Asian Games 2018: 8 numbers that define India's performance

ESPN picks out the 8 numbers that defined India's performance at the 2018 Asian Games


India's position on the points table. Though India won a record 69 medals at these Games, their position remains unchanged from four years back in Incheon. It's a performance that ranks as their third-worst across the 18 editions of the Games -- they finished 9th in Bangkok in 1998, and 11th in Beijing in 1990. They are yet to match their second-place finish on the medals tally in the inaugural Games at New Delhi in 1951, though they did match 1951 in terms of most golds won (15).


The number of medals picked up by India's best individual medallists. Hima Das and Muhammed Anas picked up silvers in the 400m and the mixed 4x400m relay, while Das also won gold in the women's 4x400m relay and Anas silver in the men's event. The last Indian athlete to win three medals at one edition of the Asian Games was Somdev Devvarman, who picked up a men's team bronze to go with his golds in men's singles and men's doubles at the Guangzhou Games in 2010.


The number of matches the Indian men's kabaddi team had played without being defeated (36 if one includes a win against Nepal in 1998, subsequently annulled due to the latter's withdrawal from the competition). In their 36th match, they were beaten 24-23 by South Korea. In fact, that defeat was the first for an Indian kabaddi team at the Asian Games in 46 matches -- including 11 games played by the women's team since women's kabaddi was introduced in 2010. Both teams lost in the knockout stages, and after a 28-year period of domination, Indian kabaddi's record at the Games stands at 53 matches played, 50 won (one in extra-time), three lost.


Barring sports that were appearing in Jakarta Palembang for the first time, India won their first medal in a sport that had previously appeared at the Games in sepak takraw, with a bronze in the men's team regu event made possible by a semi-final finish. In sports making their debut competitively, India won medals in both kurash and bridge, and the men's pair gold in the latter was the first gold in the broader board-games category since Koneru Humpy's rapid chess gold in Doha 2006


The number of years India had to wait to pick up an individual Asian Games medals in badminton, with PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal picking up silver and bronze in the women's singles. The only other Indian to have won an individual medal in the sport before them was Syed Modi, who had won bronze in men's singles at the New Delhi Games in 1982.


The gap between now and the last time India achieved a one-two finish in the men's 800m at the Asian Games. Manjit Singh put in a late surge to beat pre-race favourite Jinson Johnson to the gold in Jakarta. The last time two Indians had finished in the top two in this specific event was 1951 in New Delhi, when Ranjit Singh and Kulwant Singh won gold and silver, respectively. The evolution of their speeds over these years is revealing too -- Manjit ran his race in 1:46.15, Ranjit clocked 1:59.30


The number of times India have won the 4x400m women's relay gold in succession. VK Vismaya anchored the relay that was started by Hima Das, MR Poovamma and Saritaben Gayakwad, in that order. The last time India failed to pick up gold in this event was at the Hiroshima Games in 1998, when Jincy Phillip, Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, Rosa Kutty and KM Beenamol were beaten by China by a margin of just 0.17 seconds. Beenamol and Jincy were back in four years' time, teaming up with Manjeet Kaur and Soma Biswas to take gold in Busan, where Kazakhstan picked silver ahead of China, and India's streak of golds began.


The number of shooting golds won by India in individual events at these Asian Games (Rahi Sarnobat and Saurabh Chaudhary in the women's 25m and men's 10m air pistol respectively). This was India's joint-best performance in the individual events along with 2006, when Jaspal Rana had won gold in the 25m centre fire pistol and 25m rapid fire pistol events. Sarnobat also became the first Indian woman to win a shooting gold at the Asian Games.

Also, the number of wrestling golds won by India in this edition of the Asian Games (Vinesh Phogat and Bhajrang Punia); double the number of golds they had won in the last five editions. India failed to win a single gold between 1998 and 2010 before Yogeshwar Dutt won India's only gold in 2014. Phogat's win also marked the first time an Indian woman has won a wrestling gold.

And -- there's more -- the number of medals won in Table Tennis by India (men's team and mixed doubles). This is the first time in Asian Games history that India are returning with medals, of any colour, in this sport.