Asian Games

A lookback at India’s performance in Asian Games 2018

Ashwathy RajendranAshwathy Rajendran

September 18 2023
Asian Games 2018 India Lookback
(Courtesy : ESPN)

India won a total of 70 medals and finished 8th in the medals tally.

The Asian Games 2018 held in Jakarta and Palembang; Indonesia marked a historic moment for India in the realm of sports. India’s performance at these Games transcended all expectations with the country eclipsing its previous best medal count, achieved eight years earlier in Guangzhou, China.

This extraordinary achievement saw India secure a total of 70 medals (16 gold, 23 silver and 31 bronze). A remarkable feat that not only surpassed India’s medal count from the 2010 Games but also equaled the gold medal tally from India’s first-ever participation in the Asian Games in 1951.

With immense pride, Neeraj Chopra led the Indian contingent as the flag bearer during the opening ceremony setting the stage for a memorable sporting event while Rani Rampal from the Indian women’s hockey team was bestowed with the honor of carrying the national flag during the closing ceremony.

As the countdown begins to the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Asian Games, this article takes a retrospective glance at the previous edition – a milestone that still stands as India’s most triumphant performance in the history of the games.

List of medalists in Asian Games 2018

GoldBajrang PuniaWrestlingMen’s freestyle 65kg
GoldVinesh PhogatWrestlingWomen’s freestyle 50kg
GoldSaurabh ChaudharyShootingMen’s 10m air pistol
GoldRahi SarnobatShootingWomen’s 25m pistol
GoldSawarn Singh, Dattu Baban Bhokanal, Om Prakash, Sukhmeet SinghRowingMen’s quadruple sculls
GoldRohan Bopanna, Divij SharanLawn tennisMen’s doubles
GoldTajinderpal Singh ToorAthleticsMen’s shot put
GoldNeeraj ChopraAthleticsMen’s javelin throw
GoldManjit SinghAthleticsMen’s 800m
GoldRajiv Arokia, Muhammed Anas, Hima Das, M. R. PoovammaAthleticsMixed 4x400m relay
GoldArpinder SinghAthleticsMen’s triple jump
GoldSwapna BarmanAthleticsWomen’s heptathlon
GoldJinson JohnsonAthleticsMen’s 1500m
GoldM. R. Poovamma, Saritaben Gaikwad, Hima Das, V. K. VismayaAthleticsWomen’s 4×400m relay
GoldAmit PanghalBoxingMen’s 49kg
GoldPranab Bardhan, Shibhnath SarkarBridgeMen’s pair
SilverDeepak KumarShootingMen’s 10m air rifle
SilverLakshay SheoranShootingMen’s trap
SilverSanjeev RajputShootingMen’s 50m rifle three position
SilverShardul VihanShootingMen’s double trap
SilverIndia women’s national kabaddi teamKabaddiWomen’s tournament
SilverFouaad MirzaEquestrianIndividual eventing
SilverFouaad Mirza, Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Malik, Jitender SinghEquestrianTeam eventing
SilverHima DasAthleticsWomen’s 400m
SilverMuhammed AnasAthleticsMen’s 400m
SilverDutee ChandAthleticsWomen’s 100m
SilverDharun AyyasamyAthleticsMen’s 400mhurdles
SilverSudha SinghAthleticsWomen’s 3000m steeplechase
SilverNeena VarakilAthleticsWomen’s long jump
SilverMuskan Kirar, Madhumita Kumari, Jyothi Surekha VennamArcheryWomen’s team compound
SilverAbhishek Verma, Rajat Chauhan, Aman SainiArcheryMen’s team compound
SilverP. V. SindhuBadmintonWomen’s singles
SilverJinson JohnsonAthleticsMen’s 800m
SilverPincky BalharaKurashWomen’s 52 kg
SilverDutee ChandAthleticsWomen’s 200m
SilverDharun Ayyasamy, Kunhu Mohammed, Rajiv Arokia, Muhammed AnasAthleticsMen’s 4 × 400 m relay
SilverShweta Shervegar, Varsha GauthamSailingWomen’s 49er FX
SilverIndia women’s national field hockey teamField hockeyWomen’s tournament
SilverDipika Pallikal, Joshna Chinappa, Tanvi Khanna, Sunayna KuruvillaSquashWomen’s team
BronzeRavi Kumar, Apurvi ChandelaShooting10m air rifle mixed team
BronzeAbhishek VermaShootingMen’s 10m air pistol
BronzeIndia men’s national sepak takraw teamSepak takrawMen’s team regu
BronzeDivya KakranWrestlingWomen’s freestyle 68kg
BronzeRoshibina NaoremWushuWomen’s sanda 60kg
BronzeSanthosh KumarWushuMen’s sanda 56kg
BronzeSurya Bhanu Pratap SinghWushuMen’s sanda 60kg
BronzeNarender GrewalWushuMen’s sanda 65kg
BronzeAnkita RainaLawn tennisWomen’s singles
BronzeIndia men’s national kabaddi teamKabaddiMen’s tournament
BronzeDushyant ChauhanRowingMen’s lightweight single sculls
BronzeRohit Kumar, Bhagwan SinghRowingMen’s lightweight double sculls
BronzeHeena SidhuShootingWomen’s 10m air pistol
BronzePrajnesh GunneswaranLawn tennisMen’s singles
BronzeDipika PallikalSquashWomen’s singles
BronzeJoshna ChinappaSquashWomen’s singles
BronzeSaurav GhosalSquashMen’s singles
BronzeSumit Mukherjee, Debabrata Majumder, Jaggy Shivdasani, Rajeshwar Tewari, Ajay Khare, Raju TolaniBridgeMen’s team
BronzeBachiraju Satyanarayana, Rajeev Khandelwal, Gopinath Manna, Himani Khandelwal, Hema Deora, Kiran NadarBridgeMixed team
BronzeSaina NehwalBadmintonWomen’s singles
BronzeSathiyan Gnanasekaran, Sharath Kamal, Anthony Amalraj, Harmeet Desai, Manav ThakkarTable tennisMen’s team
BronzeMalaprabha JadhavKurashWomen’s 52kg
BronzeSharath Kamal, Manika BatraTable tennisMixed doubles
BronzeP. U. ChitraAthleticsWomen’s 1500m
BronzeSeema PuniaAthleticsWomen’s discus throw
BronzeHarshita TomarSailingLaser 4.7
BronzeAnu RaghavanAthleticsWomen’s 400m hurdles
BronzeVarun Thakkar, Ganapathy ChengappaSailingMen’s 49er
BronzeSaurav Ghosal, Harinder Pal Sandhu, Ramit Tandon, Mahesh MangaonkarSquashMen’s team
BronzeVikas Krishan YadavBoxingMen’s 75 kg
BronzeIndia men’s national field hockey teamField hockeyMen’s

