming duck

An administrative goof-up meant the Indian swimmers' entry timings were not sent to the Asian Games organizers in time, forcing them to swim in the slowest heats.

Asian Games, Day 6

August 24

Tired limbs, exploding hearts lead India to historic rowing gold

Armymen Sawarn Singh and Dattu Bhokanal found energy in the unknown crevices of their body to lead India to only its second gold medal in rowing at the Asian Games.

PTI Photo/Vijay Verma

En route to stepping up, prodigy Bhaker learns to fall

Sixteen-year-old shooter Manu Bhaker tasted the first significant loss of her young career, drawing a blank in Indonesia. But there are plenty of positives to take away.

Asian Games, Day 5

August 23

Baby's day out: PUB-G addict Vihan turns Asiad medallist

Affectionately referred to by his team-mates as the baby of the group, 15-year-old Shardul Vihan did not let his obsession for video games ruin his preparations for the men's double trap event.


Indian rowing in troubled waters as players, coaches clash

Between Dattu accidentally falling into the water and chief coach Gioga publicly speaking out against his team, India have sunk without a trace at these Games.

WATCH: Best of Asian Games

'Hopefully it's all up from here' - Prajnesh

India's Prajnesh Gunneswaran was a happy man after winning the bronze medal in the men's singles event.


'A very special moment for me' - Sidhu

Heena Sidhu speaks after her first individual medal at the Asian Games.


Asian Games, Day 4

August 22

Woman of steel: Sarnobat hits gold in second shot at career

Four years ago, a freak accident threatened to crush Rahi Sarnobat's dreams. She fought her way through excruciating pain and a frustrating rehabilitation to make shooting history at the Asian Games.


Steady success helps Sindhu crack Forbes Top 10

After being named the world's seventh highest-paid female athlete in the Forbes' list, PV Sindhu says winning medals will always remain her priority.

'World Championships my next target' - Sarnobat

'World Championships my next target' - Sarnobat


'Aiming to win a medal in the Olympics and World Championships' - Prakash

Sajan Prakash is targeting the Worlds after an impressive showing at the Asian Games.


'My goal is to focus on the training rather than a medal'

Aadil Bedi is the youngest Indian golfer to make it to the Asian Games


Asian Games, Day 3

August 21

Ice-cool Saurabh outlasts veterans at their own game

At just 16, Saurabh Chaudhary bested a high-class 10m air pistol field to win India's first gold medal in the shooting competitions in Palembang.

AP Photo/Vincent Thian

Rajput chases Olympic dream after Asiad silver

Sanjeev Rajput already had three medals at the Asian Games, but the silver in Indonesia is a bit more special for the 37-year-old veteran shooter.

Asian Games, Day 2

August 20

Vinesh Phogat scripts her own redemption story

She may not have had her story told in a major film, but that is besides the point. Vinesh is no longer one of the Phogat sisters. She is the Phogat sister.

Nerveless Lakshay makes mockery of stacked shooting field

Lakshay Sheoran, just 19 years old, finished above his mentor and seized his moment as he won silver in the men's trap event at the Asian Games.

Asian Games, Day 1

August 19

Bajrang earns long-due coronation with gladiatorial display

Often finding himself in the shadow of India's wrestling legends, Bajrang Punia has finally earned his crown, and it has been a long time in the making.

Yifan Ding/Getty Images

No repechage to rescue Sushil at Asian Games

Sushil Kumar was a shadow of his former self as he bowed out of the Asian Games without a medal, writes Jonathan Selvaraj.

Asian Games, Day 1

'We could have won gold, but it's still a special medal'

Ravi Kumar said he could have won gold in the mixed event with Apurvi Chandela, but still called the medal special, considering it was India's first at the 2018 Games.

AP Photo/Vincent Thian

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'It doesn't matter if I win or lose' - Sushil

Better aware of his own limitations, Sushil Kumar, 35, says he isn't bogged down by the scale of competition at the Asian Games.

Asian Games W2W4: Sushil chases missing crown, shooters make debut

Sushil Kumar will look to improve on his sole bronze medal, while shooting mixed team events make their Asian Games debut on Sunday. Here's what to watch for.

New generation of Indian shooters at Asian Games could produce improved results

Better preparation and more confidence and self-belief means India's shooting squad could do much better at the 2018 Asian Games than they did four years ago.

Asian Games

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Korea's fairytale goes off script ahead of India clash

Unified Korea lost to Chinese Taipei, but they are still amongst the favourites. Jonathan Selvaraj, though, explores why it's not just the results that matter.


How a Danish sailing champion is helping India's quest for gold

Indian sailors KC Ganapathy and Varun Thakkar explain how one of world sailing's true greats is helping them in their quest to bring glory to India.

India arrive in Jakarta


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Iconic Asian medals: TC Yohannan's great leap in 1974

As part of the special series featuring India's most iconic Asian Games moments, Yohannan remembers his record-setting long jump gold in 1974 Tehran.

Iconic Asian Games medals: India's historic volleyball bronze in Seoul

As part of the special series featuring India's most iconic Asian Games moments, PV Ramanna recalls why India's volleyball bronze in 1986 was a special one.

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