Friday 21 July 2017
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Gurmeet Singh of India wins Asian 20km walking championship in Nomi

Nomi, 20th Mar 2016: Gurmeet Singh of India completed his medal set in the Asian 20Km walking Championship with a Gold medal winning performance of 1:20:29s just outside his personal best. Gurmeet beat host Japan’s Isamu Fujisawa (1:20:49) in the close fight in the last 5km.

Isamu could not better his season best performance of 1:18:45 set during National Walking championship in Kobe a month before. Kazakhstan’s Georgiy Sheiko won Bronze medal in 1:21:52. Walkers from 11 Asian countries took part in the championship race. 

In the women’s 20km walk race, Rui Liang (梁瑞) of China set new personal best of 1:28:43 on her way to win Gold medal. Rui missed out on the China’s Olympic trials last week where she could not finish race.

Japan’s Kumiko Okada finished on the runners up position with a performance of 1:30:03, South Korea’s Lee Geongeun took bronze medal in 1:33:57s beating India’s Sapana (1:33:57) to 4th place in the last km.

Asian Athletics Association walking committee held its meeting at Nomi to discuss further development of walking events in Asia.


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IAAF Diamond League 2016 to set off from Asia

Doha, 7 March 2016 - On May 6 Doha (Qatar) will play host to the kick-off meeting of the IAAF Diamond League series for a seven successive season and as is always the case a large amount of the world’s elite athletes have chosen to open their outdoor campaign in the Suhaim Bin Hamad stadium. Among them, the reigning Olympic triple jump champions, Christian Taylor and Olga Rypakova, as well as the two-time World champion Caterine Ibarguen.

“Although the Doha 2016 coincides with the athletes’ Olympic preparations and is, as always, held at the beginning of the outdoor season, we have invited and bringing on a large number of Olympic and World Championships medalists, like Christian Taylor, Caterine Ibarguen and Olga Rypakova. This early announcement already shows that the meeting will be of a very high calibre with top athletes competing. 

“By having in Doha elite athletes, we raise the awareness for our sport and we continuously engage, inspire and motivate a growing number of young athletes. The recent successful campaign of our national team at the Asian Indoors Championships held in Doha confirm the rapid progress athletics enjoy in Qatar”, stated the Qatar Athletics Federation President Dahlan Al Hamad who also commented on the recent addition of Rabat to the Diamond League calendar:

“I would like to take the opportunity to welcome Rabat and Morocco to the Diamond League family. The ‘International Mohammed VI’ meeting has been quite successful throughout all the years of existence and fully deserves its inclusion to the top-tier one-day events family.” 

Taylor, a four-time Diamond Race winner (2012-2015), came a measly 8cm away from breaking the mythical 18.29m world record Jonathan Edwards set way back in 1995. The American reigning Olympic and World Champion, whose 18.21m winning mark last year at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing awarded him his second global title and elevated him to the world’s No. 2 spot, returns to Qatar to snatch his second IAAF Doha Diamond League victory and reclaim the meeting record he lost last year after a dramatic duel “combat” to Cuba’s Pedro Pablo Pichardo.

The 2015 triple jump competition in Doha was a real cracker, producing for the first time ever two marks beyond 18m by two different athletes on the same day. Taylor leaped 18.04m a new personal best in his last attempt, but fell short a mere two centimeters of Pichardo’s 18.06m early lead.

“That was a special day for me, as I exceeded 18m for the first time in my career. I am really looking forward to returning to Doha and enjoy the meeting’s favourable conditions which always help athletes reach peak form.

“2016 is a special year with the Olympics ahead on schedule. Triple jump has reached unprecedented heights in recent years, but I am looking for nothing less than a second Olympic gold.

“What better way to start the season, than going after that respectable meeting record. It would be a huge stepping stone in my preparation towards the Olympic Games. But of course, coming out with a Diamond League win would just be an added bonus”, said Taylor who possesses four of the twelve achieved 18m+ jumps in the history of the event (Edwards has also four on his account, Pichardo two, while Kenny Harrison and Teddy Tamgho own one apiece).

The women’s triple jump is not short of high calibre athletes as well. London Olympic champion and recently crowned Asian indoor champion in the Aspire Dome’s track, Olga Rypakova as well as the reigning World Champion Caterine Ibarguen have already signed in for the IDL Doha 2016 and lead a quality line-up which also features the 2015 World Champs silver medallist Hanna Knyazheva-Minenko and the Commonwealth Games champion Kimberly Williams.

