Pune, IndiaChinese Song Aimin threw the discus to a season best 63.44 metres as the curtain came down on the Asian Grand Prix 2006 series at the Baburao Sanas ground here on Friday (26).
Song Aimin completed a hat-trick of titles with today’s win, just as 10 others did. Like in last year’s circuit, when she had recorded a 65.23-metre effort at Sidoarjo, Indonesia, to be the one to get into the world top-10 list to bag a bonus, the Chinese discus thrower did it again. There was no bonus this time, though.
Song Aimin would have shared the bonus had there been one this year, too, with two others, high jumpers Tatiana Efimenko of Kyrgyzstan and Marina Aitova of Kazakhstan. In a reversal of roles and fortunes, Efimenko triumphed this time at 1.94 metres, while Aitova settled for the silver, two centimetres behind. Aitova had won at Bangkok and Bangalore, both at 1.94 metres. Efimenko had tied for the first spot at Bangkok, but got the silver on a countback.
In a low-key contest, despite the entry of Indian record holder Seema Antil into the fray, for the first time in the series, Song Aimin had to push herself to reach her wonted level. The 28-year-old Chinese, winner at the Incheon Asian championships, produced her best on her third attempt. She also had a 61.47 and 60.64 in her series.
Seema Antil, the only other woman in the field with a plus-64-metre personal best, was well below par, finishing fourth with 50.46 metres. She said she had just recovered from a bout of typhoid and felt drained.
Efimenko clinched the title in yet another engrossing women’s High Jump duel with Aitova. Both joined the battle at 1.86 and were through 1.89 with ease. Both cleared 1.92 on their second attempts before Efimenko, the Asian and Asian Games champion, scaled 1.94 on her second attempt. Aitova failed for once. Efimenko had a shot at 1.96, but failed.
Another double for Parmanik
For the second meet running, the Indian fans had much to cheer about as Pinki Parmanik ran away with the 400-800 double. She also completed the three-in-a-row feat in the 800 metres in the process.
Parmanik who has set her sights rather high for the season-ending Asian Games in Doha, where she feels she could be among the medallists in both the 400 metres and 800 metres, said that she could have clocked better than the 52.92 seconds in the one-lap event had she not become a little stiff after the 800.
The 20-year-old Bengal girl said that her coach was of the opinion that she could aim for a sub-51 in the 400 metres and below two minutes in the 800 metres at the Asian Games.
Though Parmanik was the toast of an appreciative audience, it was Anju George who attracted all the attention as the meet ended in a slight drizzle. She was mobbed by an enthusiastic crowd, many children included.
Jumping with sore heel, George settles for second
George, however, disappointed with an opening jump of 6.46 metres giving her just second place behind Kazakh Olga Rypakova who thus made a sweep of the three titles in the series. Rypakova had a 6.61, her best in the three meets, while Filipino Marestella Torres took the bronze with 6.21 metres.
George, hampered by an injured take-off heel, said that her jumps were flat since she was unable to exert pressure on her heel. She did not take her last jump as by then it was clear that she was not going to get anywhere near the Kazakh and her heel was hurting badly. She said that she would be taking a break from competition till July when she hoped to compete in the Stockholm and London Grand Prix meetings.
Given the closeness of the contests in the two previous legs, the men’s 400-metre hurdles duel between Chinese Meng Yan and Kazakh Yevgeniy Melshenko could have been expected to provide a thrilling finish. It did not happen that way, though. Nor were the timings comparable to the Bangkok and Bangalore efforts.
The Chinese won all right, in 50.23 seconds. He had clocked a national record of 49.03 seconds in Bangalore. Once again, Meng Yan’s finish remained unmatched. He had the measure of the Kazakh through the last 40 metres after both were almost together over the last two hurdles.
Another Chinese, Wen Yongyi completed his three-title feat by winning the 100 metres, rather effortlessly yet again. A false start perhaps spoilt what could have been a sizzling race on a brand new track. The Chinese clocked 10.40 seconds and Thai Wachara Sondee edged home favourite Anil Kumar at the finish for the silver.
