Vietnam’s Truong Thanh Hang wins the 800m at the 2011 Asian Championships (Getty Images) © Copyright
In a close finish with Uzbekistan’s Anna Sidorova, Thanh Hang made a fine start to her outdoor season with her third best time ever for the distance that also happened to be the lone meeting record in the first leg of the continental Grand Prix series.
Margarita Matsko of Kazakhstan held the previous record of 2:02.83 clocked in Kunshan, China, in 2009.
Generally however across all events the expected field did not assemble and the contests thus lacked the high-level performance that should have been expected.
There was a close duel in men’s High Jump where Manjula Kumara Wijesekara of Sri Lanka was engaged in a tough contest with Keyvan Ghanbarzade of Iran. Wijesekara, a former Asian champion, prevailed on a count-back after both cleared 2.23 metres. Another former Asian champion, Lee Hup Wei was fourth with a clearance of 2.19 metres.
There was a tie in the women’s High Jump also, with Uzbek Svetlana Radzivil and Indian Sahana Kumari locked at 1.89. The Uzbek won, while the Indian, who recorded a PB, continued to search for the Olympic standard of 1.92m that once again eluded her.
Men’s Javelin Throw produced a quality mark of 80.25m from Uzbek Ivan Zaytsev. The Uzbeks swept the medals, with Bobur Shokujonov and Rinat Tarzumanov coming behind Zaytsev.
Kuwaiti Abdulaziz Almandeel brought off the biggest upset of the day, defeating Chinese favourite Jiang Fan in the 110m Hurdles in a personal best 13.58 seconds. Jiang Fan, a semi-finalist at the Daegu World Championships, who had won two legs last year, was second in 13.78.
With Asian Games champion Lao Yi and Asian champion Su Bingtian pulling out at the last moment, it was left to another Chinese Zhang Peimeng, an experienced hand at the Asian GP level, to take the men’s 100m title in a modest field. Run in two races the 100 metres produced low key timings, with Zhang Peimeng winning the main race in 10.48. Sri Lankan Shehan Abepitiyage claimed the silver in 10.52.
The women’s sprint once again witnessed the evergreen Uzbek, Guzel Khubbieva winning. Khubbieva, who just six days ago turned 36, was her usual , commanding self towards the finish, putting daylight between her and the rest while clocking a modest 11.39 seconds.
Chinese Wei Yongli was second in 11.60 and Vietnamese Vu Thi Huong was further down for the third place at 11.79.
India’s M. R. Poovamma has been making quite an impact this season with her consistent performances in the women’s 400 metres. She clocked a personal best of 52.94 seconds today to edge Iranian Maryam Toosi, who also clocked a PB of 52.95.
Poovamma later anchored her team in the 4x400m relay to a 3:38.76 win but this was not the time the Indians were looking for in their bid to qualify for the Olympics.
Another impressive Indian winner was Sajeesh Joseph who clocked a season best 1:47.78 while winning the 800 metres at the expense of Asian Games silver medal winner Adnan Taees of Iraq. Joseph's compatriot Ghamanda Ram was third.
The relays generally returned average timings. Of the three teams in the women’s 4x400, China was disqualified in the end.
In the absence of India’s Harwant Kaur, three Thai women comprised the women’s Discus Throw competition.
By an IAAF Correspondent
Click here for RESULTS (pdf)
100m: Race 'A’: 1. Zhang Peimeng (Chn) 10.48, 2. Shehan Abepitiyage (Sri) 10.52, 3. B. G. Nagaraj (Ind) 10.66.
Race 'B’: Reza Ghazemi (Iri) 10.65, 2. Krishna Kumar Rane (Ind) 10.70, 3. Zheng Dongsheng (Chn) 10.71.
400m: Sajad Hashemiahan (Iri) 46.73, 2. Ahemd Al-Majibi (Om) 46.79, 3. Prasanna Amarasekara (Sri) 47.52.
800m: 1. Sajeesh Joseph (Ind) 1:47.78, 2. Adnan Taes (Irq) 1:48.36, 3. Ghamanda Ram (Ind) 1:48.71.
110m Hurdles: 1. Abdulaziz Almandeel (Kuw) 13.58, 2. Jiang Fan (Chn) 13.78, 3. Park Taekyong (Kor) 13.89.
High Jump: 1. Manjula Kumara Wijesekara (Sri) 2.23, 2. Keyvan Ghanbarzade (Iri) 2.23, 3. Ghazal Najid Eddin (Syr) 2.19.
Long Jump: 1. Mohammad Arzandeh (Iri) 7.68, 2. Li Jinzhie (Chn) 7.68, 3. Saleh Alhaddad (Kuw) 7.48.
Triple jump: 1. Roman Valiyev (Kaz) 16.55, 2. Yevgeniy Ektov (Kaz) 16.37, 3. Renjith Maheswary (Ind) 16.03.
Javelin: 1. Ivan Zaytsev (Uzk) 80.25, 2. Bobur Shokujonov (Uzb) 73.97, 3. Rinat Tarzunmanov (Uzb) 72.52.
4x100m relay: 1. Hong Kong 39.28, 2. China 39.48, 3. India 39.51.
4x400m relay: 1. India 3:08.00, 2. Korea 3:12.57, 3. Thailand 3:13.44.
100m: 1. Guzel Khubbieva (Uzb) 11.39, 2. Wei Yongli (Chn) 11.60, 3. Vu Thi Huong (Vie) 11.79,
400m: 1. M. R. Poovamma (Ind) 52.94, 2. Maryam Toosi (Iri) 52.95, 3. Chandrika Subhashini (Sri) 53.57.
800m: 1. Truong Thanh Hang (Vie) 2:02.15, 2. Anna Sidorova (Uzb) 2:02.22, 3. Sinimole Paulose (Ind) 2:03.19.
100m hurdles: 1. Sun Yawei (Chn) 13.31, 2. Erawati Dedeh (Ina) 13.33, 3. Jung Hyelim (Kor) 13.34.
400m hurdles: Nataliya Asanova (Uzb) 57.20, 2. Tatyana Azarova (Kaz) 57.71, 3. Christine Sonali Merril (Sri) 58.20.
High jump: 1. Svetlana Radzivil (Uzb) 1.89, 2. Sahana Kumari (Ind) 1.89, 3. Duong Thi Viet Anh (Vie) 1.86.
Long jump: 1. Juliya Tarasova (Uzb) 6.46, 2. Lu Minjia (Chn) 6.39, 3. Marstella Torres (Phi) 6.37.
Discus: 1 Insaeng Subenrat (Tha) 52.75, 2. Juthaporn(Krasaeyan (Tha) 40.42, 3. Charuwan Sroisena (Tha) 36.57.
4x100m relay: 1. China 44.06, 2. Thailand 44.57, 3. Thailand 'B’ 46.00
4x400m relay: 1. India 3:38.76, 2. Thailand 3:52.69, China DQ