List of Firsts

This event, like none before, witnessed a multitude of firsts including the following:

  • Sepaktakraw (Men’s Regu Event): India secured a historic bronze in Sepaktakraw marking the nation’s first medal in the discipline since its Asian Games debut in 1990.
  • Swapna Barman (Heptathlon): Swapna Barman made history by winning a gold medal in heptathlon scoring 6026 points marking India’s first-ever gold in this discipline.
  • Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu (Badminton): Saina Nehwal and PV Sindhu delivered stunning performances and earned India’s first women’s medal in badminton at the Asiad. Saina won bronze, and Sindhu secured silver marking the first individual badminton medals for Indian shuttlers since Syed Modi in 1982. Sindhu also became the first Indian shuttler to reach the Asiad final in singles event.
  • Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath Sarkar (Bridge): With bridge debuting as an Asiad sport, Pranab Bardhan and Shibnath Sarkar made history by winning the gold medal in the men’s pair event. India also secured bronze medals in the men’s team and mixed team events.
  • Vikas Krishan Yadav (Boxing): Vikas Krishan Yadav clinched bronze in men’s 75kg and became the first Indian boxer to win a medal in three successive editions of the Asiad.
  • Table Tennis: India secured its first-ever Asian Games medal in table tennis with bronze in men’s team and mixed doubles events.
  • Rahi Sarnobat (Shooting): Rahi Sarnobat created history by becoming the first Indian woman to win a shooting medal at the Asian Games with her gold in 25m rapid-fire pistol event.
  • Vinesh Phogat (Wrestling): Vinesh Phogat made history by winning gold in women’s freestyle 50kg category becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to clinch gold at the Asiad.
  • Neeraj Chopra (Athletics): Neeraj Chopra set a new national record and secured India’s first javelin gold medal at the Asian Games with an impressive throw of 88.06m.

