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$500,000 USD prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18 launched in Beijing.

Doha, 22 July, 2017: In a major boost to the development of endurance sports in Asia, Asian Athletics Association is proud to announce $500,000 prized Asian Premier Marathon Series 2017-18.

On the occasion of launch Dahlan Al-Hamad, President of AAA said “Marathon, being the ultimate symbol of extreme grits and guts, people who ever finish the 42.195km run gain tremendous fulfillment and achievement. AAA is proud of being leader of APM Marathon series. As we all have witnessed, the popularity of marathons has grown remarkably fast in the past few years around the world. I believe that APM will undoubtedly further boost the appeal of marathons in Asia. We look forward to making great strides for the bright future of marathons and Asian runners in Asia.”

APM, would be the first ever continental marathon event league in the world, jointly founded by Beijing Marathon, Beirut Marathon, Seoul Marathon and Infront China under the leadership of Asian Athletics Association (AAA). The new league aims to raise the competition level and international appeal of marathon events in Asia as well as attract more high-level Asian athletes to participate in top-tier APM events.

Inaugural season of APM series will start with Beijing Marathon 2017 on 17 September, followed by Beirut Marathon 2017 and Seoul Marathon 2018, and finish with Beijing Marathon 2018. Top 3 men’s and women’s Asian runners (6 in total) will share the half a million USD cash award. Moreover, APM member events will jointly set a ranking and awarding system for all Asian runners.

No.1 Continental Marathon Event in the World

As the first ever continental marathon event league in the world, the establishment of APM marks a pioneering work for the development of marathon in Asia and worldwide.

Beijing Marathon, Seoul Marathon and Beirut Marathon are the three founding members of APM. Beijing Marathon originally founded in 1981 is known as China National Marathon, which is one of the most influential marathon events in China. Seoul Marathon has a broad influence in Asia with a long history that could be traced back to 1931. Despite the youngest marathon event among these three members, Beirut Marathon founded in 2003 is the largest running event in West Asia.

Wang Nan, Vice President of CAA said:” 2017/2018 APM season will start from Beijing Marathon and their cooperation will not only provide a higher level of competitive platform for the participants in Beijing Marathon and assist runners from China and the whole Asia to increase their competitiveness, but also significantly boost the development of local events.”

Anne Zhao, Managing Director of Infront China remarked:” It’s an honor for me to share with you this historic moment belonging to Asia marathon and witness the official launch of Asian Premier Marathons. I, on behalf of Infront China, want to say thank you to AAA and APM members for their trust and recognition. We have spent three year on plowing Active Lifestyle & Endurance sports and accumulate rich experience in the sport. In the future, we will continue to focus on the mass consumption market in sports and do our best to further boost the development of marathon in China and in the whole Asian area.”  

May El Khalil, Founder and President of the Beirut Marathon Association expressed:” The community’s engagement with the Beirut Marathon Association is vital to its success. Charities are the engine of our races. To be part of the Organizing committee of the Asian Pacific Premier Marathon is a great honor to all of us at the Beirut Marathon. A new milestone is achieved today, One that strengthens the bridges between the Middle East and the far East on the social, economic and educational levels, promotes businesses and stakeholders through the Beirut Marathon Platform, grows exchange of sport tourism by having Asian runners at BLOM BANK Beirut Marathon and Arab Runners in all city Marathons belonging to APM.”

Launch event was held ( 21st July) at China Hotel in Beijing in the presence of Mrs. Wang Nan, Vice President of CAA, Mr. Shui Tao, director of Marathon Office of CAA, Mrs. Anne Zhao, Managing Director of Infront China, Mrs. May El Khalil, Founder & President of Beirut Marathon Association.


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Doha to host 23rd Asian Athletics Championship 2019

Bhubaneswar, 9 July 2017 - After successful conduct of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship, Doha was handed over the AAA Flag by Gen. Dahlan Al-Hamad, President of AAA during the closing ceremony of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship at Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar. 

