The 2013-2016 IAAF Strategic Plan has six Core Values: universality, leadership, unity, excellence, integrity and solidarity, and a Vision Statement: “To lead, govern and develop the sport of athletics in all its forms worldwide, uniting the Athletics Family in a spirit of excellence, integrity and solidarity.”
The horizontal jumpers relished the conditions at Bangalore. Moderate temperatures, a 3000-foot altitude setting and a brand new track at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium together contributed towards some excellent marks by the long jumpers and triple jumpers as Leg Two of the Asian Grand Prix wound up here on Saturday (5).
Chinese Yu Zhenwei produced just one legal jump, that of 8.12m on his second attempt, but that was good enough for him to win the long jump title. It was a personal best for the 24-year-old Army man whose previous best of 8.11m had come at the National Grand Prix meet at Zhaoqing in April last year.
He had finished third in the first leg at Pune, behind team-mate Su Xiongfeng and Thai Suphanara Suksawat, with an effort of 7.72 metres.
The Thai, World youth champion last year, was in silver medal position until the last round when Kazakhstan’s Konstantin Safronov came up with a personal best of his own, at 8.06m, a centimetre better than his best achieved back home last year, to edge him.
Suksawat, just six days shy of his 18th birthday, at 8.04m, on his fifth jump, also had a personal best. All the medal-winners bettered the meet record of 7.99m standing in the name of Indian Maha Singh since 2005.
Maha Singh, incidentally, came fifth with a wind-aided 7.87m, behind team-mate Hari Krishnan who registered a career-best 7.92m, with an aiding wind of 1.9m/s.
Indian record holder Renjith Maheswary repeated his Pune feat of winning the Triple Jump. This time he touched 17 metres, his second best jump ever behind his National Record of 17.04m posted in the Asian GP meet in Guwahati (India) in 2007.
Maheswary had the crowd cheering him on almost throughout the competition as he resumed the battle with Kazakh Roman Valiyev, the Asian champion. A 16.98m by the Indian in the second round seemed to have all but settled the argument before he came up with the decisive 17-metre mark in the fourth round.
Maheswary said that he liked the conditions and enjoyed the competition. He was looking forward to further build up towards the Commonwealth Games and Asian Games later this year.
Valiyev, who could not get among the medals in Pune, had his season best 16.93m in the fourth round, but could not go beyond that. Wu Bo, the Chinese, who took second in the last leg, had a 16.92m in the third round to settle for the bronze.
The women triple jumpers also had a fruitful day, with first-placed Aleksandra Kotlyarova of Uzbekistan breaching the 14-metre barrier for the first time in her career, posting 14.08m on her last attempt for the gold.
The conditions were seemingly favourable for the vertical jumpers, too, especially the milder climate compared to the heat of Pune, as Malaysian Lee Hup Wei, the 2007 Asian champion, scaled 2.24m in high jump, his best for the season.
The 23-year-old Malaysian had two failures at 2.20 and passed his third attempt at that height to go for 2.24 which he cleared on his first attempt. He followed that up with 2.28 but failed three times. Chinese Wang Chen also did far better than at Pune, where he had tied with Lee at 2.15, by going over 2.20m.
Asian champion Zhang Peimeng avenged his defeat in Pune by taking the men’s 100m sprint title in 10.31. The Pune leg winner, Sri Lankan Shehan Abeypitiyage could manage only the fourth place with Hong Kong China’s Lai Chun Ho and Oman’s Babakat Al Harti taking the minor medals.
Iranian Sajad Moradi retained his hold on the 800m, winning in a poorer 1:49.24 compared to his 1:47.70 in the first leg.
India’s Om Prakash Singh, the reigning Asian champion, avenged his Pune loss to Chinese Zhang Jun by reaching a season best 19.80m in Shot Put. He did that with his opening throw and had another of 19.07m in the fifth round. He fouled the rest. Zhang Jun had a 19.53m in the second round to finish second.
Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan and Margarita Matsko of Kazakhstan retained their supremacy in the women’s 100m and 800m respectively. Both did not face much of challenge. Matsko especially must have been relieved not to see Indian Tintu Luka whom she beat right towards the finish last time. Luka had to skip the meet as she had to be hospitalized due to food poisoning.
Uzbek Svetlana Radzivil had a tougher fight on hand than at Pune, though she did win the high jump eventually, beating Kazakh Anna Ustinova at 1.93m on countback.
Indian Krishna Poonia once again showed her class in women’s discus, throwing to 61.64m in the fourth round. She had one other throw over 61 metres and one over 60 metres. Team-mates Harwant Kaur (59.67) and Seema Antil (58.81) made it a clean sweep for the host. The top Chinese were missing this time and it has been an essentially Indian show so far in discus, with a lone Singaporean, Wan Lay Chi for company.
By An IAAF Correspondent
Leading results - Men: 100m: 1. Zhang Peimeng (Chn) 10.31; 2. Lai Chun Ho (Hkg) 10.32; 3. Babakat Al Harti (Omn) 10.36. 400m: 1. S.K. Mortaza (Ind) 47.38; 2. Nelson Stone (PNG) 47.54; 3. Kunhumohammed (Ind) 47.61; 800m: 1. Sajad Moradi (Iri) 1:49.24; 2. Pankaj Dimri (Ind) 1:49.47; 3. Amir Moradi (Iri) 1:49.64. 110m hurdles: 1. Fawaz Al Shammari (Kuw) 13.62; 2. Ji Wei (Chn) 13.73; 3. Jamras Rittidet (Tha) 13.98. High jump: 1. Lee Hup Wei (Mas) 2.24; 2. Wang Chen (Chn) 2.20; 3. Vitaliy Tsykunov (Kaz) 2.15 Long jump: 1. Yu Zhenwei (Chn) 8.12; 2. Konstantin Safronov (Kaz) 8.06; 3. Suphanara Suksawat (Thai) 8.04. Triple jump: 1. Renjith Maheswary (Ind) 17.00; 2. Roman Valiyev (Kaz) 16.93; 3. Wu Bo (Chn) 16.92 Shot put: 1. Om Prakash Singh (Ind) 19.80; 2. Zhang Jun (Chn) 19.53; 3. Saurav Vij (Ind) 19.15.