Asian Games: Indian Equestrian team wins historic gold medal
India secured a historic gold medal in the Dressage Prix St-Georges team competition at the Asian Games, marking a momentous achievement in equestrian sports.
India etched its name in the annals of Asian Games history with a remarkable gold medal win in the Dressage Prix St-Georges team competition. This historic triumph comes after a four-decade hiatus and underscores India’s growing prominence in equestrian sports. The winning quartet, consisting of Sudipti Hajela, Divyakriti Singh, Hriday Chheda and Anush Agarwalla, showcased their exceptional skills in an impressive performance.
The Indian team, riding on the steeds Chinski, Adrenalin Firfod, Chemxpro Emerald and Etro, collectively amassed 209.206 percentage points, securing the coveted gold medal. This outstanding achievement placed India ahead of the host nation, China, which accumulated 204.882 points. Hong Kong China claimed the bronze medal with a score of 204.852.
First gold medal after more than 40 years
This gold medal win marks India’s second-ever medal in the Team Dressage event at the Asian Games. The previous accolade was a bronze medal earned by the team of Jitendarjit Singh Ahluwalia, Ghulam Mohammed Khan and Raghubir Singh when equestrian sports made its debut in the 1982 edition of the Asian Games held in New Delhi. India’s three gold medals in equestrian sports all originated from the 1982 Asian Games, encompassing Individual Eventing, Team Eventing and Individual Tent Pegging. Notably, the latter discipline has not been featured since the 1982 Games.
Before the Hangzhou triumph, India had garnered a total of three gold, three silver and six bronze medals in equestrian sports at the Asian Games. In the 2018 edition, India secured two silver medals in equestrian Eventing, with Fouaad Mirza clinching second place in the Individual competition and partnering with Rakesh Kumar, Ashish Malik and Jitender Singh to attain silver in the Team event.
However, it was the youthful quartet of Sudipti Hajela, Divyakriti Singh, Hriday Chheda and Anush Agarwalla who overcame all challenges on Tuesday to etch their names in Indian equestrian history. Dressage, a discipline that evaluates the coordination between the rider and the horse as they execute a series of predetermined movements, was executed with precision by the Indian riders and their equine partners. The objective was to minimize penalty points while performing movements within a 20×60-meter arena, including the display of three paces: walk, trot and canter, along with smooth transitions between the 12 lettered markers symmetrically positioned in the arena.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauds the quartet
The Indian equestrian dressage team won a gold medal in the Dressage Prix St. Georges at the Asian Games 2022, ending a four-decade drought. Prime Minister Narendra Modi applauded the team on Tuesday.
PM Modi in his tweet said, “It is a matter of extreme pride that after several decades, our Equestrian Dressage Team has won Gold in Asian Games!”
It is a matter of extreme pride that after several decades, our Equestrian Dressage Team has won Gold in Asian Games!
Hriday Chheda, Anush Agarwalla, Sudipti Hajela and Divyakriit Singh have displayed unparalleled skill, teamwork and brought honour to our nation on the… pic.twitter.com/9GtxWKcPHl
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 26, 2023
The Indian quartet delivered exemplary performances, securing gold with Sudipti earning a total score of 66.706, Divyakriti achieving 68.176, Hriday amassing 69.941 and Anush excelling with a score of 71.088. Their outstanding display outshone their Chinese counterparts, propelling India to the top of the podium in a historic win.