Asian Games: Sailors shine as Neha wins silver, Eabad bags bronze

Eabad Ali of India competes in the men's RS:X class at Ningbo Xiangshan Sailing Center at the 19th Asian Games in Ningbo, China, Monday, Sept. 25, 2023. AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko

India won two medals in sailing at the Asian Games on Tuesday as Neha Thakur and Eabad Ali added to the country's medal tally. Neha won silver in the girls' dinghy ILCA-4, while Ali bagged bronze in the Men's Windsurfer RS:X.

Neha finished behind Thailand's Noppassorn Khunboonjan to win her career's biggest medal, which also happened to be India's first medal on Day 3 of the Hangzhou Asian Games. Neha, 17 years of age, had won bronze in the girls' laser event at the 2022 Asian Sailing Championships to qualify for the Asian Games. Hailing from Madhya Pradesh, Neha learnt sailing at the National Sailing School in Bhopal.

India's second medal of the day also came from sailing as Ali finished with a total of 57 points after 14 races to take the bronze. South Korea's Wonwoo Cho won gold [14 points], while Thailand's Natthaphong Phonoppharat clinched silver [29 points].

How are points calculated in sailing?

Each event has multiple races and athletes are awarded points based on where they finish. The athlete who finishes first gets 1 point, while an athlete who finishes 8th would get eight points. For example, if an athlete finishes first in three races, he/she will have three points [1+1+1]. However, if an athlete finishes first, third and fifth across three races, he/she will have nine points [1+3+5].

At the end of the stipulated number of races, points are added up to, and the sailor with the least points is the winner However, athletes also have the option of chalking off their worst race to boost their standings. Let's say an athlete has finished in the top 3 in all but one race, he/she can have that result removed to enhance their position on the points table.