India’s Pranab Bardhan (60 years old) and Shibnath Sarkar (56 years old) won the men’s pair event in bridge on Saturday at the 18th Asian Games in Indonesia.
Bardhan is the oldest gold medallist at the 2018 Asian Games.
Bridge, an event making its debut at the Asian Games, has now accounted for three medals with two bronze coming earlier in the men’s and mixed team events.
Bardhan and Sarkar lead through the final stages of the event and topped all the five rounds in Final 2 to emerge winners. The Chinese pair of Lixin Yang and Gang Chen won the silver and the Indonesian combination of Henky Lasut and Freddy Eddy Manoppo bagged the bronze.
India’s other contenders in the pair events finished outside the medal positions.
After boxer Amit Panghal’s stunning win over Olympic champion Hasanboy Dusmatov, this was India’s 15th gold medal at the Asian Games, equalling the country’s best ever tally from the first Asiad in 1951.
This was also India’s 67th medal at the 18th Asian Games, which is also the best overall tally for the country.
“I could not sleep last night and ate only fruit in breakfast. It’s tough, the blood circulation shoots up with tension, we beat China and Singapore, it’s great result for us,” an elated Sarkar, who is a teacher at Jadavpur University, told PTI.
Bardhan, who had a construction business, said, “Bridge is more challenging than chess. It’s the most competitive indoor game.”
In mixed pair, India’s Bachiraju Satyanarayana and Kiran Nadar finished fifth to miss out of a medal while Rajeev Khandelwal and Himani Khandelwal finished at the seventh spot. In women’s pair event, Hema Deora and Marianne Karmarkar ended their campaign at the seventh place.