31-year-old Rypakova, who returned to action and to medal positions in 2015 (bronze in Beijing) after giving birth to her second child, has yet to lose a triple jump competition in Doha, registering a Diamond League win in 2012 and three indoor victories. In 2010 she claimed the IAAF World Indoor title, while she also grabbed two Asian Indoors gold medals – her maiden in 2008 and a second one in her most recent triumph a few days ago with a new season best jump of 14.32cm. 

The Kazakh’s 2010 World Champs winning performance of 15.14m remains her indoor personal best (15.25m outdoors – No. 8 all-time) and the only mark beyond 15m registered on Qatar soil.

London silver medallist Caterine Ibarguen took the baton from the 2012 winner Rypakova to top the Diamond Race rankings over the past three seasons (2013-2015). Since 2013 she has completely dominated the event winning the World title in 2013 in Moscow and in 2015, while she also emerged victorious in 18 Diamond League events. 

The 32-year-old triple jumper from Colombia has competed only once before in Doha in 2014, but needed no more visits to claim the meeting record with 14.43m. Her 15.31m personal best ranks her fifth on the all-time lists. 

Qatar emerged top in the Asian Indoor Athletics Championship 2016


DOHA – Mohamed Al-Garni of Qatar successfully defended his second title of the weekend to highlight the final day of the 7th Asian Indoor Championships at the Aspire Dome in Doha.

Five more championship records fell on the third day of competition, but it was Al-Garni’s in the 3000 metres, which propelled him to a second successive Asian indoor double-double triumph, that stood out from the rest.

Biding his time behind Bahraini Albert Rop for much of the race, Al-Garni took the lead for good as he entered the back straight for the final time. Unlike the early celebration in Saturday’s 1500 metres that likely cost Al-Garni the Asian record, this time his finish was more subdued: just a raised arm two strides before the finish as he powered through the line in 7:39.23 to equal the fifth fastest time of the year. 

"It wasn’t my plan to stay behind Rop, it was his tactic to make me tired after he watched me running the 1500m yesterday," Al-Garni said. "Still I was able to stay close behind him and make the final kick in the last lap."

Al-Garni said he still hasn't decided whether he'll contest the 1500 or 3000 metres at the upcoming World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, USA, or even if he'll compete there at all.

"We still have time to decide," he said, but added, "I feel very strong this year. I have been one hundred prepared focused in my training."

Rop finished just a few strides behind in 7:40.27 with Qatari Said Aden Said taking third with a personal best of 7:44.69 to collect his second bronze in as many days.

Balla Powers to 800m Gold

Qatar’s first gold of the afternoon came in a thrilling men’s 800 metres contest where Abdulrahman Musaeb Balla took the victory as expected. 

It was a strong run for the two-time Asian champion who took command from the outset and was never headed en route to a 1:46.92 championships record.

"I wanted to win and set a new area record as well, but I didn’t recover in time after the unsuccessful attempt to beat the Asian record in Stockholm," said Balla, who clocked 1:45.93 in the Swedish capital, 0.7 seconds outside of Yusuf Saad Kamel’s continental mark. "Nevertheless, victory makes me really happy. I expect a very good result in Portland at the World Championships as well as at the Olympics."

Behind him an intense battle ensued. 

Qatari teammates Abubaker Haydar Abdalla and Jamal Hairane shadowed Balla, trying to gain and hold position for a host nation sweep. But Mostafa Gholamerza Kordiyani of Iran wouldn't relent. Heading into the the homestretch, first Hairane and then Kordiyani found another gear to overtake Abdalla to finish second and third in 1:48.05 and 1:48.26 respectively.

A similar scenario played out in the women’s race. 

Marta Hirpato of Bahrain settled into the leading positions about 80 metres into the race, with Nimal Waliwarsha Arachchige of Sri Lanka and Japan’s Yume Kitamura giving chase. The order remained three-and-a-half laps later with Hirpato powering away to win in 2:04.59 to the Sri Lankan’s 2:04.88. Kitamura was later disqualified for a lane infraction elevating Tatyana Neroznak of Kazakhstan to bronze.

