Vikas ends boxing gold drought
Vikas Krishan ended Indian boxing's 12-year-old gold medal drought in the Asian Games by winning the lightweight (60kg) title but Dinesh Kumar (81kg) settled for the silver after losing in the finals in Guanghou on Thursday.
India had not won a boxing gold at the Asiad since 1998 when the flamboyant Dingko Singh fetched the bantamweight top honours and it took a little known teenager from Haryana to break the jinx.
The 18-year-old Vikas stunned defending champion Qing Hu of China 5-4 in the lightweight 60kg final that was low on thrill as the Indian decided to play defensive.
World Youth champion and a bronze-medallist at the inaugural Youth Olympics, Vikas kept a shell guard which ultimately proved impregnable for his rival.
With scores tied 1-1 at the end of the first three minutes, Hu pushed Vikas out of sheer frustration in the second round and was handed a warning which cost him crucial two points.
The warning ultimately proved decisive as the two boxers could manage just one scoring punch each in the final round, which was just enough for Vikas to repeat Dingko's feat.
Image: Krishan Vikas of India holds his gold medal after winning the men's 60kg boxing event at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou
Dinesh Kumar settles for silver
However, Dinesh proved no match for defending champion Uzbek Elshod Rasulov and lost 4-10.
The Arjuna awardee was on the backfoot from the word go as Rasulov took the attack to him with a combination of powerful bodyblows and well-timed jabs.
Dinesh's attempted uppercuts could neither break Rasulov's defence nor fetch him any points.
Leading 1-0 in the opening round, Rasulov went on a rampage in the next two rounds and Dinesh found it extremely tough to keep pace with the proceedings.
Olympic and World Championship bronze-medallist Vijender Singh (75kg), V Santhosh Kumar (64kg) and Manpreet Singh (91kg) are the other three Indian boxers who would be fighting for gold on Friday.
Image: Elshod Rasulov (R) of Uzbekistan stands with Dinesh Kumar of India after their men's 81kg gold medal boxing match at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou
Ashwini wins gold in women's 400m hurdle
Ashwini Chidananda clocked a personal best 56.15sec to clinch an unexpected gold medal for India in the women's 400m hurdles event.
The 23-year-old is a 400m and 4X400m relay runner specialist and was part of the team that won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games last month.
Ashwini, who started running 400m hurdle in May at the National Open Athletic meet in Kochi, is only the third Indian to win a gold medal in this category.
MD Valsamma was the first Indian woman to win the 400m hurdles in 1982 New Delhi Asiad, while the legendary PT Usha repeated the show in 1986 at Seoul.
While Ashwini raced away with her first international individual gold medal in 400m hurdle, her compatriot Jauna Murmu was not so lucky as she missed the bronze by a whisker after clocking a personal best of 56.88.
Jauna was 0.05 points behind third-placed Satomi Kubokura of Japan. Chinese Wang Xing won the silver.
Image: India's Ashwini Chidananda Akkunji celebrates with her gold medal after winning the women's 400m hurdles event at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou
Joseph Abraham fetches gold in 400m men's hurdles
Joseph Abraham clocked a season's best of 49.96sec to clinch the gold medal for India in the men's 400m hurdles event.
The 29-year-old Indian's effort was, however, still short of the national record of 49.51sec he set during the 2007 World Championships in Osaka.
The silver went to Saudi Arabia's Bandar Yahya Sharahili, who clocked 50.29sec.
Japan's Naohiro Kawakita settled for the bronze medal with a timing of 50.37sec.
Image: India's Joseph Ganapathiplackal Abraham celebrates winning the men's 400m hurdles final at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou
Matsko wins gold, bronze for Luka
India also got a bronze medal, fetched by Usha protege Tintu Luka, who could not sustain her front-running and flagged on the home stretch to finish third behind Margarita Matsko of Kazakhstan and Truong Thanh Hang of Vietnam.
Tintu clocked two minutes, 1.36 seconds, which is not her personal best as she has clocked under two minutes in her career.
Meanwhile, Matsko, timed a personal best 2:00.29, to take the gold.
The silver was taken by Hang, also with her career-best 2:00.91.
Tintu's compatriot and more experienced runner Sinimole Paulose came in seventh in 2:06.95.
Image: Kazakhstan's Margarita Matsko celebrates winning the women's 800m final at the 16th Asian Games in Guangzhou