Athletics Events from Sep 27-Oct 3
Statistical Reference for Asian Games 2014
17th Asian Games – Incheon, Korea -Preview
WOMEN’s Track Events:
SPRINTS – Will Fukushima repeat the double
Japan’s Chisato Fukushima was the star of Guangzhou Asiad as she delivered a ‘sprint double’. But four years later it looks difficult for her to ‘repeat’ the golden act as athletes from a variety of nations coming out with excellent performances this season. In the Asian championships at Pune last year, Wei Yongli (China) took the title in 100m while Kazakh sprinter Viktoriya Zyabkina clinched the 200m gold. Zyabkina’s colleague Olga Safronova is leading the Asian lists in 100m (11.23 secs) and 200m (22.85s) this year. To everyone’s surprise even Indian sprinter Sharadha Narayana listed second in 100m with her excellent 11.39 secs clocked three months ago while Yongli a close third behind in 11.40s. Zyabkina and Yongli once again taking top rankings in 200m behind Safronova with their season best timings of 23.22 and 23.25 secs respectively.
The 400m will be a two-horse race between Bahrain’s Kemi Adekoya (51.32 secs) and Indian M.R. Poovamma (51.73). Adekoya, formerly a Nigerian citizen, recently won a bronze medal in the IAAF Continental Cup at Marrakech in 400m hurdles – her favourite event – as part of the Asia-Pacific team.
MIDDLE DISTANCES – Young vs Experienced
Reigning Asian Games champion Margarita Mukasheva and Indian half-miler Tintu Lukka will clash for the top spot in 800m. Their head-to-head winning ratio is in favour of Mukasheva (6:1). But the presence of Belayneh Betlhem Desalegn will make things different for the duo. Formerly known as Maryam Mubarak Abdullah of Ethiopia, Betlhem migrated to the United Arab Emirates and won two gold medals for her adopted country in the Pune Asian championships in 1500m and 5000m. In Incheon she is entered in as much as four events – 800m, 1500m, 5000m and 3000m steeplechase. It may change at the time of confirming the entries prior to the commencement of athletics competitions.
Mimi Belete (4:00.08) and defending champion Maryam Jama (4:04.10)l are top 1500m runners from Bahrain. India’s O.P. Jaisha, who recently posted a personal best 4:09.14, may do some surprise act in the metric mile. From the Chinese team, Zhao Jing and Liu Fang are the best bets in 800 and 1500m events respectively.
LONG DISTANCES – Japan vs Bahrain
Mimi Belete (15:11.60 in 5000m) and Ruth Chebet (9:20.55 in 3000m steeplechase) are top guns from Bahrain while Ayumi Hagiwara (31:50.85 in 10000m) and Ryoko Kizaki (2:25:26 in Marathon) the favourites from Japan. Belete was a gold medalist in her event in 2010 while Chebet sets the Asian Record about a month ago in Zurich. Incidentally Chebet won the steeple gold in the rain-hit Asian championships at Pune last year but had lost it to second placed Sudha Singh of India since her ‘transfer’ from Kenya to Bahrain was not effected as per IAAF at that time. With inaugural Asian Games steeplechase champion Sudha struggling to maintain her pace this time, it will be a cake-walk for Chebet in Incheon. However, as mentioned earlier UAE’s Betlhem will be major threat for both Belete and Chebet in their respective events.
Japan’s athletes are the virtual leaders in long distances. Kasumi Nishihara (31:53.69) along with Hagiwara leading the challenge in 10000m while Eri Hayakawa (2:25:31) will partner with Kizaki in the marathon. UAE runner Alia Mohamed Saeed is another keen athlete to watch in 10000m. North Korea’s Kim Hye Gyong (2:27:05) and Kim Hye Song (2:27:58) together Bahraini stars Eunice Jepkirui (2:21:42 PB in 2012) and Lishan Dula (2:26:56 PB in 2011) are expected to set the road race a memorable one.
HURDLE RACES – New champions will emerge
Notwithstanding the presence of the reigning Asian Games champions in both 100m hurdles (Lee Yeon-Kyoung of Korea) and 400m hurdles (Ashwini Akkunji of India), the Incheon start-lists provide a clue that new champions will emerge this time.
A three-cornered contest is in offing between Kazakhstan’s Anastasiya Pilipenko (12.93 secs), China’s Wu Shujiao (12.99) and Japan’s Ayako Kimura (13.13). The latter is the Asian champion from Pune. The re-emergence of China’s Sun Yawei will also be not ruled out in 100m hurdles.
