Iranian Taftian Hassan produced a blistering sprint in the men’s 100 meters, to blow past China’s Xie Zhenye, and ensure that the 15th Asian Junior Athletics Championships saw its first major upset at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday.
|Action at the Asian Junior Athletics Championship at the Sugathadasa Stadium yesterday. Pic by Ranjit Perera
Zhenye was an overwhelming favourite to take gold in the event but found himself unable to deal with Hassan’s lightning start. Even though Zhenye tried doggedly to catch up with him, Hassan was a runaway freight train, and erupted into celebration once he crossed the finish line in a time of 10.49 seconds. Zhenye finished in 10.54 seconds while Saudi Arabian Al Shalani Yousef Ali took bronze in 10.64 seconds.
In the women’s 100 meter final, Liao Chin-Hsien of Chinese Taipei had to fight her way to victory over Lin Huijun of China. Both women had impressive outings in their heats and did not disappoint at the finals, going at each other from the start. The competitiveness of the race was reflected in the final timing of each runner, with Ching-Hsien completing the race in 11.97 seconds, a mere millisecond ahead of Huijun.
Meanwhile, host nation Sri Lanka was unable to secure a single medal on the first day. However, they did inflict some damage during the heats of the men’s and women’s 400 meters. Dulaj Madusanka paced himself perfectly and charged across the final stretch to finish first in his heat with a time of 47.75 seconds, and qualify for the semifinals.
In the women’s 400 meters, Nadeeshani Henderson steamrolled India’s Mondal Priyanka in 56.51 seconds to also move into the semifinal stage of the event. She will be joined there by R. Rathnayake, who came in second behind Andreyeva Olga of Kazakhstan (56.38 seconds) in her heat, with a time of 56.65 seconds.
Earlier in the day, Japan’s Kyuma Haruka claimed the first gold medal of the championships, when she raced to victory with a timing of 16.07.74 seconds, in the women’s 5000 meters final.
Her compatriot, Kyuma Moe, stayed with her during the final stretch of the race and made it a Japanese one-two when she crossed the line second in a time of 16.08.17 seconds. Kim Hyr Gyeeg, from the People’s Republic of Korea, finished with a time of 16.32.02 seconds to kick off her country’s medal count.
In the men’s Decathlon, Iranian Sanaei Jamaladeen enjoyed an extremely successful day, winning both the High Jump (1.85 meters) and the Shot Put (12.70 meters). Kuwaiti Alzeed Magid was another decathlon athlete who had a very productive day, winning both the 400 meters (50.56 seconds) and the Long Jump (6.59 meters). His fellow countrymen Sorour Abdullah claimed the day’s final decathlon event by winning the 100 meters in 11.17 seconds.
In the day’s other results Zhang Wei of China established a new meet record in the Pole Vault with a jump of 5.35 meters. Taking silver was Fuji Daiki (4.80 meters) of Japan, while Fahme Zam Zam of Malaysia came in third with a leap of 4.20 meters.