Mesmerising opening ceremony and capacity crowd on all sessions during the 4 days were the highlights of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship hosted by Govt of Odisha. 23rd Asian Athletics Championship will be held in Doha 2019

Nazarov wins as expected; Woo Sang-Hyeok stuns Chinese high jump star- 22nd Asian Athletics Championship- Day 3

Bhubaneswar: A fifth Asian Athletics Championship gold medal for Dilshod Nazarov (Tajikistan), a dramatic high jump victory for Woo Sang-Hyeok (South Korea), a maiden Asian gold for steeplechaser Sudha Singh and a victory for the Chinese men’s 400 relay squad by the barest of margins were the highlights of the third night of competition in the AAC2017 at the Kalinga Stadium here on Saturday.

The Rio Olympic Champion Dilshod Narazarov completed a hat-trick, having won gold at AAC in Amman 2007, Guanghzou 2009, Pune 2013 and Wuhan 2015 besides three Asian Games crowns in Doha 2006, Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014. He was a picture of consistency as he dominated the field.

Men’s 110m hurdles final: Two-time AAC silver medallist Abdulazia Al-Mandeel made light of the being one of the slowest reaction times at the start to sustain his good form from the semifinal heats into the final to win gold this time in a time of 13.50 seconds. His Kuwaiti team-mate, Yaqoub Al-Youha beat back a game challenge by Saudi Arabia’s Ahmed Khader to win silver two-hundredths of a second ahead. Khader appeared to have resolved to stay abreast of the Kuwaiti on his left and ahead of the Japanese Shun-Ya Takayama and that tactic earned him bronze. India’s Siddhanth Thingalaya made a gallant effort but had to settle for the fifth place in 13.72 ahead of two Chinese-Taipei hurdlers and Japan’s Wataru Yazawa.

Men’s 400m hurdles final: Eric Shauwn Cray of PHI breezed to victory in 49.57 seconds in what was among the more open competitions in AAC2017. Chinese Taipei’s Chen Chieh, who win the semifinal heats ahead of his competitor, also dipped in under 50-seconds but had to settle for silver. There was a wonderful surprise for fans at the Kalinga Stadium as MP Jabir, 21, came up with a personal best of 50.22 to earn him bronze medal in a race that saw defending champion Yuta Konshi (Japan) finish in eighth place.

Men’s 3000m steeplechase final: India’s Naveen Kumar, a bronze medallist in the 2014 Asian Games, raised the hopes of the throaty audience at the Kalings Stadium by doing some front-running in the early half of the race. But Hossain Keyhani (Iran), Qatari teenager Yaser Salem, his compatriot Hashim Salah Abbas and Saudi Arabia’s Ali Ahmed Al-Amri pulled away with a couple of laps left. The 27-year-old Iranian found the reserves on a humid night to surge ahead of the others and break the beam in 8:43.82, the meet record standing in the name of Qatar’s Khamis Saifeidin not being threatened at all. Naveen Kumar finished seventh in 9:02.95

Men’s 4x100m relay final: With Continental record holder Japan and Qatar not fielding squads, China and Thailand were expected to deliver fireworks in the last final of the day – and deliver they did, only the photo finish camera awarding victory to China. Both teams were credited with 39.38 seconds, the camera declaring that the China’s anchor Xu Haiyan had finished one-thousand of a second ahead of his Thai counterpart Jaran Sathoengram. Hong Kong took the bronze, egding out Sri Lanka by 0.06 seconds.

Men’s high jump final: Former World Youth Champions Woo Sang-Hyeok (South Korea) stole a dramatic victory over the flamboyant world championship silver medallist, Zhang Guowei (China). The 21-year-old Korean appeared to be finding it hard to secure a rhythm, needing two attempts over 2.24m and three attempts each when the bar was raised to 2.28 and 2.30m. By contrast, the showman in Zhang Guwoei seemed to enjoy playing to the gallery while clearing all four heights up to 2.24m on first attempt. At 2.28, he needed a second and kept toppling the bar over with his heel when it was at 2.30. He sank on all fours while a short distance away, the Korean broke into a wide smile.