A third Chinese, in the men’s section, Chen Mingfu, looked easing his way through the final 1600 metres in the 3000 metres for a hat-trick of titles but he ran out of steam through the last lap and allowed Indian Sunil Kumar to go ahead on the home straight. The Chinese eventually lost the silver, too, Kyrgyzstan’s Denis Bagrev sneaking in at the finish.
The others who made a sweep of the three legs, apart from Wen Yongyi, Meng Yan, Parmanik, Rypakova and Song Aimin, were: Rohan Pradeep Kumara (Sri Lanka, 400m), Ehsan Mohajershojaei (Iran, 800m) and Mahan Singh (India, long jump) among men and Guzel Khubbieva (Uzbekistan, 200m), Feng Yun (China, 100m hurdles) and Zhang Guirong (Singapore, shot put) among women.
100m (+0.4): 1. Wen Yongyi (CHN) 10.40, 2. Wachara Sondee (THA) 10.49, 3. Anil Kumar (IND) 10.50, 4. Umanga Sanjeewa Surendra (SRI) 10.50, 5. Vitaliy Medvedev (KAZ) 10.81, 6. Jagdish Basak (IND) 10.82, 7. Vilas Neelgund (IND) 10.93.
400m: 1. Rohan Pradeep Kumara Fernando (SRI) 45.70, 2. Prasanna Sampath Amarasekara (SRI) 46.52, 3. Fawzi Al-Shammari (KUW) 47.31, 4. Li Guangjin (CHN) 47.35, 5. Srinivas S. (IND) 47.70, 5. Kuldev Singh (IND) 47.86, 6. Sarish Paul (IND) 50.15. Satbir Singh DNS.
800m: 1. Ehsan Mohajershojaei (IRI) 47.90, 2. Francis Sagiaraj (IND) 1:49.59, 3. Dmitry Tarassenko (KAZ) 1:50.95, 4. R. Rajeev (IND) 1:52.70, 5. Jaskaran Singh (IND) 1:53.63, 6. Amit Kumar Mishra (IND) 1:55.52, 7. Li Guangming (CHN) 2:06.69.
3000m: 1. Sunil Kumar (IND) 8:12.58, 2. Denis Bagrev (KGZ) 8:15.44, 3. Chen Mingfu (CHN) 8:15.54, 4. Pritam Bind (IND) 8:20.45, 5. Boonthung Srisung (THA) 8:25.47, 6. Raghunath (IND) 8:30.74, 7. Ravinder (IND) 8:31.47, 8. Santosh Kumar (IND) 8:39.03, 10. Manoj Kumar (IND) 8:39.97, 11. Tran Van Thang (VIE) 8:56.58.
400m hurdles: 1. Meng Yan (CHN) 50.23, 2. Yevgeniy Melshenko (KAZ) 50.49, 3. Joseph Abraham (IND) 51.08, 4. P. Shankar (IND) 51.60, 5. Jamaludin Shahdah (MAS) 53.30, 6. Van Van Tinh (VIE) 53.61, 7. Gurpreet Singh (IND) 54.49.
High Jump: 1. Hari Shanker Roy (IND) 2.18, 2. Chockjai Jirasukrujee (THA) 2.15, 3. Jean Claude Rabath (LIB) 2.15, 4. Benedict Starley (IND) 2.15, 5. Nguyen Dui Bang (VIE) 2.15, 6. Xu Xin (CHN) 2.10, 7. K. R. Roshan (IND) 2.05, 8. Sudjanta Torlarp (THA) 2.05, 9. Sergey Sazimovich (KAZ) 2.00, 10. Sean Guevara (PHI) 2.00.
Long Jump: 1. Mahan Singh (IND) 7.73 (+0.7), 2. Shiv Shankar Yadav (IND) 7.70 (+1.0), 3. Henry Dagmil (PHI) 7.61 (0.0), 4. Mohd Suhaimi Mohd Syarul Amri (MAS) 7.53 (-0.7), 5. Sanjay Kumar Rai (IND) 7.43 (+1.3), 6. Mehdi Amini (IRI) 7.42 (+0.1), 7. Amritpal Singh (IND) 7.41 (+1.3), 8. Shamsher Singh (IND) 7.34 (+0.8), 9. Sarvana Kumar (IND) 7.06 (-1.2), Li Xin (CHN) NM, Roman Valiyev (KAZ) NM.