As mentioned earlier Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain will be the top contender for 400m hurdles gold with her excellent 54.59 secs personal best this year. It means Leng Xueyan’s 20-years-old Games Record of 55.26 secs is under threat. Asian champion Satomi Kubokura from Japan and Xiao Xia of China will try for minor medals.
RACE WALKING – A Chinese terrain
VERTICAL JUMPS – Radzivil vs Dusanova
There will be an interesting dual in high jump between Uzbekistan’s defending Asian Games champion Svetlana Radzivil (1.96m) and last year’s Asian championship gold medalist Nadezhda Dusanova (1.94m) in Incheon. Also in the fray are Asian record-holder Marina Aitova (1.99m) of Kazakhstan and Guangzhou silver medalist Zheng Xingjuan (1.95m PB in 2009) from China. There are four other jumpers with 1.91m and above personal bests also competing here to make the contest a memorable one.
Chinese are clear favourites in pole vault. Li Ling showed tremendous improvement after her silver medal in Guangzhou 2010 to Asian champion at Pune last year. To cap it all she conquered the Continental Cup title in Marrakech just two weeks ago. The Asian record-holder (4.65m in 2013) is going to Incheon with a season leading 4.61m. Her compatriot Xu Huiqin is 21 cm behind, thus allowing Li a clear advantage for the highest place on the podium.
HORIZONTAL JUMPS – Close contests in the offing
Korea’s reigning Asian Games champion Jung Soon-Ok could manage only 6.37m this season. Sachiko Masumi had won the Asian championship in Pune last year. Surprisingly Japan did not field any athletes in long jump. China’s Jiang Yanfei and Lu Minjia, both with season’s best of 6.57m, leading the lists. It may be an open house with Uzbek duo Yuliya Tarasova (6.81m PB in 2010) and Darya Reznichenko (6.60m in 2012) with Philippine’s Marestella Torres (6.71m PB in 2011) and Indian Mayookha Johny (6.64m PB in 2010) entered in the start-lists.
With Olympic champion Olga Rypakova entered the field there will be little opposition for the Kazakh in triple jump. China’s Li Yanmei (14.14m) is the only other 14m jumper in the season, although seven other with personal bests greater than that distance has been entered in Incheon.
SHOT PUT – Gong Lijiao, a cut above the rest
With two bronze medals in Olympic Games (London-2012) and World championships (Moscow-2013) already on her collection, Gong Lijiao looking formidable in shot put. Four years ago she finished second behind her Chinese teammate Li Ling in Guangzhou. However with the second Chinese entry in Incheon, Guo Tianqian lagging nearly two metres behind her, Lijiao scripted her victory even before the competitions begin.
LONG THROWS – Mighty Chinese all the way
With China’s season leading performer Yang Yanbo not entered in discus throw, India’s Commonwealth Games silver medalist Seema Punia entered the arena as a leading thrower. Although she had winning at least a medal in each edition of the Commonwealth Games since 2006, Seema entered the Asian Games for the first time in Incheon. If she tackles the Chinese duo of Lu Xiaoxin (63.27m PB in 2013) and Tan Jian (64.45m PB in 2012) and Chinese-Taipei’s Li Tsai-Yi (60.23m PB in 2012) the gold will be hers.
The hammer throw is the forte for Chinese. 2013 Asian champion Wang Zheng recently improved the continental mark to 77.68m. Defending Asian Games champion and former record-holder (76.99m in 2012) Zhang Wenxiu will cross swords with her country-mate for the supreme position.
Current Asian champion Li Lingwei (65.11m PB in 2012) and her compatriot Zhang Li (64.74m PB in 2012) are spearheading to get 1-2 for China in javelin throw. Sri Lankan Nadeeka Lakmali, who posed a threat to the Chinese thrower in Pune and settled with a silver medal in the Asian championships, will once again try for a medal while reigning Asian Games champion Yuki Ebihara of Japan will also have similar ambitions in mind.
HEPTATHLON – Tarasova or Voronina
Ram. Murali Krishnan for AAA
17th Asian Games – Incheon, Korea -Preview
The athletics competitions of 17th Asian Games will be held on a
brand new blue track in Incheon Asiad Main Stadium from September 27 to
October 3, 2014. As much as 692 athletes (including 389 women) from 41
countries and territories are taking part in the week-long competitions
in 47 track and field events. Here is an event-wise analysis to show you
the leading athletes to watch in Incheon.