Men’s hammer throw final: Olympic champion Dilshod Nazarov trailed a determined Chinese Wang Shizhu, seven years his junior, after the second round of throws and then uncorked a throw over 75m to settle any doubts and to justify the favoruitism. The genial 37-year-old, President of the Tajikstan Athletics Federation, followed that up with two more throws over 75m, finishing with his best, 76.69m. Wang Shizu tried very hard and that led to three foul throws before he settled for silver. South Korea’s Lee Ywun-Chul packed all his will and physica strength behind a final throw in a bid to get to silver medal position but the ball and chain landed an agoinising four centimeters short of the Chinese’s mark on a night that saw a dozen throws over 70m.

Women’s 100m hurdles final: South Korea’s Jung Hye-Lim made it a start-to-finish affair in the final, leaving the 2013 Asian champion Ayako Kimura in her wake. China’s Wang Dou took bronze in a race that belied expectations of a sub-13 second time.  Jung Hye-Lim, who had won silver six years ago in Kobe, glided over each hurdle smoothly with power and grace. With the Japanese ace trailing her in the lane alongside her, the South Korean did not have to find that extra gear to drive to a sub-13 time. She would take the gold medal rather than risk injury. Ayako was timed 13.30 while Wang Dou finished in 13.36. Uzbekistan’s Valentina Kibalnikova and Japan’s Hitomi Shimura took the fourth and fifth places.

Women’s 400m hurdles final: Vietnam’s Nhuyen Thi Huyen, a former Asian Junior Champion, broke free of the pack at the end of the bend into the home stretch and won gold in style in 56.14 second. India’s Anu Raghavan, fourth in Wuhan AAC 2015, dug deep into the reserves of her strength to claim the silver ahead of Japanese veteran Sayaka Ayoki in a personal best time of 57.22.

Women’s 3000m steeplechase final: After running in the company of others Sudha Singh, 31, decided she had her goals to achieve and sped off in pursuit of that sub-10-minute time to complete her return to international stage with a creditable victory in 9:59.47.  She this added gold to her three silver AAC medals earned in 2009, 2011 and 2013. For someone who was away from training for several months after she being down with swine flu on her return from the Olympic Games in Rio de Janiero last year, she posted 10:03.01 in the heat of Patiala. North Korea’s 18-year-old Hyo Gyong claimed silver a good 14 seconds and more behind Sudha Singh and five seconds ahead of Japan’s Nana Sato.

Women’s 4x100m relay final: The cumulative speed of Kazakhstan’s quartet – Rima Kashafutdinova, Viktoriya Zyabkina, Merdzhan Ishangulyeva and Olga Safronova – was just too hot for the Chinese. It did not seem to matter that Merdzhan Ishangulyeva had finished her 400m hurdles in fourth place only a short while ago. For, the Kazakh strategy getting their two best sprinters to do duty on the straights paid rich dividends as the team was home in 43.53 seconds. The defending champion obviously had a different squad this time – Sun Fengyan, Kong Lingei, Lin Huijun and 17-year-old Feng Lulu – but it was no less determined, having not fielding any of them in the women’s 100m run. India’s Merlin Joseph, Himashree Roy, Srabani Nanda and Dutee Chand beat Thailand to the bronze with a time of 44.57 seconds.

Women’s Triple jump final: Kazakhstan’s 18-year-old Mariya Ovchinnikova made a memorable debut in the senior ranks in AAC with a narrow victory over her senior compatriot, three-time AAC bronze medallist Irina Ektova. Mariya Ovchinnikova, who logged 13.94m, and Irina Ektova, 13.77 on June 24, sustained their top form with five jumps over 13.50m that no other competitor managed. The teenager’s 13.72m on her fifth effort gave her a 10cm advantage over her 30-year-old team-mate. India’s NV Sheena impoved on her season’s best showing by 11cm on her final jump and claimed bronze ahead of Sri Lankan Vidhusha Lakshani.

