Pranab Bardhan became the oldest man in the Indian contingent to win a medal at the 18th Asian Games as he joined forces with Shibhnath Sarkar to clinch gold in the men’s pair event of the bridge competition on Saturday.
The 60-year-old Bardhan and his 56-year old partner finished the men’s pair event with a score of 384 as they edged out China’s Lixin Yang and Gang Chen, who finished with 378 points after five rounds of competition.
Bridge made its debut at the Asian Games, this year.
Indonesia’s Henky Lasut and Freddy Eddy Manoppo finished third with 374 points to claim one of the two places on the podium along with Hong Kong’s Mak Kwok Fai and Lai Wai Kit, who had 373 points.
Another Indian pair in the fray, Sumit Mukherjee and Debabrata Majumder finished ninth with a score of 333 while Subhash Gupta and Sapan Desai ended at the 12th position.
“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,” said an elated Sarkar, who is a teacher at Jadavpur University.
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 after scoring 333 in the final.
Another Indian pair in fray, Rajeev Khandelwal and Himani Khandelwal finished at the seventh spot with a score of 329.
In women’s pair event, Hema Deora and Marianne Karmarkar ended their campaign at the seventh place with a score of 349.
India finished third overall with one gold and two bronze medals.
India had won a bronze each in men’s team and the mixed team events.