Almandeel Successfully Defends 60m Hurdles Title

Another successful title defence came courtesy of Abdulazeez Almandeel of Kuwait who prevailed in 7.60 in the 60 metres hurdles. His time was his second national record and championships record in as many days and landed him among the season's top-10.

"I am so excited with my time," said Almandeel, who arrived in the Qatari capital with a career best of 7.74. a new national and Championships record. "I feel I can run faster in Portland and secure a place in the final."

His teammate Yaqoub Alyouha, who clocked 7.65, finished second with Zhang Hong Lin (7.73), also of China, in third.

In the women’s contest it took a photo reading to separate Kazakhstan’s hurdling Anastasiyas. The verdict went in favour of Anastasiya Soprunova over teammate Pilipenko by a scant two one-thousandths of a second as each were credited with 8.17.

The penultimate event, the women's 4x400 metres relay, witnessed another Asian record courtesy of Bahrain. The Quartet --Alwa Eid Naser, Uwaseun Yusuf Jamal, Iman Essa Jasim and Oluwakemi Adekoya-- clocked 3:35.07 to eclipse the mark set by an Indian quartet at these championships in 2008.

Qatar won the men's event in 3:08.20, also a championships record, more than three seconds clear of runners-up Iran.

Elsewhere, Favourite Svetlana Radzivil won the women’s high jump at 1.92m, ahead of teammate Nadiya Dusanova (1.88m) to lead a 1-2 finish for Uzbekistan.

Akihiko Nakamura won the men’s heptathlon to capture Japan’s first gold of the championships, tallying 5831 points. China’s Hu Yufei (5745) was second with Marat Khaaydarov (5619) of Uzbekistan third.

Zhang Yaoguang of China won the long jump with 7.99m ahead of India’s Prem Kumar Kumaravel (7.92m) and Ming Tai Chan (7.85m) of Hong Kong.

Liu Yang, also from China, was the winner in the men’s shot put with a 19.30m toss.

Qatar topped the gold medal standings with six, followed by China with five, and Kazakhstan with four. China won 13 medals in all, followed by Qatar and Kazakhstan with 10 apiece.


Bahrain continued their recent dominance of the Asian Cross Country Championships, taking clean sweeps of the medals in three out of the four categories and all four team titles on home soil at the 13th edition of the biennial championships in Manama on Monday (29).

The senior titles went to Albert Rop and Eunice Chumba.

Rop’s win was not much a of a surprise given his pedigree, which includes finishing 11th at the IAAF World Cross Country Championships Guiyang 2015, and he put more than 20 seconds between himself and the rest of the field before crossing the line in 32:36.

Issac Korir took second in 32:59, having al,so had to settle for second in Japan two years ago, while 2014 champion Ayalew Awake was third in 33:07.

Chumba’s win was closer more of an upset. She finished in 29:36 to beat established internationals Ruth Jebet and Mimi Belete, who were second and third respectively in 29:42 and 29:46.

The closest race of the day was the junior men’s event, but Ali Abdi eventually prevailed in 26:18, leading home his compatriot Desalegn Derara by two seconds, with their team mate Ibrahim Abdi, a distant third in 27:11.

The junior women’s title went to IAAF World Youth Championships Cali 2015 1500m silver medallist Dalilah Abdulkadir Gosa who showed impressive stamina over a longer distance when she won in 21:55.

Gosa will still be young enough to run in the junior women's race at next year's IAAF World Cross Country Championships.

Her team mate Mokonin Desi came home six seconds in arrears and the only non-Bahraini individual medallist of the day was Japan’s Yuka Mukai, who was third in 22:07.

No less than 18 nations took part in these championships.

Medal Tally


1. Bahrain (G- 4/S- 4/B- 3 ), 2. Japan (S-1)


1. Bahrain (G-4), 2. Japan (S-3), 3. China (S-1), 4. Iran (B-2), 5. Jordan (B-1)

Photo Gallery

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DOHA -20 Feb 2016- Another Asian record and six competition records fell on the second day of the 7th Asian Indoor Championships in Doha, Qatar, but it was local star Mohamed Al-Garni’s successful 1500m title defence that commanded the Aspire Dome spotlight.

