Ashish Kumar first Indian gymnast to win Asiad medal

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

GUANGZHOU - Ashish Kumar Tuesday became the first Indian gymnast to win a medal in the Asian Games when he bagged a bronze in the men’s floor event.

Kumar secured the bronze with an aggregate score of 14.92 behind gold winner Chenglong Zhang of China (15.40) and South Korean Soo Myun Kim, who won the silver (15.40).

The Indian gymnasts’ campaign here began on a sour note after their Russian coach Vladimir Chertkov left the team following a row with the deputy chef de mission over taking part in the Asian Games opening ceremony and alleged “discrimination and racist” bias in preventing him from marching with the Indian contingent.

The 19-year-old from Allahabad said he did not let the incident affect him and was focused on giving a good performance.

“You need to have a coach at such big events. But I did not think about the episode as I wanted to give a good performance and win a medal for the country. People were expecting a medal from me after I reached the final. I know that our coach must be happy to hear about my medal,” Kumar said.

“Since the event was right after the Commonwealth Games, we did not get much time to train. We could practice only for two weeks. I had the intuition of winning the medal but I was not thinking about it. I am very happy.”

Kumar last month also became the first gymnast from the country to win a medal in the Commonwealth Games, where he won a silver in men’s vault and a bronze in men’s floor.

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