Dongguan, China Nov 27, 2017: Gopi Thonakal of India became the first Indian male marathoner to win Asian Marathon Championship 2017 Dongguan title with a performance of 2:15:48. Andrey Petrov of Uzbekistan pushed his limit to close gap with Gopi in the last kilometer of the race but had to settle on the silver medal position with a new personal best of 2:15:51, almost 2 minute faster than his previous best. Tseveenravdan BYAMBAJAV of Mongolia also set new personal best of 2:16:14 to win Bronze medal for Mongolia. Pak CHol of PRK Korea who was 2nd in 2015 slipped to 4th place this time with a performance of 2:16:19. YANG Dinghong of host China finished on the 5th place in 2:16:27. Gopi Thonakal, said: "The organization of the whole competition was very good and the climate here is pleasing. I really enjoy the whole race today, though the competition is tough."
In the women’s race defending champion Kim Hye Gyong of PRK Korea made most of cool climate of Dongguan to defend her title successfully with a performance of 2:28:35. Kim lead race from front to finish and she took decisive lead after 15km mark and maintained that lead till finish. Japan’s Keiko NOGAMI, resident of Nagasaki took silver medal with a performance of 2:29:05. Jo Un Ok also from PRK Korea grabbed bronze medal with a timing of 2:30:01. Andreeva JULIIA ( 2:34:27) and Korobitskaia MARIIA ( 2:34:50)of Kyrgyzstan finished on the 4th and 5th place respectively.
Winners were awarded with cash award of $10,000, $5,000 and $3,000 USD. Overall 23 male and 17 female runners from 18 Asian Countries took part in the biannual championship. Dongguan city will again welcome Asian Marathoners in 2019 for the 17th Asian Marathon Championship.
Along with Asian Marathon Championship, Dongguan city also saw staging of Dongguan International Marathon where more than 30000 runners took part in various races, almost double to their first year event in 2016.
Dongguan City successfully ran the mega logistic operation to ensure smooth conduct of Asian Marathon championship as well as Dongguan International Marathon. More than 200 technical official and over 3200 volunteers were trained to manage route and other areas. Dongguan set up 37 medical stations manned with 475 medical staff members, 132 physicians, 800 medical volunteers and 80 emergency vehicles along the route to respond to any incident during the competition. Race started from Dongguan midtown plaza, the full marathon ended at an ecological park, the half marathon ended at the Dongguan Basketball Center and the carnival run ended at the Qifeng Park, a picturesque resort in Dongguan.
Monaco, 24 Nov 2017: Qatar's Mutaz Essa Barshim won the male World Athletes of the Year at the IAAF Athletics Awards 2017, held at the Grimaldi Forum in Monaco on Friday (24).
Barshim, 26, who become first Asian ever to win an award, was one of the most consistent and dominant athletes of the year. Starting with a 2.35m leap in Jeddah in April and ending with a 2.40m jump in Eberstadt in August, Barshim pieced together an undefeated season across 11 competitions.
He won the world title in impressive fashion, clearing all of his heights up to his winning mark of 2.35m on his first attempt. One week after his triumph in London, he jumped a world-leading 2.40m in Birmingham and followed it four days later with a winning jump of 2.36m in Zurich to secure the IAAF Diamond League title.
Barshim ended the 2017 season with nine of the best 11 jumps in the world this year, capped by his two 2.40m leaps. He is the first high jumper in history to leap 2.40m or higher in five successive years.
IAAF President Sebastian Coe presented the trophy to Barshim, while International Athletics Foundation (IAF) Honorary President HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco presented the trophy to Thiam.
"Tonight is our time to celebrate," Seb Coe said. "We have recognised the achievements and remarkable careers of some outstanding athletes, coaches and officials. With more than 50 champions, record breakers, ambassadors and coaches here tonight it’s impossible to individually honour everyone – I wish we could.
"We celebrate your amazing contributions to a phenomenal year of athletics. I’m particularly excited by the young generation of talent which so dramatically came of age on the world stage in 2017.
"Athletics looks forward to a strong and exciting future safe in your hands."
Casablanca , 10th October 2017 : On the sidelines of the 27th Congress of the Confederation of African Athletics, historic MoU was signed between Asian Athletics Association led by its President Gen. Dahlan Al Hamad and Confederation of African Athletics President Mr. Hamad Kalkaba Malboum. Few points of this historic partnership include exchange and sharing of educational methodology and joint organisation of seminars, workshops, training and educational activities.
