Joseph & Ashwini make history

Hurdlers Joseph Abraham and Ashwini Chidananda provided a huge boost to the country's medal haul with their gold-winning feats.

Taking Indian athletics to a new high, Joseph and Ashwini took centre stage by taking the honours in the men's and women's 400m hurdles, an unprecedented feat for any country at the Asian Games. Joseph and Ashwini raced to glory on an action-packed day to give India a golden double in a single athletics event for the first time since the 1978 Bangkok Asian Games when the country had won both the 800m men's and women's gold medals.

Striding smoothly over the low hurdles, the long-legged Ashwini accelerated on the final straight to clinch the gold with a personal best of 56.15secs, clipping 0.28secs off her own previous high of 56.43, which she clocked in the qualifying heats. Ashwini's victory is significant as she had started concentrating on hurdles only recently.

Just a few minutes after Aswhini's triumph, the 29-year-old Joseph, hailing from Kottayam district in Kerala, made it a historic moment for India. He edged past his rivals in a very tight finish.