Shot put: 1. Zhang Qi (CHN) 19.45, 2. Navpreet Singh (IND) 19.29, 3. Ahmad Gholoum (KUW) 18.27, 4. Sarayudh Pintjit 16.78, 5. Om Prakash (IND) 16.54, 6. V. B. Giri (IND) 15.90.
Javelin: 1. Anil Singh (IND) 74.19, 2. Om Narain (IND) 69.71, 3. Rinat Tarzumanov (UZB) 69.58, 4. Sergey Voynov (UZB) 68.88, 5. Liu Yanhong (CHN) 68.18, 6. Gurkirat Singh (IND) 67.09, 7. Sunil Kumar Goswami (IND) 63.84, 8. Chou Yi-Chen (TPE) 61.08.
200m (-0.6): 1. Guzel Khubbieva (UZB) 23.23, 2. Juthamas Tawoncharoen (THA) 24.18, 3. Zhu Juanhong (CHN) 24.31, 4. Vi Thi Huong (VIE) 24.33, 5. Rajwinder Kaur (IND) 24.86, 6. Susmita Singha Roy (IND) 24.93, 7. H. M. Jyothi (IND) 25.32, 8. Mandeep Kaur (IND) 26.83.
400m: 1. Pinki Parmanik (IND) 52.92, 2. Olga Tereshkova (KAZ) 53.39, 3. Manjeet Kaur (IND) 54.77, 4. Menaka Wickramasinghe (SRI) 55.17, 5. Gao Lihua (CHN) 56.93, 6. Poovamma M. R. (IND) 58.86, H. M. Jyothi (IND) DNF, Anna Gavyurshenko (KAZ) DNS.
800m: 1. Pinki Parmanik (IND) 2:03.23, 2. S. Shanthi (IND) 2:04.44, 3. Sinimole Paulose (IND) 2:05.28, 4. Huang Xiaofeng (CHN) 2:07.14, 5. Do Thi Bong (VIE) 2:07.66, 6. Viktoriya Yalovtseva (KAZ) 2:08.15, 7. Jhuma Khatun (IND) 2:10.54, 8. Zamira Amirova (UZB) 2:11.40, Tatiana Borisova DNF.
100m hurdles (+1.2): 1. Feng Yun (CHN) 13.30, 2. Natalya Ivoninskaya (KAZ) 13.54, 3. Dedeh Erawati (INA) 13.86, 4. Anuradha Biswal (IND) 14.17, 5. Susmita Singha Roy (IND) 14.43, 6. Soma Biswas (IND) 14.48, 7. Nguyen Thanh Hoa (VIE) 14.59, Ruta Patkar (IND) DNS.
High jump: 1. Tatiana Efimenko (KGZ) 1.94, 2. Marina Aitova (KAZ) 1.92, 3. Anna Ustinova (KAZ) 1.86, 4. Gu Biwei (CHN) 1.86, 5. Bui Thi Nhung (VIE) 1.86, 6. Svetlana Radzivil (UZB) 1.83, 7. Noeng Ruthai Chaipech (THA) 1.80.
Long Jump: 1. Olga Rypakova 6.61 (+0.8), 2. Anju Bobby George (IND) 6.46 (+0.6), 3. Marestella Torres (PHI) 6.21 (+0.9), 4. Olessa Belyayeva (KAZ) 5.85 (0.0), 5. Anisha K. Vijayan (IND) 5.68 (+1.5), 6. Lerma Gabito (PHI) 5.64 (+1.0), 7. Li Huahua (CHN) 5.63 (+0.7).
Shot put: 1. Zhang Guirong (CHN) 17.03, 2. Iolanta Ulyeva (KAZ) 17.03, 3. Jing Ping (CHN) 16.59, 4. Du Xianhui (CHN) 16.34, 5. Saroj Sihag (IND) 14.00, 6. Seema Antil (IND) 13.75, 7. Soma Biswas (IND) 11.69.
Discus: 1. Song Aimin (CHN) 63.44, 2. Krishna Poonia (IND) 51.55, 3. Saroj Sihag (IND) 50.89, 4. Seema Antil (IND) 50.46, 5. Monika Joon (IND) 41.51, 6. Ankita Julka (IND) 36.50.
By an IAAF Correspondent