Heptathlon (after four events): With 3443 points, Swapna Barman held on to her lead after the 200m, the fourth and final event on the opening day. A slow 26.11-second showing in the 200m saw her lead over team-mate, Odisha favourite and AAC 2015 bronze medallist Purnima Hembram (24.86 seconds in 200m) whittle down to just 11 points. Japan’s Meg Hemphill also closed in on Swapna Baraman with a 25.06-second run. She now has 3410 points. The second day’s events, long jump, javelin throw and 800m, will determine the colour of the medals for each of these competitors, or so it appears.

by Ram Murli Krishnan for LOC/AAA

More details- http://athleticsasia.org/index.php/features/39-22nd-asian-athletics-championship-2017

India emerged on top rank as 22nd Asian Athletics Championship concludes

Bhubaneswar, July 9: Indian teenager Neeraj Chopra’s new Asian Championship javelin throw record, the distance double gold medal winning efforts by Govindan Lakshmanan (India) and Dariya Maslova (Kyrghistan) and India’s two 1600m relay titles brought a touch of class and emotion to the closing night of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship on Sunday.

Host India emerged on top in the medal tally with 12 gold 5 silver and 12 bronze medals pushing powerhouse China to second place. 22nd edition of Asian Athletics Championship was the most attended championship in the history with over 80,000 spectators in attendance during the championship. 

Men’s 200m final: Chinese-Taipei’s Yang Chun-Han, 20, who qualified for the final as a fastest ‘loser’ in the semifinals, showed that he could sustain his explosive energy the longest – and when it mattered – to clock 20.66 seconds for a worthy gold ahead of South Korean Park Bonggo (20.76) and Qatar’s defending champion Femi Seun Onugode (20.79). It did not seem to matter to him that he was drawn on the eighth lane as he kept the Qatari next to him in sight. Once the bunch hit the home straight, with the South Korean in the lead and China’s Bie Ge hot in his pursuit, it was a matter of who would lose pace slowly. It was here that the Chinese-Taipei youngster scored over everyone else. Amiya Kumar Mallick found some consolation in clocking a personal best of 21.03 in finishing seventh.

Men’s 800m final: Asian Grand Prix winner Ebrahim R Alzofairi (Kuwait) hung in not far from the front running Mohammed Nasser Abbas (Qatar) for a lap and more but powered ahead over the final 100m to win gold in 1:49.47. India’s Jinson Johnson, boxed between the two on the home stretch, was unable to prevent the other Qatari Jamal Hairane from sprinting on the outside to claim silver. He managed to keep Nasser Abbas at bay to take a deserving bronze in 1:50.07, the season’s best time for him.

Men’s 10000m final: India’s Govindan Lakshmanan claimed a fantastic distance double, adding the 10000m gold to the one he won in 5000m two nights ago. Yet again, he showed the finishing kick that saw him surge ahead of Kyrghistan’s Adilet and team-mate Gopi Thonakal with more than 300m left. Gopi staved off a challenge by the younger Kyrghistan athlete to take silver in a race in which the Chinese Danmuzhen Cii Wang and Qi Zhenfei lost touch with the top three well into the 25-lapper.

Men’s 4x400m relay final: The India quartet of Kunju Mohammed, Amoj Jacob, Muhammad Anas and Arokia Rajiv packed too many punches for the rest of the field and cruised him to gold in 3:02.92. Sri Lanka sought to keep pace with the Indians but Anas, fielded in the third leg rather than as anchor, opened up a lead that left none in any doubt. Sri Lanka (3:04.80) claimed silver from Thailand (3:06.48)

Men’s long jump final: The fact that his compatriot Zhang Yaohgan did not get past qualification seemed to have no effect on China’s Huang Chanzhou, an Olympic Games finalist in Rio last year. After warming up to competition with 7.83m to lead the opening round, he found Hong Kong’s Chan Ming Tai stealing leadership position with 7.91m in the second round. The Chinese gave his third jump his all and soared to 8.09m that kept him on top through the rest of the final. Chang Ming Tai mustered two leaps over eight meters but fell short of securing him the lead.  Japan’s Shotaro Shiroyama had three fouls and managed to get as close as three centimeters to the eight-meter mark, Ankit Sharma finished fourth with 7.83m that he secured on his second jump.