AAA President Gen. Dahlan emphasised that this MoU will expand the cooperation and relationship of AAA and CAA and will further boost the development in the areas of competition and coaching methodology.
The MoU was signed in the presence of IAAF President Lord Sebastian Coe who congratulated Mr. Hamad and Gen. Dahlan on this occasion and said that this MOU will help areas to work and develop together.
Successful athletes involved in the project “Ostrava supports continents”
The calendar of athletic events for the year next year in Czech Republic is clearly dominated by IAAF Continental Cup, which will take place in Ostrava on 8th and 9th September, 2018. However, the athletic will be 'alive' in the north part of Moravia throughout the whole year - thanks to the project "Ostrava supports continents" lead by Czech Athletic Federation together with the City of Ostrava and the Moravian-Silesian Region.
The unique concept of a long-term competition for primary and secondary schools in the region started ceremoniously on November 16th, when draw ceremony took place at the town hall of Ostrava and all involved schools were allocated to particular continent. In total, 30 elementary schools and 27 secondary schools entered the project.
The project will be supported by the ambassadors and patrons = former international and nowadays Czech athletics stars. "The goal of 'Ostrava supports continents' project is to involve children in regular physical activity, because athletics is the foundation of all sports and this connection offers the chance. To be interesting for the children, it is certainly important that they have their patrons in the competitions - so we co-operated with four leading Czech athletes who have become faces of a school project in which they will engage in various roles throughout the year, “ explained Libor Varhaník, chairman of Czech Athletic Federation. "At the same time, we would like to take advantage of the fact that athletes from all the continents will come to Ostrava. The ambassadors of each school is a former leading athletic star from each continent who will be connected directly with schools. We would like the children to learn about the culture, habits, or life of athletes in different parts of the world and other aspects just in conjunction with our ambassadors."
Former world record holder in the 110m hurdles Colin Jackson became the ambassador of Europe became, the author of the longest jump in history Mike Powell will act as the ambassador of Americas.The remaining two continents have been split by two former world champions in the 400m hurdles: Australia and Oceania will be led by Jana Pittman and Africa by Nezha Bidouane. "I have been to Ostrava several times and I have always received a warm welcome and support from an athletically knowledgeable audience. That is why I am glad to return as an ambassador. It's an honor for me,“ Colin Jackson said. The ambassadors of the individual teams will be connected to the competing schools and have already sent them an initial letter of motivation to enter the competition.
Czech patrons of the project "Ostrava supports continents" are double Olympic champion Barbora Špotáková, world indoor champion in the 400 m Pavel Maslák, silver medalist from the European championship in the pole vault Jan Kudlička and junior world champion in high jump Michaela Hrubá.
"Every project that brings children to the sport is important so I agreed to be a patron of it immidiately. As a native of Havířov, I also like the fact that such a project is taking place in our region,“ said Pavel Maslák, a patron of Africa.
Jan Kudlička posed for the project's visual in a "fighting spirit” with all the three other patrons. "IAAF Continental Cup is a team competition, and the Ostrava supports continents will also be a duel of teams - just those of the schools," added the Czech pole vaulter, patron of Americas.
Barbora Špotáková became the patron of Asia and Pacific and the blue color of Europe will be represented by the height jumper Michaela Hrubá. Four Czech athletes will not only be faces from the poster but will participate actively in the various stages of the project - whether via video messages or personal visits to particular schools.
IAAF Continental Cup as the world's largest athletic competition possible to be held by the Czech Republic will take place in Ostrava in less than a year as a duel of the best athletes from four continents: Europe, Africa, America and Asia-Pacific.
"Ostrava is a traditional and experienced organizer of international sporting events at the top level. We have done this with the perfect organization and atmosphere at the IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship, ISU European Figure Skating Championships, Golden Spike meeting, Fed Cup or the Davis Cup ties. IAAF Continental Cup which belongs to the three biggest world athletic events together with the Olympics and the World Championships will be the sporting highlight of the next year. Ostrava will host hundreds of guests from around the world. I am sure that even in this case our city will work the organizing and host roles excellent. I am especially pleased with the accompanying event “Ostrava supports continents” which aims to actively involve school children in athletic and sports at all. And maybe there will be a talent that will compete with the best athletes of the world in a few years, "said mayor of Ostrava Tomáš Macura.
