India records best-ever performance at Asian Games 2018: In Detail

India with a haul of 69 medals including 15 gold recorded its best-ever performance in the history of Asian Games at the 2018 edition held in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia. India set a new record for most medals won and equaled its previous record for maximum gold medals at the Asian Games.

Created On: Sep 3, 2018 16:16 ISTModified On: Sep 3, 2018 17:17 IST
India records best-ever performance at Asian Games 2018: In Detail

India with a haul of 69 medals including 15 gold recorded its best-ever performance in the history of Asian Games at the 2018 edition held in Jakarta and Palembang in Indonesia.

Overall, India maintained its top-10 rank by finishing eighth yet again. The previous highest medal tally for India was at the 2010 edition in Guangzhou, China where they had finished 6th with 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze medals.

New National Records

India set a new record for most medals won and equaled its previous record for maximum gold medals at the Asian Games.

India also won 24 silver medals at the 18th Asian Games, which is more than any of the Games’ previous editions.

India also created new national records in several sports and registered many firsts, some of which are listed below:

  • PV Sindhu became the first badminton player to win silver in Asian Games.
  • Rahi Sarnobat became the first Indian woman to win a gold medal in shooting at the Asian Games.
  • Vinesh Phogat became the first Indian woman wrestler to win a gold medal at the Asian Games.
  • Swapna Barman gave India its first-ever Asiad gold in women's heptathlon event. 
  • Neeraj Chopra became the first Indian javelin thrower to win an Asiad gold.
  • Fouaad Mirza became the first Indian to win an Asian Games individual equestrian medal since 1982.
  • India also won its first medal in sepaktakraw at the 18th Asian Games.

Best Performers

While there were some commendable performances and surprise medals in many sporting categories in the 2018 Asian Games, the athletic contingent stood out the most, as it produced one of its best results till date.

In fact, the track and field events remained the most productive area for India, as they produced 7 out of the total 15 gold medals.

The top performers in Athletics included Tajinderpal Singh Toor, Swapna Barman, Dutee Chand, Neeraj Chopra, Jinson Johnson, Arpinder Singh and Hima Das.

The top performers in other sports included Rohan Bopanna/ Divij Sharan and Ankita Raina in tennis, PV Sindhu and Saina Nehwal in badminton, men’s quadruple sculls team in rowing, Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat in wrestling, Fouaad Mirza in equestrian, Rahi Sarnobat,  Saurabh Chaudhary and Shardul Vihan in shooting, Amit Panghal in boxing and Pranab Bardhan in bridge event.

 Asian Games 2018 held in Jakarta

Top Disappointments

The biggest disappointment for India came through Kabaddi, when both the Indian men’s and women’s team failed to bring back gold after holding the top title since the introduction of the event in the games.

This was followed by Hockey, when again both the men’s and women’s team settled for bronze and silver respectively, despite being the title favourites.

The Indian men’s squash team, which had won gold in the last edition of the Asian Games at Incheon, South Korea, also settled for bronze after failing to qualify for the finals.

Besides this, many Indian star performers who had a lot of expectations riding on them including shooters Manu Bhaker and Manavjit Singh Sandhu, star wrestlers Sakshi Malik and Sushil Kumar, world no. 7 Kidambi Srikanth and athlete Dipa Karmakar failed to bring back any medals.

2018 Asian Games vs 2010 Asian Games

India’s previous best performance at the Asian Games was in the 2010 edition, when it had amassed a total of 64 medals, including 14 gold, 17 silver and 34 bronze medals. The Games had witnessed the first ever medals in gymnastics and roller sports.

In the 2018 edition, India not only bettered its previous best medal haul but also equaled its previous best gold medal haul, which was achieved in the 1951 edition of the Games held in New Delhi, India.

India also won medals in sports like Sepaktakraw and Kurash for the first time in the 2018 Asian Games.

However, it failed to grab a medal in cue sports, golf, chess, roller sports, swimming and gymnastics, as it had done in the 2010 edition.

Key Differences

Sport Name

2018 Asian Games

2010 Asian Games


19 (7 gold, 10 silver and 2 bronze)

12 (5 gold, 2 silver and 5 bronze)


9 ( 2 gold, 4 silver and 3 bronze)

8 (1 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze)


3 ( 2 gold and 1 bronze)

3 ( bronze)


3 (1 gold and 2 bronze)

No Medal


3 (1 gold and 2 bronze)

5 ( 1 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze)


3 (1 gold and 2 bronze)

5 (  gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze)


2 (1 gold and 1 bronze)

9 ( 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze)


2 ( silver)

3 (1 silver and 2 bronze)


2 (silver)

No Medal


5 ( 1 silver and 4 bronze)

3 (bronze)


3 ( 1 silver and 2 bronze)

1 (silver)


2 ( 1 silver and 1 bronze)

No Medal


2 ( 1 silver and 1 bronze)

1 (bronze)


2 ( 1 silver and 1 bronze)

2 (gold)


2 ( 1 silver and 1 bronze)

Event was not Introduced


4 (bronze)

No Medal

Table Tennis

2 ( Bronze)

No Medal


1 (bronze)

No Medal


Despite disappointments in some of the major sports, India’s overall performance showed vast improvement in the 2018 Asian Games.

The huge boost in the medal haul can be seen as a result of the rising emphasis on non-cricketing sports and the various initiatives launched by the Government of India to support the growth.

Key Government initiatives to boost sports

Khelo India Programme

The programme was introduced by the Union Government to revive the sports culture in India at the grass-root level.

The programme’s main objective is to build a strong framework for all sports played in the country and establish India as a great sporting nation.

The programme helps scout young talent from schools in various disciplines and grooms them as future sports champions.

The scholarship programme is designed to take care of the players’ expenses including training, development, boarding and lodging and tournament exposure apart from offering them out of pocket expense allowance.

National Sports University at Manipur

The proposal for setting up of National Sports University in Manipur was formally announced in the Budget 2014-15.

The Government of Manipur has transferred 336.93 acres of land in Thoubal district of Manipur to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the proposed University.

The National Sports University Bill, 2015, which provides for the setting of the university is under finalisation with the Ministry of Law and Justice.

The University is expected to give an opportunity to the youth of country in general and of North Eastern States in particular for pursuing courses in coaching, physiotherapy, fitness, sports management and sports journalism.

It would also churn out sportspersons of abilities both at the grass-roots as well as international levels and also promote sports-industry-related products like sports goods and medicines.

National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS)

The National Sports Talent Search Scheme (NSTSS) was formulated to identify the sporting talent among students in the age group of 8–12 years, who possess inborn qualities such as anthropometric, physical and physiological capabilities without any anatomical infirmities.

The scheme also aimed to nurture the sporting potential and talent in district-level sports schools/ central sports schools and national sports academies etc, in order to make them excel at the National and international sports competitions.

Target Olympic Podium (TOP) Scheme

The TOP (Target Olympic Podium) Scheme had been formulated within the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) with the objective of identifying and supporting potential medal prospects for 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games.

The focused disciplines under the scheme include Athletics, Archery, Badminton, Boxing, Wrestling, Weightlifting and Shooting.

The selected athletes are being provided financial assistance for their customised training at Institutes having world-class facilities and other necessary support.

The benchmark for selection of athletes under the scheme is in relation to international standards.

106 athletes have been identified so far for funding under TOP scheme.

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