The 23-year-old exuded overwhelming confidence as he broke from a four-man pack 100 metres from the finish, pounding his chest and motioning to the crowd as he breezed down the homestraight. It was an early celebration that likely added some two seconds to his final time and kept him just 0.07 seconds shy of the Asian record. 

He nonetheless clocked a 3:36.35 competition record, the third fastest performance in the world this season.

“I could have run faster but I was overwhelmed by the crowd’s support and I wasted time celebrating in the final straight,” Al-Garni said. “It’s such a fantastic feeling to win at home.”

Al-Garni added that he isn’t certain about whether he’ll compete at next month’s world championships, choosing to focus instead on sharpening his tactics as the Olympic Games approach.

Benson Seurei of Bahrain, who did most of the early pacing, held off Qatari Said Aden Said’s late race charge to take silver, 3:37.08 to 3:37:29. 

Adekoya and Haroun dominate over 400 metres

As expected, Oluwakemi Adekoya dominated the women’s 400 metres as the 23-year-old Bahraini notched her second Asian record in as many days.

Running in lane five, Adekoya made up the stagger on her chief rival Elina Mikhina to her outside just 100 metres into the race and forged on to win by more than two seconds. her 51.67 performance knocked another 0.01 from the continental record she set in qualifying yesterday.

Adekoya confirmed that she’ll be competing at the world indoor championships but that outdoors her focus would remain on the 400 metres hurdles.

The men’s contest went according to the playbook with local ace Abdelalelah Haroun taking an impressive victory in 45.88, another championships mark.

“I gave all I had left in the tank, but I certainly can go faster,” said Haroun, whose performance was the sixth fastest of the season. “My target here was to win the race, nothing more. Next stop for me is Portland.”

Abubaker Abbas of Bahrain took silver in 46.60, with Mikhail Litvin of Kazakhstan (46.80) third.

Middle Distance Double Triumph For Desalegn

Betlhem Desalegn became the championships' first double winner after her resounding triumph in the 3000 metres. 

The 24-year-old broke from Ruth Jebet of Bahrain and her United Arab Emirates teammate Alia Mohamed Saeed with 80 metres remaining en route to her 8:44.59 run, the fourth fastest time of the year.

“I needed to push hard, to meet the qualification standard for Portland," said Desalegn, who's been hobbled by achilles-related injuries over the past three seasons. "I am still not one hundred percent fit, but I will fight for a medal at the Worlds after finishing sixth (at the 2014 World Indoor Championships in) Sopot."

Jebet clocked 8:47.24 to finish second with Saeed (8:48.62) taking bronze.

Huang Bokai Takes Pole Vault Title at 5.75m

Following Li Ling's lead from the opening night, Huang Bokai secured another pole vault title for China –and for their French coach Damien Inocencio-- with a 5.75m championships record, yet another career best for the 19-year-old. Bokai secured the win after topping 5.70m on his second attempt before sailing clear at 5.75m with his first. He later bowed out with three tries at a would-be 5.82m national record.

Japanese Seito Yamomoto and Hiroki Ogita topped 5.60m and 5.50m respectively to finish second and third.

Likewise, both triple jump titles were claimed for Kazakhstan. 

In the women’s event, Olympic champion Olga Rypakova of Kazakhstan took gold as expected but with a modest 14.32m winning leap.

“The Asian Championships was a just a break from my Olympics preparation, that’s why I wasn’t in a very good shape,” said Rypakova, who confirmed that she’ll be back in Doha for May’s IAAF Diamond League kick-off. 

Johny Mayookha of India, the winner of the long jump, finished second with a 14.00m leap. 

Roman Valiyev took top honours on the men’s side at 16.69m, comfortably ahead of India’s Renjith Maheswary (16.16m).

Elsewhere, Hu Yufei of China leads the men’s heptathlon after day one with 3226 points. Mohmmaed Jasem Alqaree of Saudi Arabia is second with 3193, ahead of Japan’s Takumi Otobe, who tallied 3072.

Uzbekistan's Ekaterina Voronina was confirmed a the winner of Friday’s women's pentathlon with 4224 points. Iran's Sepideh Hossein (3828) and Japan's Chie Kiriyama (3,637) finished second and third respectively.

A protest filed by Iranian officials, against India's Swapna Barman for  a lane infringement in the 800m, was upheld. Barman initially finished second behind Voronina.