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Rashid Khan takes India to team silver in Asiad golf

Saturday November 20, 2010 06:31:52 PM, V.Krishnaswamy, IANS

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Guangzhou: Rashid Khan endured some tense moments right at the end of the Asian Games golf tournament at the picturesque Dragon Lake Golf Club. But the 19-year-old held his nerve and carried the Indian men's team to a silver medal for the second consecutive time in the continental games.

South Korea, for the second Asian Games in a row, won all four gold medals, and each by a whopping margins, making all events a contest for minor medals for the other teams.

The South Korean team, comprising Meen Whee Kim, Kyoung Hoon Lee, Jaehyeok Lee and Ilhwan Park, shot a total of 22 under 842 to win their back-to-back men's team gold in the Asian Games.

Chinese Taipei's Hung Chien Yao, Huang Tao, Hsieh Chi Hsien and Yang Fei Hao shot a total of 11 over 875 for the bronze.

Rashid (3 under 285), Abhinav (3 over 291) and Rahul (22 over 310) provided the three best four-day's scores for India to win the silver.

There was some tension in the end, as the fight for the silver and bronze was between four teams - India, Thailand, the Philippines and Chinese Taipei, who made a great comeback on the final day.

In the men's individual event, South Korean Kim Meen Whee (16-under) was a 10 shots ahead of silver medallist Miguel Luis Tabuena (6 under) of the Philippines and the bronze went to Chinese Taipei's Chien Hung Yao (5 under). Rashid was unlucky to miss out on a individual bronze as .he ended in a tie for fourth place with Attachai Jaichalad (Thailand) and Lee Kyoung Hoon (South Korea).

This was India's sixth golf medal in Asian Games history. They had three medals in 1982, including the gold in men's team and individual. In 2002, Shiv Kapur won the gold and in 2006 India won the team silver.

"I am happy with the silver medal we won as a team. The individual medal would have been a bonus, but it does not matter," said Rashid.

"China has always been a good hunting ground for me. I won the Faldo Series Asia tournament twice and was third once and now this medal. I am happy we managed to keep up the silver medal we won four years ago," added Rashid, a popular figure among golfing juniors here, who have seen him play numerous times in China.

Rahul Bajaj, who had his best round of the week, said: "I have been playing way below my potential last three days. I am glad I was able to do my bit for the team with a par round."

Abhinav Lohan, whose back-to-back birdies on 14th and 15th turned the tide in India's favour, said: "This is a great achievement for us. The next step is obviously professional golf for us. Winning an Asian Games medal is something none of us will ever forget in our lives. It was really exciting."

The Indian women finished way behind in ninth place in the team event. South Korea took the gold in both individual and team events.







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