“We spend tens of millions not only for organizing sporting events of international importance but also to support clubs, regular physical activities of children, youth, seniors and handicapped. It is important for us to improve the conditions not only for professional athletes but for amateurs as well. Therefore it is natural to support the project of Ostrava supports continents. It is never enough of competitions and projects that supports the healthy lifestyle and positive attitude to sport. Specially as nowadays a lot of people complain that youth spend a lot of time with the computer and doesn’t want to do any sport. This competition will be certainly attractive for young active people and can bring to the sport even those that would normally not be interested in,” said governor of Moravian-Silesian Region Ivo Vondrák.
The Czech project “Ostrava supports continents" is supported by IAAF as well and thanks to the positive approach the best athletes from the long-term project will be able to compete in a special pre-program of IAAF Continental Cup on 8th and 9th September 2018 directly at the City Stadium in Ostrava. Representatives of schools involved in the project will certainly have their seats in the audience as well.
Ticket sale for IAAF Continental Cup 2018 is going on via (www.ticketportal.cz). Ticket prices start at 150 CZK per day, the highest category is 500 CZK. There are half-discounts for seniors (65+), children up to 130 cm or wheelchairs (their escort for symbolic 1 CZK).
Kuala lumpur, 29 Aug 2017: The athletics competitions of the 29th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games concluded at the KL Sports City, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur on Saturday (26). Seventeen athletes successfully defended their individual titles from last edition. A triple gold by Nguyen Thi Huyen and Le Tu Chinh was among the stellar shows brought by the Vietnamese athletes apart from the outstanding results in triple jump. No fewer than 31 national records were established. At least ten new games record were set or equalled including two in the relays along with one SEA regional record by Malaysia’s Hakimi Ismail.
Young sprinters shine
During the recent Asian championship Khairul Hafiz Jantan was disqualified in the final after having run 10.24s in a pouring rain during his semi-finals, a performance that was faster than the times recorded in the finals. He was seen as the man to beat here as he won the heats easily in 10.34s (wind: +0.3 m/s), ahead of Thailand’s former champion Jirapong Meenapra (10.46s). The final’s night saw the Malaysian youngster takes the men’s 100m gold from the Philippine’s defending champion Eric Cray as he crossed the line assertively ahead of Cray in a thrilling century-dash finals, 10.38s to 10.43s (0.0). “The crowd was amazing and I'm very happy to have won gold for my country," the 19-year-old said who has recorded 10.18s in 2016 to become the fastest 18-year-old sprinter in the world that year.
Cray who was born in Olongapo gave everything over the closing stages to beat Thailand’s Kritsada Namsuwan on the line, who has also registered 10.43s to take third position. Ninety minutes earlier, the 2016 Olympian and Asian champion Cray managed to hold off the late surge of Vietnam’s Quach Cong Lich to defend his gold at 400m hurdles by a mere two-hundredths of a second in 50.03s.
During the Malaysian national championship in July, the 5’6” Hafiz clocked a lifetime best of 20.90s to break M.Jegathesan’s national 200m record (20.92s) which has stood for 49 years since the Mexico Olympics. However, Hafiz’s ambition of completing 100/200 double seems to be affected by a hamstring problem which he experienced just a week prior to his first sprint race. The 200m final race saw US-based Trenten Beram of the Philippines secure the gold comfortably in a new national record of 20.84s (0.0). A day later, 21-year-old Beram whose family moved to New York in 1970’s earned his second gold, winning the men’s 400m in 46.39s to complete a double in his first SEA Games appearance.
Meanwhile, Le Tu Chinh of Vietnam emerged as the queen of sprints as she fiercely dominated the short dashes, earning gold medals from the 100m in 11.56s and 200m in 23.32s, beating Malaysia’s Zaidatul Husniah Zulkifli who was second in both events in 11.74s and 23.64s, respectively. The unstoppable 20-year-old then teamed up with Nguyen Thị Mong Tuyen Tran Thị Yen Hoa, and Do Thị Quyen to win the 4x100m in a new Games record of 43.88s.
Vietnamese women rule track events
Female athletes were the key success for Vietnam as they bagged 13 gold, and of these 10 on the track.
Defending Asian champion Nguyen Thi Huyen was another outstanding performer as she retained the three gold medals she won at Singapore in 2015. The 24-year-old Huyen who stands at 5’2”, was well ahead of her competitors when won the 400m hurdles by nearly 4.5 seconds in 56.06s, a personal best and Games record. She went on to win the 400m easily in 52.48s before claiming her third gold from the 4x400m relay (3:33.40s).
