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Host China Athletes dominates day 1 of the 21st Asian Athletics Championship

21st Asian Athletics Championships


Ogunode sends early warning in 100m while Chinese commenced their gold rush on opening day


Wuhan, China – 3 June 2015: Hosts China acquired half of the Gold medals at stake on the opening day of 21st Asian Athletics Championships which commenced here at Wuhan Sports Centre today.

The athletes from Champion Nation were on top of the podium in four out of eight finals decided on Wednesday.


However the opening day’s attractions include an excellent 100m run by the newest Asian record-holder in that event, Femi Ogunode of Qatar, in the qualifying rounds.  Having commenced with a 10.12 secs in the morning heats, Ogunode went on to clock an impressive 9.97s (+1.1) to win the semi-finals in the evening—a time that erased country-mate Samul Francis’s 2007 performance of 9.99 secs from the record books and also put him as an Asian Leader in that event for this season.   Francis also qualified for tomorrow’s final with a 10.29 secs clocking behind Ogunode in the semis.


China’s Su Bingtian, who earlier posted a national record and season leading 9.99 secs while finishing third in the Prefontine Classic IAAF Diamond League at Eugene (USA) three days ago, is not participating here.


In the women section, Japan’s Chisato Fukushima emerged fastest in the semis with 11.28 secs as she is en route to make sweet revenge to local girl Wei Yongli (11.50) in the final.


Hurdlers led Chinese gold quest

As expected the Chinese hurdlers sparkled in both men and women races.  Asian Games gold medalist Xie Wenjun (13.56) had a comfortable victory over Kuwait’s Abdulaziz Almandeel (13.67) in men’s 110m hurdles.  Korean Kim Byoung-jun filled the podium in 13.75s while defending champion Jiang Fan finished a distant fifth in 13.85 secs. 


Fresh from her victory in the IAAF World Challenge meet at her national capital Beijing less than a fortnight ago, Wu Shuijiao find no difficulty in winning the women’s 100m hurdles clocking 13.12 secs.  Japan’s defending champion Kimura Ayako finished third (13.41) while Kazakhstan’s Anastassiya Pilipenko equaled her season best 13.33 secs for the silver.   


Former world youth champion Lu Minjia takes the long jump with a leap of 6.52m.  Korea’s Jung Soon-ok pips local girl Xu Xiaolong by 1 cm for the silver (6.47 to 6.46m).


Liu Tingting, a silver medalist in the last edition of the championships held at Pune, got upgraded to gold position this time in women’s hammer throw (68.24m).  Her teammate Luo Na made it 1-2 for China with a 64.97m throw in the ball and chain event.  Japan’s Watanabe Akane (59.39m) was the other medalist here.



Al-Garni and Betlhem won metric mile

While Incheon Asiad victor Mohammad Al-Garni (Qatar) got a ‘promotion’ in the men’s race, it was a face-saving win for UAE runner Betlhem Desalegn in the women’s 1500m today.  Al-Garni, silver medalist in Pune, had won the Asian Games gold at Incheon last year.  However Betlhem finished outside the podium in Incheon. 


Al-Garni won the gold in 3:41.42.  Baharain’s Mohammed Tiouali (3:42.43) and Belal Mansour Ali (3:43.67), in close call, had won the next two spots.


In an epic battle that went up to the wire, Betlhem pips Zhao Jing in one hundredth of a second to win the women’s title (4:29.39 to 4:29.40).  Japan’s Iino Maya takes the bronze clocking 4:32.90.


Convincing wins for Radzivil and Inderjeet

Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Radzivil was another athlete who improved upon her previous position in Wuhan.  Radzivil (28), with two back-to-back victories in the Asian Games, was the pre-event favourite here.  However it was a convincing victory for the Uzbekh as Radzivil had earlier won only two silver medals through her appearances in the Asian championships at Kobe (2011) and Pune (2013) prior to this.


Inderjeet Singh, the World University Games silver medalist and Asian Games bronze medalist, raised the Indian flag high to win the men’s shot put with a heave of 20.41m.  Having achieved a continental leading 20.65m at home, the Indian looking to extend the winning ways his countrymen had in this prestigious championship right from its inception in 1973.  With today’s win he had become the eighth Indian ever to win the gold in the biennial meet of Asia. 


Chang Ming-Huang of Chinese Taipei (19.56m) and China's Tian Zhizhong (19.25m) were the other medalists in this event.