Top 3 sports

In the 2018 Asian Games, India achieved remarkable success primarily in Athletics, Shooting and Wrestling.


In the field of Athletics, India secured a total of 20 medals including an impressive haul of eight gold medals. Among these triumphs, Neeraj Chopra emerged as India’s shining star by breaking national record and claiming India’s first javelin gold with an astounding throw of 88.06 meters.

Further adding to India’s glory, Jinson Johnson’s gold medal in the 1500m event marked India’s first medal in the discipline in two decades. Arpinder Singh’s remarkable leap of 16.77 meters earned India its first triple jump gold in 48 years while Tajinderpal Singh Toor made headlines by shattering both the national and Asian Games records with a throw of 20.75 meters in Shot put.


In the realm of wrestling, Vinesh Phogat made history by clinching a gold medal in women’s freestyle 50kg category and becoming the first Indian woman wrestler to achieve this remarkable feat. Adding to the familial triumph, Babita Kumari Phogat secured gold in the women’s freestyle 53 kg category.


Rahi Sarnobat etched her name in history by becoming the first Indian woman to secure a shooting medal at the Asian Games and winning gold in the 25m rapid-fire pistol event and 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary, delivered a new Asian Games record with a remarkable score of 240.7 to secure the gold medal in the Men’s 10m Air Pistol final during the 2018 Asian Games.

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Top 5 performers

Amidst the array of talent showcased at the 2018 Asian Games, there are five individuals who truly made an indelible mark with their exceptional performances.

Dutee Chand

Dutee Chand, who overcame a prolonged gender dispute secured a silver medal in women’s 100m dash. Her achievement marked the first Indian medal in this event in two decades, a remarkable feat for the 22-year-old Odisha native in her debut Asian Games appearance.

Quadruple sculls

Indian rowers initially faced disappointment at the 2018 Asian Games, but they made a remarkable comeback. Sawarn Singh, Dattu Bhokanal, Om Prakash and Sukhmeet Singh redeemed the team’s performance by securing a gold medal in the men’s quadruple sculls category.

Their impressive time of 6 minutes and 17.13 seconds not only secured victory but also marked only the second gold for India in rowing since their participation in the sport at the Asian Games.

Shardul Vihan

In a remarkable feat by a young Indian talent, 15-year-old Shardul Vihan from Uttar Pradesh secured a silver medal in men’s double trap shooting event at the Asian Games. He impressively scored 73 points and finished just one point behind Korean gold medalist Shin Hyunwoo, who achieved a score of 74.

Rahi Sarnobat

Rahi Sarnobat made history as the first Indian female shooter to secure gold at the Asian Games. In a thrilling 25m air pistol final, she faced off against Thailand’s Naphaswan Yangpaiboon. After tying at 34 points, they were engaged in a tense shoot-off with Rahi displaying exceptional composure to secure the gold medal for India.

Vinesh Phogat

Vinesh’s gold marked a historic moment in Indian sports history, as she became the first Indian woman to secure an Asian Games gold in wrestling. The 23-year-old wrestler from Haryana dominated her competition in the 50kg category and ultimately triumphed by defeating Japan’s Yuki Irie 6-2 in the final.


India experienced its most significant disappointments in various sporting events at the 2018 Asian Games. Firstly, in Kabaddi, both the Indian men’s and women’s teams failed to secure gold medals which is a stark departure from their previous dominance in this event.

Following this, in hockey despite high expectations, the men’s team had to settle for bronze while the women’s team managed to secure silver medal. This outcome was particularly disheartening considering their status as favorites for the titles.

In squash, the Indian men’s team which had clinched gold in the previous Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, could only manage to secure a bronze medal and failed to advance to the final.

Moreover, several star Indian athletes who were expected to shine at the event such as shooters Manu Bhaker and Manavjit Singh Sandhu, accomplished wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Sushil Kumar, World No. 7 Kidambi Srikanth and Gymnast Dipa Karmakar, all fell short of bringing home any medals.

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