BHUBANESWAR: Li Lingwei (China) set a new women’s javelin throw meet record, Manpreet Kaur (women’s shot put) and G Lakshman (men’s 5000m) claimed emotional gold medals for the home team while discus throw veteran Ehasan Hadadi (Iran) won the crown for the fifth time in the Asian Athletics Championsips at the Kalinga Stadium on Thursday evening.
Besides, home favourite Dutee Chand’s effortless start to finish victory in her 100m heats put paid to speculation that she would be adversely affected by news reports in the wake of an IAAF-WADA research paper on hyperandrogenism becoming public. Her 11.40 was the best effort by a woman sprinter over the distance on the opening night of competitions.
Here are details of the day’s finals:
Men’s 5000m: G Lakshaman was content to be within hauling distance of the leading bunch for a large part of the race and delivered a powerful kick over the last 300m to run out a comfortable winner in 14:54.48. The bronze medallist from Wuhan AAC 2015 tackled the humid conditions really well, not tiring himself with any front running attempts. Tariq Ahmed Al-Amri (Saudi Arabia), who had the best time this season among the 14 starters, could manage bronze in 14:56.86 behind Qatari Yaser Salem’s 14:55.89. Chinese National champion Liu Hongliang was fourth while 20-year-old Indian Murli Kumar Gavit came sixth behind the other Chinese Ciren Doubujie.
Men’s pole vault: China’s Ding Banchao’s confidence was to be seen to be believed. He kept passing vaults and joined the fray only when the bar was raised to 5.20. He passed 5.30 and when he cleared 5.40m, he knew he had earned gold. Perhaps the only reason he broke into a sweat was the humid environment in the Kalinga Stadium. Thailand’s Patsapong Amsam-Ang finished second with 5.30. India’s S Siva, joining the vaulting at 5.00m, was unable to clear that.
Men’s discus: Eshan Hadadi (Iran) uncorked five throws over 61m – a distance that none of his competitors matched on Thursday evening to claim his fifth Asian Athletics Champioships gold, dating back to Incheon in South Korea in 2005. His series of 61.67, 61.80, 63.76, 63.55 was followed by a foul on his fifth attempt. Rather than winding down, the 32-year-old Iranian sent the discus flying on his final attempt over 64.54m.
With a throw of 60.96m on his fifth attempt, Muhammad Irfan (Malaysia) stole a march over two-time defending champion Vikas Gowda (India) by a mere 15cm. The results were in keeping with form shown this season by Asia’s leading discus throwers.
Women’s 5000m: Kyrghistan’s Daria Maslova broke into a smile as she approached the finish line at the end of a long haul. She had done enough to win the grueling race in a time of 15:57.95. The humid conditions meant that the bronze medallist from Wuhan AAC 2015 would not challenge any records, being more than half a minute behind the gold winning time two years ago. Ali Mohammed Saeed (United Arab Emirates) had enough gas left to beat back a game challenge on the home stretch by India’s 20-year-old Sanjivani Jadhav to the silver medal.
Women’s long jump: Vietnam’s Bhu Thi Thu Thao fouled four jumps but her opening leap of 6.54m ensured her gold ahead of India’s Neena V, who also achieved a similar distance but on her fourth jump. The 25-year-old Vietnamese, an Asian Games silver medallist, finished with a 6.44 effort on her last jump. Neena, 26, an Asian Grand Prix winner, delivered a season’s best show with 6.54m in a series of consistent jumps, with only one falling short of 6.16m mark. The gangling Nayana James (India), who had pulled off a season’s best of 6.55m last month, came up with a 6.42m on her fourth jump in addition to three efforts over 6.32m, 6.31m and 6.33m
Women’s shot put: Manpreet Kaur’s 18.28m throw on her third attempt earned India its first gold medal of AAC 2017. Though she had only one other legal throw (17.52m as the opening effort), the Asian Grand Prix winner packed enough power behind to launch the iron ball the longest on Thursday night. China’s Guo TIngqian, the 22-yer-old defending champion, came up with a series of throws between 17.47 and 17.91 to take silver in a two-horse race. In the absence of Bahrain’s Noora Salem Jassem, Aya Ota of Japan won the battle for bronze with 15.45m, just 12cm more than her compatriot Nanaka Kori.
Women’s javelin: Li Lingwei (China) marked her return to AAC after missing out at Wuhan with a new meet record to add to her AAC 2013 gold. The 28-year-old had four throws over 60m – ranging from 60.79 on her first attempt to 63.06 on her fifth – while none of her competitors threatened the 60m mark. Her second attempt of 61.76 bettered the old record of 61.33 set by her compatriot Liu Shiying in Wuhan. Sri Lanka’s Nadisha Dilhani Lekamge took silver with 58.11 ahead of Indian Annu Rani (57.32).
And here are details of events in which heats were held this evening:
Men’s 100m first round: Malaysian Khairul Hafiz turned in the fastest time in six heats, stopping the clock at 10.28 seconds, a hundredth of a second quicker than defending champion Femi Seun Onugode (Qatar) who won his heat in a breeze. The absence of Andrew Fisher and Kemarley Brown, the Jamaican-born Bahrainis, who could have been challenging for medals, was telling. India’s Amiya Kumar Mallick was third in his heat
Women’s 100m first round: Running on her home track, Dutee Chand shook off doubts that she would be affected by news of an IAAF-WADA study on hyperandrogenism in telling fashion, emerging the fastest qualifier for the semifinal in 11.40 seconds. She also remained focussed despite a restart being ordered to her heat owing to the disqualification of Chinese Feng Lulu. She led Kazakhstan’s Olga Safronova (11.55) from start to finish. In the second fastest heat, Kazhakstan’s Viktoria Zyabkina won in 11.50, nine-hundredths of a second ahead of Uzbekistan’s Nigina Sharipova.
Women’s 400m semifinal: Nirmala (India) breezed through her heats and won in 52.79 seconds, well clear of Vietnam’s Quach Thi (53.26) to mark herself among the favourites in the final. MR Poovamma edged out younger Indian team-mate Jisna Mathew by two-hundredths of a second after a stirring surge at the finish.