Ram. Murali Krishnan for AAA   

21st Asian Athletics Championships 2015 – Throws Preview



Shot Put:

India’s World University Games silver medalist Inderjeet Singh is leading the Asian Rankings for the season with a superb 20.65m achieved at home during the Federation Cup at the beginning of this month.  

Although he missed a podium finish during the last edition of the Asian championships at Pune, Singh went on to earn a bronze medal in the Asian Games at Incheon last year.  

Inderjeet further confirmed his consistency with another superb toss of 20.42m during the national trials for Universiade at Patiala on 28 May.

In the absence of Saudi Arabia’s gold medalist Sultan Abdulmajeed Al-Hebshi, the Indian’s nearest rival in Wuhan would be Pune and Incheon silver medalist Chang Ming-Huang from Chinese-Taipei, having a PB of 20.58m.  

The mainland China also fielding two throwers with personal bests over 20 metres in Wang Guangfu (20.20) and Tian Zizhong (20.05).


A medal sweep is imminent for China in the women’s section.  Though the hosts are not fielding Gong Lijiao, the top woman for this event in 2015, the next three throwers Guo Tianqian (18.57), Gao Yang (18.46) and Bian Ka (17.53) are likely to wrestle it between them for the top honours.


gowdaDiscus Throw:

Here again an Indian tops in the list as Vikas Gowda, with his 65.75m winning mark in Tritov Invitational at La Jolla (United States) last month, is looking formidable to defend his title from Pune.  


Asian record-holder and London Olympics silver medalist Ehsan Hadadi (Iran, PB: 69.32m) started season with modest 61plus in Eugene Diamond League beaten by Gowda who threw 64.41 for 3rd place. 


Also in the fray are his country-mate Mahmoud Samimi, Pune Silver medalist, and Qatar’s bronze medalist Ahmed Mohammed Dheeb.  


Essa Mohd Garib Al-Zankawi, who sets a Kuwaiti national record 63.22m while winning the Arab championshipshadidi at Manama last month along with Saudi Arabia’s Sultan Mubarak Al-Dawoodi (PB: 60.08m) are also the other athletes to watch in Wuhan.


Another medal sweep is likely for the hosts as defending champion Su Xinyue along with Asiad silver medalist Lu Xiaoxin and bronze medalist Tan Jian represents China in the women’s event.  


There is no Indian entered at Wuhan.  Seema Antil of India was the gold medalist in Incheon Asiad.  


That leaves only last edition’s bronze medalist Li Tsai-Yi of Chinese Taipei and Subenrat Insaeng of Thailand, who recently set a national record 60.09m at Taipei International Open Meet will have to challenge the Chinese on their own turf.


DilshadHammer Throw:

Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov, defending champion and three-times successive Asian Games gold medalist, will be the hot favourite to win again in Wuhan.  


Nazarov leads the continental lists with his 79.36m throw achieved during the 54th edition of Golden Spikes IAAF World Challenge at Ostrava on May 25.  


Qatar’s world junior champion Ashraf Amgad Elseify (76.37), China’s Wang Shizhu (75.20) and Iranian Kaveh Mousavi (75.26) are the ones expecting to make the contest interesting in the Chinese town.


The Chinese are favourite again on the women’s side.


 Incheon Asiad champion Zhang Wenxiu (77.33m), Pune silver medalist Liu Tingting (73.06) and 2012 world junior championship finalist Luo Na (69.81) will have a free ride in Wuhan.



Javelin Throw:

Hosts are preserving Zhao Qinggang, who sets an Asian Record 89.15 to win the Asian Games at Incheon last year, for the World championships.


The same was the case with silver medalist Ryohei Arai of Japan.  Hence it leaves the defending champion and Incheon bronze medalist Ivan Zaytsev (Uzbekistan) to spearhead the competition at Wuhan.  


Two Japanese throwers with excellent personal bests, Murakami Yukifumi (85.96) and Genki Dean (84.28) as also another two from Chinese-Taipei, Cheng Chao-Tsun (81.78) and Huang Shih-Feng (82.11) will have to fight it out for the podium here.


Two bronze medalists, Risa Miyashita of Japan (Pune) and Annu Rani of India (Incheon) will vie for a medal in the women’s group with local girls Liu Shiying (62.77m) and Yang Xinli (61.92m) looking to clash for the gold position and to gain an automatic ticket to the World championships to be held at Beijing, later this year.



