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Asian Games 2023: Neha Thakur clinches silver in girls’ dinghy, Eabad Ali wins bronze in RS:X

SouravGangulySouravGanguly
September 26 2023
Asian Games 2023 Neha Thakur Eabad Ali
(Courtesy : Doordarshan Sports/The Times of India)

Neha Thakur opened India’s medal tally in sailing.

India’s Neha Thakur has won a silver in girls dinghy – ILCA 4 sailing event at the ongoing Hangzhou Asian Games 2023. The daughter of a farmer from Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh showcased her skills on the waters ranging over four days and finished the competition with a net 27 points.

The young sailor has been in good form for over a year. In March last year, Neha and Ritika Dangi had also bronze and gold medals respectively, in the Asian Sailing Championship in Abu Dhabi. The podium finishes had helped them qualify for the Asian Games. Neha’s net score of 27 helped her earn the second spot behind gold medalist Noppassorn Khunboonjan of Thailand. Meanwhile Singapore’s Kiera Marie Carlyle claimed the bronze with a net score of 28.

Neha’s consistency throughout the competition has attributed to her splendid performance and gave her a well deserved podium finish. Speaking of the event, the competition was fierce, particularly in the girl’s dinghy ILCA-4 category, which comprised 11 grueling races. Despite the stiff competition, Neha dominated, finishing with a standout total of 32 points.

However, her journey wasn’t completely smooth. Her performance in the fifth race was not up to her usual standard, bagging only five points. This score was identified as her worst and was subtracted from her total points, resulting in her net score of 27.

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Her performance was met with great applause. Following her win, Cabinet Minister Kiren Rijiju took to social media platform, ‘X’, to congratulate Thakur after winning the silver medal, calling it a good beginning for India’s sailing contingent at the Asian Games 2023.

“Great performance by Neha Thakur who represented India in the Girl’s Dinghy – ILCA 4 category. Hearty congratulations on winning the SILVER MEDAL at the #AsianGames2022. A good beginning as this is India’s 1st medal in Sailing,” Rijiju posted on ‘X’.

Later in the day, another surfer Eabad Ali clinched bronze in men’s windsurfing – RS:X category. Eabad garnered 50 net points in the 14 races overall. The top two sailers in the category were far ahead from the fleet as Cho Wonwoo scored 12 net points and Natthapong scoring 14 net points. The race for bronze however was intense as Eabad faced a stiff challenge from Malaysia’s Muhammed Izzudin who scored 51 net point – just a point behind the Indian. With this, India has won a total of two medals in sailing and could add few more to the medals tally.

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