The country of 92 million populations also produced some impressive marks in other events. Bui Thi Thu Thao registered an opening round of 6.64m in long jump, then sailed out to 6.68m (+0.2) national record to win gold medal.
Vu Thi Men reached 14.15m (+0.1) national record to take triple jump gold, shattering a lifetime best by 45 centimetres, which also nearing Maria Natalia Londa’s SEA regional record of 14.17m. The Indonesian Londa who in the last two editions won a long/triple double now settled in second position in both events with 6.47m and 13.52m, respectively. Likewise, Nguyen Thi Oanh takes the victories in the 1500m (4:20.51s) and 5000m (17:23.20), while Tran Thi Yen Hoa won the 100m hurdles in 13.40s (+0.7).
The persistent discus thrower Irfan Shamsuddin, who in May recorded 62.55m personal best is still nursing a worrisome back pain and ankle injury. But the Asian championship silver medallist was highly motivated, yielding an opening throw of 55.87m. After a foul in second throw, he hurled the discus to 58.36m distance in his third round to defend his gold for the third time.
Smashing a 23-year-old national record earlier this year with 13.67s, Rayzam Shah Wan Sofian, 29, regained SEA Games title over 110m hurdles from 10 years prior with a stunning show that lasted 13.83s (-0.1), defeating Thailand’s four-time SEA Games champion Jamras Rittidet (14.10s) in second.
Hakimi Ismail managed to recover at the right time from a series of setbacks to defend his triple jump title. Following a good opening round jump of 16.44m, the PE student got better in every round. He finally set a 16.77m (+0.2) Games record in the last round, bettering his personal best and SEA regional record by one centimetre to beat the Philippine’s Asian championship silver medallist Mark Harry Diones (16.63m, +0.3) in second.
The men’s high jump saw a charming rivalry between Malaysian competitors. With a PB of 2.30m, Nauraj Singh, an Olympian and world championship representative took his third consecutive gold as a result from his first attempt clearance of the 2.24m. Lee Hup Wei, a former Asian champion and also three-time SEA Games champion was awarded silver medal as he needed a few attempts to clear the same height. Both chose to skip 2.26m but they were unable to get over the 2.28m.
Thailand relies experienced athletes
None of Thailand’s gold medals were contributed by newcomers, but the defending SEA Games champions. Subenrat Insaeng whose personal best is 61.12m has thrown 55.23m to capture her fourth consecutive victory in women’s discus throw, Chayanisa Chomchuendee cleared 4.10m in women’s pole vault to win her third SEA Games gold as achieved by Natta Nachan in the javelin throw (55.04m), Sunisa Khotseemueang retained her heptathlon title in 5430 points. Porranot Purahong retained his gold in men’s pole vault, shattering the Games record by 5 centimetres with 5.35m clearance. The men’s relay teams delivered gold and Games record in the 4x100m (38.90s), also retaining the 4x400m gold (3:07.25s).
Elsewhere, Indonesia’s Triyaningsih achieved an eleventh SEA Games gold to her name as she won the women’s 10,000m (36:39.37s), Olympian May Joy Tabal of the Philippines won the women’s marathon in 2:48:26s despite a contentious lead up to SEA Games, and 17-year-old Grace Wong of Malaysia established a new Games record of 59.24m to take the top spot in women’s hammer throw.
Aries Toledo of the Philippines renewed no fewer than five personal bests to amass a total point of 7433 to beat Thai Suttisak Singkon, the recently crowned Asian champion with a score of 7732 points, who tallied 7411 points. Based on personal bests, Singkon appears to be losing almost 200 points in the 400m, while Toledo added over 130 points from pole vault. Jackie Wong set a new Games record of 65.90m to deliver gold for Malaysia in men’s hammer throw, Vietnam’s Duong Van Thai earned his sixth SEA Games gold from the triumphs in men’s 800m (1:48.97s) and 1500m (3:51.44s).
The 2017 SEA Games edition saw Vietnam athletics team dethrones Thailand’s athletics dominance in the regional games to top the medal table with a haul of 17 gold, 11 silver and six bronze. Thailand was in second overall with a haul of 9-13-11, just ahead of the host country Malaysia that ended their campaign with the best accomplishment since 1999 (8-8-9).
According to the latest news, the Philippines reversed its withdrawal, confirms it will host the next edition of SEA Games at Manila in 2019.
Jad Adrian Washif for the Asian Athletics Association