Men’s javelin throw final: What a high-voltage competition it turned out to be, with Indian teenager winning gold with his last throw over 85.23m in a show which made it seem that he was innocent of the adverse effects of pressure. With his mind focused sharply on the task on hand, he ran up and sent the javelin soaring into the night sky. The entire Kalinga Stadium willed the spear to fly farther than it had all night to convert his bronze medal place to a fantastic gold. Qatar’s 20-year-old Ahmed Bader Magour led the competition with a throw of 83.70m on his fourth attempt and seemed set to take gold home from under Neeraj Chopra and Davinder Singh Kang’s noses. Neeraj Chopra delivered when it mattered the most on a night when 11 throws went past 80m mark. 

Women’s 200m final: Viktoriya Zyabkina (Kazakhstan) completed a stunning hat-trick of 200m gold medals at the Asian Championships by winning the 200m final on Sunday evening in 23.10 seconds, showing 21-year-old Sri Lankan Rumeshika Kumari Rathnayake a clean pair of heels; The young Sri Lankan, fastest in qualifying, fought hard and managed to stay ahead of the other Kazakh Olga Safronova to take silver in 23.43 seconds. India’s Dutee Chand came up with her season’s best of 23.59 to take fourth place ahead of team-mate Srabani Nanda, a bronze medallist in 2015.

Women’s 800m final: The disqualification of 21-year-old Archana Adhav saw Sri Lankans Nimali Wirawasha and Gayanthika Thushari claim gold and silver in a dramatic final. After favourite and defending champion Tintu Luka, leading at the bell, pulled out with exhaustion after 500m, it was left to Archana Adhav’s steely determination to challenge the Sri Lankans.  Asian Grand Prix winner in Taipei earlier this year, Gayanthika pushed into the lead just after the first lap but spent much energy in doing that. Nimali took the lead on the back straight and Archana, bronze medallist in the Asian junior championship three years ago, made her move on the home stretch, passing Japan’s Fumika Omoro and catching up with the Sri Lankans. There was some drama in the final 40m or so, leading officials to spend time looking at replays before announcing the result of the race, first with the Indian as winner and later disqualifying her.

Women’s 10000m final:  The women’s 5000m champion Dariya Maslova (Kyrghistan) completed a double by winning the grueling 25-lapper as well in 32:21.21, pulling away from the two Japanese Yuka Hori (32:23.26) and Mizuki Matsuda (32:46.61). Indians Loganathan Suriya and Sanjivani Jadhav, who won 5000m bronze two nights ago, tried gamely but the endurance of Daria Maslova and the Japanese pair proved too much for them on a humid evening.

Women’s 4x400m relay final: India, served by Debashee Mazumdar (standing in admirably for Tintu Luka who was running fever) , M R Poovamma, Jisna Mathew and Asian champion Nirmala Sheoran, ran out a comfortable winner in 3:31.34. Vietnam (3:33.22) and Japan (3:37.74) took silver and bronze.

Women’s pole vault final: The 28-year-old Asian record holder and defending champion Li Ling (China) headlined the small field of six vaulters and perhaps was hoping to have it easy. She conceded defeat by teenaged compatriot Chen Qiaoling, who cleared 4.40m on her first attempt. Li Ling cleared 4.20m effortlessly to ensure herself of silver medal since the only two competitors who were able to clear that height were both Chinese. Li Ling passed vault attempts at 4.30m and 4.40m – some may call it bravado – but she appeared confident that she would succeed in 4.50m. As her luck would have it, she fouled twice and gave up. Thailand’s Chayanisa Chomchuendee won bronze at 4.10m.


Women’s discus throw final: China’s Olympic finalist Chen Yang’s opening throw of 60.41m was good to get her gold but her team-mate, Lu Xiaoxing was unable to touch the 56m mark. Her best of 55.27m had to take the backseat to the two 56m-plus throws that  Thailand’s former Asian junior champion Subenrat Insaeng managed. India’s 21-year-old Kamalpreet Kaur Bal (54.32) finished fifth behind Chinese-Taipei’s Li Tsai-Yi (54.48) and ahead of 33-year-old Seema Antil (54.11).


