After a slow start to their campaign, the Indian contingent has picked up the pace in the ongoing 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang with a total of 36 medals which include 7 Gold, 10 Silver and 19 Bronze. While the Indian track and field contingent have been adding medals to teams tally, the surprise medal of the day came from a sport which is not very popular in India. The Indian Equestrian team made history by winning two silver medals on Sunday. While the riders won a medal in the team event, Fouaad Mirza claimed the historic silver in the singles event.
There is a saying that every cloud has a silver lining and for Indian Equestrian team, it was Fouaad Mirza who was the silver lining at the games. Mirza’s lion-hearted effort ended India’s medal drought in the individual event. The last time India won an individual medal in the sports was in the 1982 Asiad.
We look at Fouaad Mirza’s path to glory
The first time Fouaad started riding the horse was when he was just 5 years of age and started competing in the regional tournament at just 8 years of age.
Fouaad comes from a horse loving family which came to India from Iran in 1824.
The last individual medal in Eventing, however, came in 1982 when Raghubir Singh topped the table in New Delhi. That year, all three of the podium positions were awarded to Indians – Ghulam Mohammed Khan won silver while Prahlad Singh won bronze – in the event.
The first Indian rider to post a victory in Europe, Fouaad has been training under German Olympian Bettina Hoy.
The Indian Equestrian team almost missed out ongoing for the Asian Games due to internal disputes in the federation but received clearance at the last minute as the Equestrian Federation of India (EFI) selected a seven-member squad was selected for the Asiad. The horses of the riders were also flown in from Belgium and then Chennai before reaching Jakarta.