High jumpers hit the heights and provided the headlines at the 2014 Asian Indoor Championships in Hangzhou, China, this weekend (15/16), with Qatar’s 2013 IAAF World Championships silver medallist Mutaz Essa Barshim clearing a season’s best of 2.36m.
Barshim is clearly fond of the Chinese venue as he set what is still the Asian indoor record of 2.37m in the same hall at the previous edition of these Championships.
He had some early trouble getting into his rhythm, only clearing 2.24m with his third and final attempt although going over that height ensured the defence of his title. He then followed with a first time clearance at 2.30m before flying over 2.36m with his second jump. His three attempts at an absolute Asian record of 2.41m were not successful.
The women’s high jump on Sunday morning featured world class jumping too.
Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Radzivil cleared 1.96m with her second attempt for a national indoor record efore failing three times at 1.98m. The 27-year-old has an outdoor best of 1.97m from the London 2012 Olympics Games. China’s Zheng Xingjuan was second with 1.91m.
Qatar won the top honours in the men’s 60m final as well, with Samuel Francis winning in a season’s best 6.61 to narrowly beat countryman Femi Ogunode, who clocked 6.62 following a 6.58 time in the heats.
Bahrain’s former World 1500m champion outdoors Maryam Jamal was a double winner over 1500m in 4:19.42 on Saturday and then produced a fast 3000m in 8:43.16 on Sunday to take the gold medal in national indoor record ahead of UAE’s Bethlem Desalegn, who also set a national record indoors with 8:46.54 for the second place.
Kuwait took the first two places in the men’s 60m hurdles with Abdulaziz Al-Mandeel winning in 7.80 while Yaqoub Al-Yoha, who clocked a 7.90 personal best both in the heats and the final, finishing second.
A Kuwaiti athlete also won the men’s long jump as Saleh Al-Haddad jumped 7.94m for a national indoor record. China’s Fu Haitao won the triple jump with 16.21m personal best while India’s Om Prakash Singh topped the shot put with a 19.07m season’s best.
Kazakhstan’s Dmitriy Karpov, the 2004 Olympic Games decathlon bronze medallist, took the heptathlon title with 5752 points. Kazakhstan also won the men’s 4x400m relay in 3:12.94, a national indoor record, and women’s 4x400m relay in 3:42.45.
China’s Tao Yujia won the women’s 60m for the hosts in 7.36 while there was another Chinese win in the women’s 60m hurdles with Wu Shujiao clocking a 8.02 national record for a clear win.
Wang Qingling added to China’s haul of four victories on home soil when she won the pentathlon with a personal best of 4246 points, setting indoor personal bests in all five individual events.
Qatar topped the medal table with five gold medals overall, but hosts China were not far behind with four gold medals and notched up 20 medals of all colours, almost double the tally of the next best country Kazakhstan, who got four gold medals and 12 medals in total to finish third in the standings.
Mirko Jalava for the IAAF