A historic moment unfolded at the Asian Games 2023 in Hangzhou, China, as India clinched its first gold medal in equestrian sports in 41 years. The triumphant Indian dressage team, led by Anush Agarwalla, etched their names in history with this remarkable achievement.
The four-member Indian team, comprising Anush Agarwalla and his trusty steed, Etro, Hriday Vipul Chheda with Emerald, Divyakriti Singh riding Adrenalin Firdod, and Sudipti Hajela partnered with Chinski, secured the coveted gold. Anush Agarwalla achieved the highest individual score among Indian riders, accumulating 71.088 points. He was closely followed by Hriday Vipul Chheda with 69.941 points and Divyakriti Singh scoring 68.176 points. Sudipti Hajela contributed 66.706 points, although her score was not included in the team’s total, as only the top three scores were counted. The Indian team amassed a total of 209.205 points, surpassing China’s 204.882 points and Hong Kong’s 204.852 points.
Anush Agarwalla, hailing from Ballygunge in South Kolkata, embarked on his equestrian journey at the tender age of seven. His passion for horse riding led him to The Tollygunge Club, where he commenced training at the age of 10. After completing his Class X education at La Martiniere for Boys and his Plus Two education at The Shri Ram School in New Delhi, he ventured to Germany at the age of 17 to train under Olympian Hubertus Schmidt.
At just 24 years of age, Anush Agarwalla, along with his talented teammates, made history by clinching the gold medal. Their exhilarating victory over China and Hong Kong earned them accolades, including congratulations from Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
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India further bolstered its medal tally with a third gold when the mixed equestrian dressage team secured the top position at the Asian Games 2023, ending a 41-year-long drought for gold in this event.
This victory marked India’s 14th medal at the games, positioning them behind Hong Kong in the medal tally. Earlier, India secured its 12th medal when 17-year-old Neha Thakur claimed the silver medal in the Girl’s Dinghy ILCA 4 event in Sailing. The nation then celebrated its 13th medal and a second in sailing as Eabad Ali clinched the bronze medal in the Men’s Windsurfer RS-X category.
Despite a valiant effort, team India narrowly missed its first medal on September 26 when Divyansh Singh Panwar and Ramita fell short against Korea, losing 18-16 in the bronze-medal match of the 10m air rifle mixed team event.
India’s medal tally now comprises three gold, four silver, and seven bronze medals, totaling 14 medals, securing the country’s sixth-place position in the overall medal table. Meanwhile, China continued its dominant streak, amassing an impressive tally of 53 gold medals, significantly contributing to its total count of 95 medals.”