Competing with a borrowed pole, Sunil Kumar won the decathlon gold medal with his personal best performance in the Asian U-20 Athletics Championship in Yecheon on Tuesday. (More Sports News)
The 19-year-old suffered a setback much before stepping out on the track and field when a South Korean airlines and Air India barred him from carrying his personal pole due to "technical issues" relating to the length of the equipment.
But that did not stop Sunil from bagging the gold as he won the 10-event competition with a personal best tally of 7003 points on the penultimate day of the competition. His previous best of 6855 points was achieved during the Federation Cup Junior National Championships in April.
The Athletics Federation of India (AFI) had requested the organisers to provide Sunil with a pole as he finished fourth in the event.
Sunil won 100m hurdles, discus throw and javelin throw to make up for the below par show in the other events and secure the gold medal in the gruelling discipline competed over two days.
"It looked a bit difficult initially. But I gave it a try and pushed hard on day-two of the competition. I am extremely happy with the result," Sunil said after winning the gold.
Decathlon comprises 100m, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400m, 110m hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw and 1500m.
After being placed fifth with 3597 points on day one on Monday, Sunil used every bit of his energy to win gold on his international debut.
Uzbekistan's Nodir Norbaev (6956 points) and Makhmudov Samandar (6840) won the silver and bronze respectively.
In women's high jump, Pooja won a silver after clearing 1.82m. Barnokhon Saifullaeva of Uzbekistan (1.84m) won the gold.
Bushra Khan added another silver in the women's 3000m race, clocking 9:41.47s.
Indian sprinters were also successful in winning bronze medals in the men's and women's 4x100m relay events.
In the men's 4x100m relay, India initially finished fifth, but later China and Thailand were disqualified. The Indian team moved to third place.
The Indian women's 4x100m relay team clocked 45.36s to win the bronze.
India remained at third spot in the medal tally with 4 gold, 5 silver and 5 bronze behind Japan (10 gold, 4 silver, 3 bronze) and China (8 gold, 4 silver, 2 bronze).
On the opening day on Sunday, fast-rising Rezoana Mallick Heena and Bharatpreet Singh clinched a gold medal each in women's 400m and men's discus throw, respectively
Shot putter Siddharth Choudhary added another gold on Monday with a personal best throw of 19.52m.