Women's quartet lives upto its reputation

Ashwini Chidananda, Mandeep Kaur, Sini Jose and Manjeet Kaur celebrate after winning gold in the 4x400m relay.-PTI

Indian athletes churned out their best performance in the Asian Games by winning five gold medals and ended the final day of the track and field events on a high note with the women's quartet defending its title in the 4x400m relay race.

Besides the gold from the women's quartet of Manjeet Kaur, Sini Jose, Ashwini Chidananda and Mandeep Kaur, India also won a silver and bronze from Preeja Sreedharan and Kavita Raut in the women's 5,000 metres at the Aoti Main Stadium.

The women's 4x400m relay team in a sensational burst retained the gold medal it had won four years back in the Doha Asian Games.

The victory gave India its fifth gold in athletics, and 13th overall. Incidentally, the women's relay team gave India its only gold in athletics at the Doha Games four years ago.

The quartet of Manjeet, Sini, Ashwini and Mandeep, who won the gold in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, came on top here clocking 3:29.02 seconds.

Kazakhstan (Marina Maslyonko, Viktoriya Yalovtseva, Margarita Matsko, Olga Tereshkova) got the silver in 3:30.03 secs and China (Zhihui Zheng, Xiaoyin Tang, Lian Chen, Jingwen Chen) the bronze with 3:30.89 secs.

Manjeet, who was member of the gold winning team in Doha, gave India a good start and Sini maintained the pace with a good run before handing the baton to Ashwini. Ashwini, who won the gold in 400 metres hurdles, steamed ahead with rapid strides to break away from the pack and left Kazakh Margarita way behind.

It was left to Mandeep to give it a winning finish, but the tall Kazakh runner Olga came from behind to lead briefly. The seasoned Mandeep, however, had enough stamina to outpace Olga in the last 50 metres.

Earlier in the day, Preeja and Kavita won the silver and bronze medals in the women's 5,000 metres final.

Preeja won the silver with her personal best timing of 15:15.89 seconds and Kavita got the bronze also with her personal best timing of 15:16.54. Preeja and Kavita had won the gold and silver in the women's 10,000 metres.