Heptathlon (final): Swapna Barman justified the seletcors’ decision not to field her in high jump – where she could have pushed for and perhaps got gold – but struck gold in the arduous heptathlon. With a narrow lead to protect going into the final race, the challenging 800m, the 20-year-old stuck to the simple strategy of being in 21-year-old Meg Hemphill’s slipstream. She was barely 0.18 seconds behind the Japanese at the finish to secure gold with a personal best tally of 5942 points. Purnima Hembram, whose javelin throw result let her down, tried gamely but had to settle for third place with 5798 points. The three of them secured season best times in the 800m and were left exhausted after two tiring but rewarding days’ work.

by Ram Murli Krishnan for LOC/AAA

With double gold in 400 and metric mile, India consolidates place at top of charts-Day 2 of AAC2017

Bhubaneswar, July 7: India secured popular, if unexpected, double gold in the 400m and metric miles on a stormy and rainy evening at the Kalinga Stadium here on Friday. The gold-rush enabled it stay on top of the medals charts with six gold, three silver and six bronze medals ahead of  China’s four gold, three silver and three bronze.

Muhammad Anas and Nirmala Sheoran in the 400 were expected to come up with good performances and they lived up to the billing by storming to victories. It was the metric milers Chitra P U and Ajay Kumar Saroj’s gold medals that many may not have foreseen them to mint on the second day of competitions.

Their gold, coming as part of a 1-2 showing in the men’s 400m with Arokia Rajiv getting silver, combined  with a consistent display by Tajinder Pal Singh Toor in the shot put circle and dapper Dutee Chand’s bronze in the women’s 100m, to help India overcome the twin disappointment of disqualification in the 4x100m relay and Amiya Kumar Mallick in the 100m semifinal.


Men’s 100m: An Asian junior champion in 2012, Iran’s Hassan Taftian pulled the rug from under defending champion Femi Seun Onugode (Qatar) to claim his maiden men’s Asian crown, winning by a hundredth of a second in a race that was delayed by the thunderstorm and by the two false starts that led to the disqualiciations of Malaysian Khairul Hafiz and China’s Tang Xingqiang. Taftian’s feat was commendable since he ceded ground at the start not only to Onugode but also to Chinese Taipei’s Yang Chun-Han. With steely nerves, he powered his way to lunge ahead of both to win the affinity of the beam in 10.25 seconds.


Men’s 400m final: Muhammad Anas and Arokia Rajiv made it a memorable 1-2 for India in a sharp drizzle that slowed them down but just that bit. The 23-year-old Anas won comfortably in 45.77 seconds.  And while Arokia Rajiv won silver in 46.14, Amoj Jacob, the third Indian in the fray was denied a medal by Oman’s Ahmed Mubarak al-Saadi (46.39). Anas showed that he had recovered from having to work hard to win the re-run semifinal in the morning. Quang Coch, the Vietnamese who had beaten Amoj Jacob and Arokia Rajin the semifinals on Thursday, was unable to present a challenge to the Indians on Friday night.


Men’s 1500m final: Asian Junior champion Ajay Kumar Saroj’s powerful kick with 250m left saw him surge ahead of the race leaders to win a delightfully unexpected gold for India in 3:45.85. But then he had shown in the first round that he was capable of sustaining a gear-shift over a longer distance. Jamal Hairane (Qatar), who has a better time this season than Saroj, had to be content defending his second position rather than expend energy in pursuit of the Indian – and concede ground to Moslem Niadoost of Iran. India’s other runner Siddhantha Adhikari finished a creditable fifth behind Iraq’s Adan Taes.