With the top guns missing in action at the Asian championships, Japan’s season leader Akihiko Nakamura leading the table in decathlon with 8043 points.  His nearest rivals would come from the host nation in Guo Qi (7804) and Hu Yufei (7582).    


Nakamura is a silver medalist in the last edition of the championships at Pune and won a bronze at the Asian Games last year.


In heptathlon the favourite would be Uzbekistan’s Ekaterina Voronina (5912 pts).  A silver medalist in Pune, Voronina elevated to gold position at the Incheon Asiad.


The hosts are fielding Incheon silver medalist Wang Qingling (5873) while Japan sends Megu Hemphill, who equals the national junior record of 5678 points last month at Wakayama.


Prominent among the other competitors are India’s former Asian junior champion Purnima Hembram (5462), China’s Li Weijian (5509) and Chinese-Taipei’s Chu Chia-Ling (5519).


Ram. Murali Krishnan for AAA

21st Asian Athletics Championships 2015 – Distance Running Preview



BalaDefending champion Musaab Abdelrahman Bala underwent an unprecedented ouster in Incheon with the company of Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Obaid Alsalhi and Bahraini Abraham Rotich.  

At the Asian Games, Alsalhi (1:46.28), Bala (1:46.33) and Rotich (1:46.94) ran a world class race to take the top three spots but only to get disqualified later on technical ground.  

Both Alsalhi and Bala are going to Wuhan to make amends.  Also in the fray are the three elevated podium finishers at Incheon, Adnan Taees Akkar (Iraq), Teng Haining (China) and Jamal Al-Haryani (Qatar), besides Pune bronze medalist Bilal Manour Ali from Bahrain.  

Another Saudi, Ali Saad Al-Daran, the 2007 World Youth championship silver medalist, is the leading Asian athlete this season with his 1:45.59 and figuring prominently in Wuhan entry-lists that create high expectations in this event.

Another of Qatar’s wonderful runners, Mohamad Al-Garni, the Asian Games champion and Pune silver medalist in 1500m is going to Wuhan with high ambitions.  

Bahrain’s Ali and Iraqi star Akkar, the bronze medalists in Pune and Incheon respectively, will have a tough opponent in Saudi Arabia’s Abdullah Obaid Al-Salhi, the Asian Leader with 3:39.87 clocking at San Diego in March. 


tintuIndian Tintu Luka is already a leading athlete in women’s 800m this season with her time of 2:01.86 that she clocked while winning the National Games at Thiruvananthapuram this February.  

To make her task easy, both defending champion Wang Chunyu (China) and Asiad gold medalist Margarita Mukasheva (Kazakhstan) will not be there in Wuhan.    

The home-challenge will be in the form of Asiad bronze medalist Zhao Jing (2:05.18 at Shanghai Diamond League).  However two Sri Lankans, Nimali (2:04.60) and Gayanthika 2:04.91), are keen to provide the required challenge to the Indian in the half-mile race.  

Emirates runner Betlhem Desalegn, who won two gold medals in Pune through 1500m and 5000m, is now preferred to run 800m in place of the longer distance (5k) and already clocked a noteworthy 2:07.20 while taking the silver in the Arab championships at Manama last month.  Known to be a tough fighter, Betlhem can throw a surprise or two in Wuhan.


Defending champion in the ‘metric-mile’, Betlhem finished outside the podium in the Incheon Asiad.  The Incheon winner Maryam Jamal (Bahrain) and bronze medalist O.P. Jaisha (India) are opted to skip the Wuhan meet, leaving only the silver medalist Mimi Belete to challenge Betlhem here.  

The distance running superpower Japan is fielding May Iino, raking second in Asia this year with 4:17.67 to garner a medal in this championships. 



Al-GarniIncheon victor Al-Garni (Qatar) and bronze medalist Albert Rop (Bahrain) are set to clash once again in the Asian meet.  Albert, a silver medalist in this year’s Arab championships, posted an area lead 13:18.55 at Manama.  

Japan’s Naohiro Domoto (13:32.72) and Indian G Lakshmanan (13:50.05) are the other medal contenders in Wuhan.

Two Bahraini runners, defending champion Alemu Bekele and Asian Games winner El Hassan El Abbassi, will be the main stars to watch in 10,000m.  