SPRINTS – Ogunode and Al-Masrahi are the favourites
Qatar’s Femi Ogunode was just 19-years-old when he was victorious in Guangzhou Asiad while securing a 200-400m double in 2010. Originally hails from Nigeria, Ogunode migrated to Qatar only the previous year. Femi, reinstated in Jan 2014 after doping suspension, will try for another “double” in Incheon with a different combination (100/200m). He is already the season’s leading performer in Asia in both 100m (10.04) and 200m (20.06) but what makes his job easy will be the withdrawal of top Japanese sprinter Yoshihide Kiryu. Clocked an incredible 10.05 secs this May, Kiryu had to pull out from the Japanese team due to a hamstring injury. In view of the above situation, China’s Su Bingtian (10.06 PB) and Xie Zhenye, the winners of 100 and 200m titles in last year’s Asian championships at Pune, will be the Qatari’s main rivals on the track.
Four years ago Youssef Al-Masrahi was part of a gold winning Saudi Arabian 4x400m relay quartet in Guangzhou. But in the run-up towards Incheon he already added the Asian title from Pune-2013 and also grabbed the continental mark in 400m. Running with Olympians Kirani James (Grenada) and LaShawn Merritt (US), Al-Masrashi etched the Asian Record during his third place finish in Lausanne’s popular Athletissima – a Diamond League meeting – in July. With his nearest rivals are lagging almost a second behind him, the Saudi one lapper looking very strong to win his favaourite event in the Asian Games.
MIDDLE DISTANCES – Redemption time for Sajjad Moradi
Iran’s Sajjad Moradi is a defending champion in 800m and silver medalist in 1500m at Guangzhou. He went to participate in the Asian Games as a junior 12 years ago at Busan 2002, where he finished eleventh in 1500m. After a fortnight he clinched a silver in 800 and bronze in 1500m in the continental junior championships at Bangkok. He had a forgettable outing in Doha four years later as he could not finish his race in 1500m final. However learning from his experience Moradi posted a personal best 3:37.09 to gain a silver medal behind Saudi Arabia’s Mohamed Othman Shahween (3:36.49) in 2010. Two days later at Guangzhou he had emerged as a ‘champion’ in 800m with a noteworthy 1:45.45.
It was in Incheon, Moradi clocked his best time in the two lap race – 1:45.45 – with a bronze medal in Asian championships. The Iranian once again finished outside the podium in last year’s Asian championships at Pune – 4th in 1500m and 8th in 800m. Qatar’s Abdulrahman Musaeb Bala emerged triumphant in Pune and is leading the Incheon start-lists for 800m with a superior 1:44.03 timed at Rieti where he recorded his personal best 1:43.93 last year. Also in Incheon will be Bahrain’s Youssef Saad Kamel (1:42.79 PB) and Saudi runner Abdulaziz (1:44.30) will make things difficult for Moradi. Two other Bahraini athletes – Benson Seurei (3:34.24 SB) and Rashid Ramzi (3:29.14 PB) – are ready to engage in a three-cornered contest with Moradi in the metric mile!
LONG DISTANCES – Bahraini athletes leading the fray
Asian distance running races are now under the control of Bahrain athletes with Albert Rop (13:06.12 in 5000m), El Hassan Elabbasi (27:32.96 in 10000m) and Shumi Dechasa (2:06:44 in Marathon) emerging as the Asian Leaders in their respective events.
Notwithstanding Qatari steeplechaser Ali Abubaker Kamal’s season leading 8:17.27, the line-up includes two much superiors Bahraini barrier crossers in reigning Asian Games gold medalist and Pune winner Tareq Mubarak Taher (8:06.13 PB) and John Koech (8:16.96 PB) to tackle the situation.
HURDLE RACES – Chinese are the best
Chinese hurdlers have been winning 110m hurdles almost in every edition of the Asian Games since 1974. Only in 1982 that the title went to Japan’s Yoshifumi Fujimori. Leading continental hurdler Xie Wenjun (13.23 secs) is looking tall even to his compatriot and reigning Asian champion Jiang Fan. Kuwait’s Abdulaziz Al-Mandeel will be another hurdler having podium ambitions.
Joseph Abraham, the Indian gold medalist in 400m hurdles four years ago, is not in a good shape to defend his title in Incheon. China’s Cheng Wen (49.28 PB) is expected to log horn with Dmitriy Koblov of Kazakhstan, Takayuki Kishimoto of Japan and Ali Khamis Abbas of Bahrain for the top honours.
