MC Mary Kom on Wednesday created history by becoming the first Indian woman boxer to clinch a gold medal in the Asian Games but the day was marred by a threat of disciplinary action against colleague Sarita Devi, who returned her bronze medal in protest against her controversial loss to a South Korean.
While the seasoned Mary Kom, a mother of three, grabbed the limelight with a spectacular performance in the ring, middle-distance runner Tintu Lukka fetched a silver and the women's hockey team earned a bronze on a relatively quiet day for the Indians.
Adding to India's tally was Annu Rani, who won an unexpected bronze in the women's javelin throw event.
However, amidst medal winning efforts, an inconsolable Sarita surprised everyone by returning her bronze medal during the podium ceremony. She first gave her medal to Jina Park and when the South Korean returned it, Sarita left the medal at the podium before leaving.
Sarita is now facing an AIBA probe as their Technical Delegate has submitted a report on the issue to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA), describing her act as "regrettable".
"AIBA has already proceeded its Disciplinary Action Process to review this case, and the decision will be made immediately after the Asian Games," AIBA said in a statement.
Five-time world champion and Olympic bronze-medallist Mary Kom was the undisputed star of the day as she beat Kazakhstan's Zhaina Shekerbekova 2-0 to improve on the bronze medal she won in the previous edition of the Games, where women boxers made their debut.
Luka clocked her season's best to win a silver in the 800m race, while the women's hockey team defeated Japan 2-1 in the play-off. Annu also recorded her personal-best throw with an effort of 59.53m.
Despite adding four more medals, India slid to 11th spot in the standings, their tally at 50 (seven gold, nine silver and 34 bronze). China continued to rule the roost with a haul of 294 medals, followed by Korea (189) and Japan (160).
Mary Kom, christened 'Magnificent Mary' by the International Boxing Association, trailed her rival in the battle of two left-handed boxers in the first round with three ringside judges being swayed towards her rival's way at the Seonhak boxing gymnasium.
However, an undeterred Mary stormed her way back by edging past her rival in round two and then dominated the Kazakh in the last two rounds after one of the judges' score tied the two at 38-38.
After the close first two rounds, Mary started landing good blows on her rival's face and even body. A solid right hook followed by a left in the third shook the Kazakh pugilist.
She got a unanimous verdict in the third round and kept her aggressive intent in the fourth to earn the verdict and the coveted gold.
It was the third women's medal for India from the ring, after the bronze medals won by L Sarita Devi (women's light weight) and Pooja Rani (women's middle weight).
In athletics, Luka clocked 1:59.19s to better the bronze medal she had won in this event in the previous edition of the Games in Guangzhou.
The gold was won by Kazakhstan's Mukasheva Margarita, who broke the two-decade-old Games record of 1:59.85s with a timing of 1:59.02s. The other Indian in fray, Sushma Devi ended fourth with a personal best timing of 2:01.92.
Later in the day, Annu Rani added to the cheer by winning a bronze with her personal best effort of 59.53m.
Annu achieved the mark in her first attempt as she led the field for a while before being overtaken by China's Li Zhang and Lingwei Li, who won gold and silver respectively.
Annu bettered her own record of 58.83m, which she had set in June this year during the National championship in Lucknow.
It was women power all the way as the hockey team stunned Japan 2-1 in a keenly-contested match to clinch their third bronze medal at the Games after a hiatus of eight years.
The 13th-ranked Indian eves produced a spirited effort to avenge their 0-1 loss to 10th placed Japan in the bronze medal play-off fours years ago in Guangzhou, China.
Dragflick expert Jaspreet Kaur (23rd minute) and Vandana Kataria (42nd) were the scorers for India, while Japan's only goal was struck by Akane Shibata in the 41st minute.
Elsewhere, India endured mixed results.
A bronze medal was missed when Sandeep Kumar and Basant Bahadur Rana finished fourth and fifth respectively in the men's 50km race walk.
Sandeep was well below his best as he finished the race with a timing of 3:59:31s, well below his personal and season's best effort of 3:56:22s.
The other Indian in the fray, Rana, whose personal best timing is 3:56:48s, was even more disappointing as he clocked 4:07:06s en route to his fifth place finish.