Surprisingly Japan did not enter any athlete in this event.  Hosts China is entering national champion Qi Zhenfei (29:31.60).  Here again Lakshmanan (29:13.50) will have a chance to win a medal for India.

As in 1500m, the defending champion Betlhem (UAE) and Incheon silver medalist Mimi Belete will fight it out for the top honours in women’s 5000m race.  Japan fielding two middle class runners in Mao Kiyota (15:42.80) and Risa ShitayeKikuchi (15:45.44).  The second Emirates’ runner in the fray, Asian Games 10000m champion Alia Mohamed Saeed is also a notable contender as she posted 15:34.70 in indoors earlier this year at XL-Galan in Stockholm. 

In 10000m, defending champion Shitaye Eshete of Bahrain will log horn with Asiad winner Alia.  The UAE runner was a silver medalist behind Eshete at Pune.  Japan’s Numata Michi (32:25.08) is also having podium ambitions as also Uzbekistan’s Sitora Khamidova, who was fourth at last year’s Asian Games in Incheon.   



AoiA thin field of nine athletes will be taking part in the men’s 3000m steeplechase at Wuhan.  

Leading the list is Bahrain’s John Koech has clocked a superlative 8:14.75 while finishing third in the Beijing World Challenge in last week.  

His teammate Evans Chematot, former World Junior bronze medalist, along with Japan’s Aoi Matsumoto will bring in the glamour to the event.  

India’s Incheon bronze medalist Naveen Kumar and teammate Jaiveer Singh are also in the fray for a medal in the men’s race.

Luck eluded Ruth Jebet after she posted a world youth/junior leading mark of 9:40.84 in the last edition of the Asian championships at RuthPune, as she had to forfeit her gold medal due to eligibility question regarding her nationality.  

Having cleared for her Bahraini citizenship, she once again underwent a sticky situation when the medal ceremony at the Asian Games in Incheon last year was abruptly stopped in midway due to an appeal lodged against her lane violation.  

After a high drama Jebet received the verdict to her favour and happy to see that her time 9:31.36 accepted as a new Games Record.

The two other medalists with her on the Incheon podium, silver medalist Li Zhenzhu of China and bronze medalist Lalita Babar of India, will also be there in Wuhan to recreate another memorable race.   


Ram. Murali Krishnan for AAA

21st Asian Athletics Championships 2015 – Jumps preview


High Jump:

Asian record-holder Mutaz Essa Barshim (2.43m) is high on the cards together with younger brother Muamer Aissa Barshim and host nation’s Zhang Guowei (2.35), the podium-finishers of Incheon Asiad.  

Mutaz is one of the top athletes from Asia competing in the Diamond League at America’s track town Eugene on 29-30 May and travelling to Wuhan thereafter.  

The Chinese also fielding World University Games bronze medalist Wang Yu (PB: 2.33m), anticipating a second medal here.   Iran’s Keyvan Ghanbarzadeh, the joint silver medalist in the last edition at Pune, will be another athlete to watch at Wuhan.

Asian Games winner Svetlana Raddzivil (Uzbekistan) and silver medalist Zheng Xingjuan (China) are the top rated athletes on Wuhan start-lists for women’s high jump.  

Two other Chinese jumpers Wang Yang and Zhang Luyu will attempt to get the minor medals. 

Pole Vault:

In the absence of top two medalists from Pune Asian championships and Incheon Asian Games, bronze medalist Jin Min-Sub of Korea appeared favourite in the men section.

However he is expecting stiff challenge from two Japanese, Yamamoto Seito (5.75m) and Hiroki Ogita (5.70m), as well as three Chinese—Zhang Wei (5.62), Huang Bokai (5.61) and Yao Jie (5.60m)—to tackle a medal at Wuhan.

The Chinese vaulters led by Pune and Incheon gold medalist Li Ling (4.65m) besides Ren Mengqian (4.50) and Xu Huiqin (4.40) are looking for a medal sweep at Wuhan.

Japan’s Incheon silver medalist Abiko Tomomi (4.40) will be the only other athlete for a medal quest here if the Indian federation withdrew national record-holder Sureka from their Wuhan-bound squad.

Long Jump:

Eight athletes who jumped over 8 metres are among the 25 athletes entered here.  The Chinese trio include Pune bronze medalist Tang Gongchen (8.09m), Incheon bronze medalist Gao Xinglong (8.21m) and Huang Changzhou (8.14).