RACE WALKING – Japan vs China
Yusuke Suzuki is one of the two world leading performers of this year taking part in the Asian Games. The Japanese race walker clocked an incredible 1:18:17 in Kobe this February with teammate Eiki Takahashi (1:18:41) making the team to Incheon in 20km. Chinese pair Cai Zelin (1:18:52) and Wang Zhen (1:17:36 PB in 2012) will provide the expected fight to the Japanese along with local favourite Kim Hyun-Sub (1:19:24) also put in some challenge. Whether India’s K.T. Irfan, who finished a credible tenth place in London Olympics, will crack in to grab a medal in the hot pursuit is a question need to be answered only in the days to come.
Another Japanese duo, Takayuki Tanii (3:41:32) and Yuki Yamazaki (3:40:12 PB in 2009), is leading the fray in the grueling 50 km distance. China’s Wang Zhendong (3:47:18) and Zhang Lin (3:48:49) will fight it out for a medal or two Incheon.
MEN’s Field Events:
VERTICAL JUMPS – Barshim raises the bar
Mutaz Essa Barshim is the second Asian athlete leading the world rankings this season. The Qatari high jumper and Guangzhou Asiad victor is a world junior champion in 2010. He went on to win a bronze medal in London Olympics and improved it to a silver position in the world championships at Moscow last year before standing on the top of the podium this year as he crowned in the World Indoor championships at Sopot, Poland.
Barshim improved the Asian record in high jump five times to date. Beginning with 2.39m in Lausanne two years ago that erased Zhu Jianhua’s 2.38m set way back in 1984 to his latest classic 2.43m at Brussels in the first week of this month. Incidentally he improved the AR thrice this year itself. Barshim even made some gallant attempts to better Cuban Javier Sotomayor’s 21-year-old world mark of 2.45m but could not succeed yet. Under ideal conditions the Qatari jumper shall provide a proud moment to the Incheon spectators to witness the first-ever world record in athletics at the Asian Games!
Although ranking second, China’s Zhang Guowei (2.34m) will be the main competitor for Barshim in Incheon. Chinese athletes are having a great tradition in high jump. From the days of Ni Zhiqin (Ni Chih-Chin) to Zhu Jianhua, the country behind the great wall has witnessed some of the popular high jumpers in the World. Barshim had a giant advantage of 12:1 winning ratio over Guowei in their head-to-head encounters. But the Chinese will try his might to topple the applecart with the company of his teammate Wang Yu (2.33m PB) and Japan’s Naoto Tobe (2.31m) in Incheon.
In pole vault the main fight will be between two Chinese athletes. Defending champion Yang Yancheng (5.80m PB in 2013) will clash with last year’s Asian champion Xue Changrui (5.80m PB in 2014). Japan’s Daichi Sawano, who scaled 5.83m in 2005, will take compatriot Seito Yamamoto (5.75) and Korean Jin Min-Sub (5.75) to challenge the vaulters from dragon-land.
HORIZONTAL JUMPS – An Indian among the top contenders
Triple jumper Arpinder Singh is doing the rounds ever since he bettered the Indian record with an excellent leap of 17.17m – a mark that put him on top in both Commonwealth and Asian lists this year. Although he was nowhere near to that distance after a cruel summer day at Lucknow in June, Singh garnered a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games at Glasgow earlier this year. Last year’s Asian champion Cao Shuo (17.35 in 2012) and his Chinese teammate Dong Bin (17.38 in 2012) looking formidable against the Indian. Also in the fray are four other jumpers with 17+ marks to their credit that includes two from Kazakhstan – Roman Valiyev (17.20) and Yevgeniy Ektov (17.22), one from hosts Korea – Kim Duk Hyung (17.10) and former Indian record holder Renjith Maheswary (17.07m in 2010).
The long jump is a cup of tea for the Chinese as their athletes took the top nine spots in 2014 ranking lists. Li Jinzhe (8.47m) and Gao Xinglong (8.18) has set their personal bests this year and going to Incheon to claim the top two spots. The Koreans are fielding defending Asian Games champion Kim Duk Hyung. Kim leapt a distance of 8.20m five years ago and looking for a ‘double’ this time.
SHOT PUT – Surprise in store
Sultan Abdulmajeed Al-Hebshi of Saudi Arabia had won the gold medals in the Guangzhou Asian Games and Pune Asian championships. His 2009 mark of 21.13m in Qatar Athletics Super Grand Prix remains as an Asian record to date. But the Sulatan’s crown is in danger as new faces started appearing on the arena in recent times. Chinese-Taipei’s Chang Ming-Huang is best among the Asian shot putters this season with a heave of 20.13m. Interestingly he tossed the iron ball to 20.58m three years ago. Mainland China’s Wang Guangfu (20.20m in 2012) and last year’s World University Games silver medalist Inderjeet Singh (19.83m this season) from India are also expected to throw in some keen contest in this event.
