By Rajinder Pal Devgan
Hangzhou, 4 Oct: My morning started with a walk along the Qiantang River that flows through Hangzhou and into the East China Sea. Along the river is a raised walk that overlooks the Athletics Stadium. On the other side is our Hotel, the Golden Globe InterContinental. The parks around are full of roses, some other flowers and flowering trees. A gentle breeze added to the beauty of the morning. The parks are studded with marvellous pieces of sculpture. The cleanliness of the town is remarkable.
Afternoon took us to the Boxing Ring. Saw two fights in the Women’s section. Preeti lost in the semis but Lovlina Borgohain won her semifinal in a gutsy performance to ensure at least a Silver Medal for herself and India.
Back at the hotel in the President’s Suite, we had a pleasant surprise. Lingwei Li, thirteen times World Badminton Champion and now Vice President of China’s Olympic Committee and a member of the IOC plus three times MP, came to request Raja Randhir Singh to sign the Asian Games torches. It was a momentous occasion. She had brought the Asian Games torches to be signed by Raja Randhir Singh for posterity, maybe to be kept in the newly inaugurated OCA Museum. The torches had earlier been signed by the President of the International Committee, Thomas Bach. This was done in the presence of our very own GOAT, PT Usha.
Ceremony over, we headed for the Athletics Stadium. Medals continued to flow for India. Annu Rani surprised herself more than anybody else to win the Javelin Throw Gold Medal. The 5,000 metres race for women was brilliant – Indian Parul Chaudhary winning the gold in a very strong finish beating the leader in the last few yards to the finish.
Medals are pouring in. There has been many a great performance by our athletes in every field. At present, the buzz around here is – will India take their tally to the magical 100 medals.
Let’s wait and see.
(RP Devgan is an Educator and Sportsman.)