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.