Japan’s Yohei Sugai, who leapt 8.18m ahead of India’s Asian silver medalist Kumaravel Premkumar (8.04) at Mt. San Antonio College Relays at Walnut last month also in for a medal at Wuhan.  

Saudi Arabia’s national junior record-holder Ahmed Fayaz Al-Dosari (8.12) and Ted Hooper, who migrated to Chinese-Taipei from the United States recently, with an 8.08m leap at the beginning of this month at Irvine are also in the fray.  

India fields a second entry in Ankit Sharma, the National Games victor earlier this year with a personal best 8.04m.

From the last edition at Pune, silver medalist Anastasiya Juravleva (Uzbek) and Mayookha Johny (India) are returning to claim a medal at Wuhan.  

Former world youth champion Lu Minjia (6.79m), season leader Zhou Ziaoxue (6.55) and Xu Xiaoling (PB: 6.63) will provide the home challenge in the women’s division.

Japan’s Kai Konomi (6.64) and Korean Jung Soon-Ok (6.76) are the other top guns looking to set the competition on fire.

Triple Jump:

A full set of podium-finishers from last year’s Asian Games — Chinese Cao Shuo and Dong Bin together with Korea’s Kim Deok-Hyeon — will be in action at Wuhan.  

A third entrant from China, Xu Xiaolong, is leading the season’s list with a mark of 16.93m registered at National Grand Prix in Taiyuan a fortnight ago.  

Kazakhstan’s former Asian champion Roman Valiyev (31) and Qatar’s 2010 Asian Games bronze medalist Rashid Ahmed Al-Mannai are the other keen contestants to watch at Wuhan.

Pune Asian champion Anastasiya Juravleva dropped to a disappointing seventh place in last year’s Asian Games at Incheon.  The 14.55m jumper is all set to make amends at Wuhan.  

Her fellow Uzbek Aleksandr Kotlyarova and Kazakh Irina Ektova, the silver and bronze medalists in both Pune and Incheon respectively, will be there while Asian record-holder and Olympic champion Olga Rypakova giving it a miss to the Asian championships.  

Wang Wupin, ranking second in the season with a 14.10m leap behind Rypakova in Asian lists, will lead the host team with former Asian junior champion Li Yanmei (14.35) and world youth silver medalist Wang Rong (14.09).  

Ram. Murali Krishnan for AAA

21st Asian Athletics Championships 2015 – Hurdles Preview

High Hurdles:

Jiang Fan (China) and Abdulaziz Al-Mandeel (Kuwait), the gold and silver medalists from Pune, will have a high octane competition this time as the entire podium-finishers from Incheon will be descending on Wuhan Sports Centre this time.  

Asian Games gold medalist Xie Wenjun is high on the season list with his 13.36s from Shanghai Diamond League.  Next on the rank is Incheon silver medalist Kim Byung-Jun (13.58).   

Thailand’s bronze medalist Jumras Rittidet is however yet to attain his peak and hence slower than his Incheon mark of 13.61s this season.  India’s Siddhant Thingalya, who missed the podium at Pune, will try his luck once again at Wuhan.

The women’s 100m hurdles also have the full set of medalists from Incheon.  Defending champion Ayako Kimura of Japan, who lost the mantle to the Chinese duo Wu Shuijiao and Sun Yawei at the Asian Games, will try her might to take revenge at Wuhan.   

However Shujiao, who won the World Challenge at Beijing with a much superior 12.85 secs, will make things difficult for Kimura here again.  

Kimura’s best in the season (13.24) came in the Mt. San Antonio College relay at Walnut last month.  Also in for a medal is Kazakh hurdler Anastasiya Pilipenko with a season best 13.33 secs. 

Intermediate Hurdles:

Bahrain’s Asiad gold medalist Ali Khamis Abbas and home favourite Cheng Wen, who won silver in Pune and bronze at Incheon, will be the main contenders for the men’s 400m hurdles title.  Yuta Konishi (Japan), Chen Chieh (Chinese Taipei) and former Youth Olympics silver medalist Durgesh Kumar Pal of India are the others looking for a medal at Wuhan.Adekoya

Bahraini Adekoya is in for another ‘double’ at Wuhan and clearly the top favourite to clinch the gold in the women’s race.  Pune silver medalist Manami Kira (Japan) and Incheon bronze medalist Xiao Xia are also in the fray.

Ram Murali Krishnan for AAA