LONG THROWS – A non-chinese kaleidoscope
In discus throw India’s Vikas Gowda already emerged as an Asian champion in Pune last year and clinched the Commonwealth Games gold in Glasgow this year. He is leading the continental rankings with 65.62m closely followed by two Iranians Mohammad Samimi (65.46) and Ehsan Hadadi (65.23). Hadadi, the London Olympics silver medalist, has already credited with two back to back gold medals in the Asian Games at Doha (2006) and Guangzhou (2010). He is looking for a ‘hat-trick’ in Incheon and hence promised to provide the tough opposition to the Indian.
Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov looking formidable in hammer throw with his season leading 80.62m. Nazarov had five other 80+ marks to his credit with a personal best of 80.71m recorded last year. In the absence of his Asian record-holder Koji Murofushi of Japan (84.86m in 2003), Nazarov will have an easy task to defend his title in Korea.
Guangzhou winner Yukifumi Murakami (85.96m in 2013) will have to clash with his Japanese teammate Ryohei Arai (85.48m this year) and Uzbekistan’s current Asian champion Ivan Zaytsev (85.03 in 2012) for the top honours in javelin throw. Korean favourite Park Jae-Myong (83.99m in 2004), China’s Zhao Qinggang (83.14m in 2013) and Chinese-Taipei’s Huang Shih-Feng (82.11m in 2013) may pull a surprise or two in this event.
DECATHLON – Karpov vs Japan
Dmitriy Karpov of Kazakhstan, the Athens Olympic bronze medalist, is slow and steady in his progress. Starting with a silver medal in 2002 Asiad at Busan, Karpov went on to win two Gold medals in the next two editions of the Asian Games in Doha and Guangzhou. His performance in 2004 Olympic Games at Athens (8725 points) is still remaining as the continental record for decathlon. Incidentally the top-10 average of his performances (8478) is looking taller than the best marks of Keisuke Ushiro (8308) and Akihiko Nakamura (8035) set in 2014 and that speaks volumes about his caliber.
--Ram Murali Krishnan for AAA
13 September 2014 : Presidents pledge unity for Team Asia-Pacific during IAAF Continental Cup welcome
Over 100 Asian and Pacific athletes have arrived in Marrakesh, Morroco to compete in the 2014 IAAF Continental Cup this weekend. Team Asia-Pacific is unique with two presidents residing over the two continents.
represent 65 IAAF member federations, nearly one-third of the IAAF
associations and 4.5 billion people, about 61% of the world’s
“We are here to represent our continents; we are here to show unity I am sure that all of us feel that way.” Gardiner was in total agreement. “This is the second occasion we have worked together on the Continental Cup and it indicates our growing cooperation between our two area associations,” said Gardiner.
An example of how the two Continents are working together was outlined in a new competition plan for the regions. “We are working on the concept of an Asia-Pacific competition circuit,” said Gardiner. “It allows our top athletes to compete a little closer to home. We are looking at an early season introduction to the global calendar. We think it is an important step for our athletes, rather than them having to travel to Europe for competition. It is a work in progress. We are working hand in hand and the IAAF Council and IAAF President are supportive of our efforts.”
“I join with Dilan in wishing you the very best for the competition,’ said Geoff Gardiner, Oceania Athletics Association President. “You have been selected on world rankings and are capable of going toe-to-toe with the best in the world. I know you will do your very best.”
Tarbotton for AAA
Doha, 9 Sep: AAA President Dahlan Al Hamad Welcomes OCA Asian Youth Athletic training Camp Athletes .
Talented young athletes from around Asia were officially welcomed to the OCA Youth Athletics Training Camp at Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence. The two-week camp is for athletes aged 16-17 and is being co-hosted by OCA and Aspire Academy, focusing on middle distance running and the long jump.
“I see here the future of athletics in Asia. This camp is going to be remembered because some of the faces in the audience will represent their countries in the future at events like Asian and World Championships as well as at the Olympic Games,” added Dahlan Al-Hamad, President of the Asian Athletics Association.
OCA representative Vahid Kardany said the OCA youth camp began in
2009 and stressed the good results of former youth camp participants at
sport events such as the recent Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing.
The OCA training takes place from September 1-14. The athletes are
training daily at the indoor and outdoor track in the morning and the
afternoon. They are supported by coaches and sports scientists of Aspire
Academy who are collecting athletes’ data and giving the athletes and
their personal coaches information they can use in their own training,
both here and when they return home.