|December 10, 1998||
Horsemen win a bronze for India
Harpal Singh Bedi in Bangkok
India returned to the Asian Games equestrian medals table after 16 years, winning a bronze in the three-day team competition in Bangkok.
After finishing fourth on the opening day in dressage, the riders -- Imtiaz Anees, Amlokjit Singh, Rajesh Pattu and Palwinder Singh -- moved up to third place after the cross-country yesterday.
In the third and final event, show jumping, at Fort Adison, Saraburi, despite Palwinder Singh's disqualification and Pattu's retirement, Imtiaz Anees and Amlokjit Singh gave a fine display of horsemanship, earning just 20 and 25 penalty points respectively.
India thus ended with 1,203.8 penalty points as both Pattu and Palwinder got 1,000 penalty points each for being non-starters.
Thailand won the gold with 191.4 penalty points, while Japan was second with 199.80 points.
Astride 'Mirza', Imtiaz Anees collected 67.20 penalty points after dressage on day one as against 68 by Amlokjit on 'Smart'. Palwinder was penalised 76.4 points while Pattu had 88.2 points at that stage.
On the second day, in the cross-country event, Pattu gave a glittering display as he came through without a single penalty point while Amlokjit also came through quite smoothly with 8.40. Anees collected 15.20 while Palwinder Singh was disqualified.
In show jumping today, Anees and Amlokjit saw India through to the bronze.
The rules award 1,000 penalty points to any rider who is disqualified or withdraws after the event begins. Both Pattu and Palwinder Singh fell in that category today. The result is tabulated on the basis of the three riders with the least number of penalty points.
The Thai riders displayed excellent temperament and poise and collected only 191.40 penalty points for the gold. They were challenged till the end by Japanese, who finished with 199.80.
The Japanese trio of Keizo Eto (5.0 points), Sachiko Kodera and Ikko Murakami (without any penalties) stole the limelight on the final day. But Thailand had done much better yesterday in the cross-country.
The Malaysian and South Korean riders earned more penalty points than the Indians because of withdrawals and disqualification, enabling India to win the bronze.
Malaysia finished fourth with 1,220.2 penalty points while South Korea ended at the bottom with 1,435.8.
Equestrian Federation of India president Lt General M S Bhullar said the medal in the Asiad would give a boost to the sport in the country.
He said he was thrilled that India won a medal at this level after three Asian Games.
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