Men’s triple jump: Zhu Yaming, Chinese National Champion, came up with a wind-aided 16.82m effort to strike gold while the Philippines Mark Harry Diones and fellow-Chinese Xu Xiaolong, finalist in the Rio Olympic Games last year and fifth in Wuhan in 2015, took silver and bronze with 16.45m jumps. India’s best bet Arpinder Singh was the fourth jumper who breached the 16m mark on a rain-swept day that saw the competition halted because of a thundershower. Kazakhtsna’s Roman Valiyev, bronze medallist in 2015, was a disappointing eighth, unable to go past 15.87m despite a strong wind assisting him.


Men’s shot put: Iran’s Ali Samari had four foul throws but his career-best effort over 19.80m on his second attempt was good enough to win him gold ahead of India’s Tajinder Pal Singh Toor. The 23-year-old Indian, enjoying competing before a large audience for the first time, came up with a series of throws that read 18.49, 19.58, 19.77, 19.11,  and 19.61 besides a foul on his fifth attempt. Those who watched this contest kept willing Tajinder Pal Singh Toor to sustain his challenge till the very end. Ivan Ivanov (Kazhaktan) held the lead after the first round with a throw of 19.41m and was an easy bronze medal winner ahead of Omprakash Singh Karhana (India).


Decathlon: Not yet 21, Thailand’s Sittisak Singhon settled gold for himself with splendid efforts through two days and 10 disciplines for 7732 points. But after a poor pole vault (4.00m) in the afternoon, he had to come up with something special in javelin to consolidate his position at the top of the charts. He responded with a 60.64m that gave him the luxury of coasting through the 1500m in 5:07.61 and yet win the crown. China’s Guo Qi, who had looked to up the ante in the morning, dropped out of silver reckoning after managing 52.61 with the javelin. Japan’s Kazuya Kawasaki took the silver  with 7584 points. India’s Abhishek Shetty finished fifth – 15 points short of his career best effort -- ahead of Japan’s Tsuyoshi Shimzu, who had the misfortune of no-heighting at pole vault.


Women’s 100m: The tall and long-striding Kazakh sprinters Viktoriya Zyabkin and Olga Safronova beat back a game challenge by home favourite Dutee Chand to take gold and silver in 11.39 and 11.45 respectively.  Running in a steady drizzle, the Kazakhs took off well and stayed ahead. Dutee, not blessed with much height, sought hard to overcome what looked like a sluggish start to try and bridge the gap but to no avail. Viktoriya Zyabkina who won silver the last time I Wuhan, powered ahead to claim gold while Olga Safronova and Dutee Chand took their medals at the continental level.


Women’s 400m final: Nirmala Sheoran blazed her way through rain and on a wet track to claim gold in a creditable 52.01 seconds. The 22-year-old opened up a good lead on the back straight and did not look as if she would tire. As the only other runner to dip in under 53 seconds, Vietnamese Quach Thi, an Asian Games silver medallist, beat 18-year-old Jisna Mathew (53.32) and M R Poovamma (53.36) to spoil India’s aspirations of a medal sweep in the event. As the first track final of the night, it set a great tempo for India.


Women’s 1500m final: Few would have expected 22-year-old P U Chitra to land gold ahead of the seasoned Ayako Jinnouchi (Japan), who owns the season’s best in the event. But Chitra, who had done well to remain in touch with the leading bunch throughout which included China’s Geng Min and Japan’s Nozomi Tanaka. The daughter of agricultural workers came up with a burst when he was on the back straight for the last time in the race and held on to the lead in comfortable style. For someone who won 3000m gold in the Asian school championship in Malaysia four years ago, she showed that she had come of age.


Women’s high jump: Nadiya Dusanova (Uzbekistan) added the AAC 2017 to her Asian Games bronze medal when she cleared 1.84m in rain at the Kalinga Stadium. The 29-year-old mastered the conditions better than the rest of the field, four of whom cleared 1.80m and the other six got to 1.75m. She needed to clear 1.84m to win gold. For, she had dropped the bar once both at 1.75 and 1.80m. Hong Yong’s 22-year-old Yeung Man Wei, who joined the fray at 1.75m, had two good clearances, and Chinese Wang Xueyi and Liu Jingyi as well as Thailand’s Wanida Boonwan were the others who got to try their hand at 1.84m.