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 15th edition of Asian Junior Championships successfully concluded at Sugathadasa Stadium here on Tuesday (12) evening. As usual the team from People’s Republic of China topped the medal tally, but it was a Qatari who hogged the limelight in the four-day event.
Athletes from the gulf nation have dominated in the middle distance races in the recent past. They did so this time as well. However the performance which amazed everyone came from the throwing arena through hammer thrower Ashraf Amgad Elseify. The Qatari came in to prominence when he established a world youth best of 85.26m in Rhede, Germany, last year with a 5 Kg hammer.
He arrived at the Sri Lankan capital as a Gulf junior champion in Al-Kuwait where he created a new Asian junior record and world season leading 79.67m. On the third day of competition here on Monday (11) he bettered his own mark with the 6 Kg implement to 80.85m. Indian junior champion Sukhdev Singh finished way behind with his 65.25m.
"I am confident of this victory and now set my sight on the world junior record of 82.97m," revealed the 17-year-old Ashraf who is now preparing to conquer at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Barcelona next month (10-15 July).
Other winners from Qatar include Hamza Driouch in the 1500m, Mohamed Hasim Salah in steeplechase and Barshim Muamer Aissa in High Jump.
Lankans win gold medals after 18 years
Hosts Sri Lanka delivered an exemplary conduct of the championships. More than five hundred athletes from 34 nations took part in the four-day meet.
The island nation was joyous when their quarter-milers impressed with two titles at 400m through Dulaj Madusanka (47.36) and Shiwanthi Kumari Ratnayake (55.91) in junior men and junior women’s categories respectively. Madusanka beat Kimura Kazushi of Japan, while Ratnayake piped Indian Priyanka Mondal to the second place.
It was Sri Lanka’s first-ever gold medals in 400m and the nation’s athletes stood top of the podium after a long wait of eighteen years. In 1994 at Jakarta two of the great stars of yester-years, Damayanthi Darsha (100m) and Susanthika Jayasinghe (200m) brought a gold medal each to Sri Lanka.
Hassan and Ching-Hsien fastest
Iranian Taftian Hassan piped Xie Zhenye of China in the title-clash for fastest athlete to win the junior men’s 100m in 10.49 secs. The Chinese however clinched the 200m dash on the final day wherein Hassan finished third.
Similarly Liao Ching-Hsien of Chinese Taipei took the junior women’s crown in a photo-finish from China’s Lin Huijun in one-hundredth of a second (11.97 to 11/98). Huijun went on to win the 200 while muscle cramps shattered the Taiwanese dream of taking a double as she limped out after 120 metres in that race.
In almost all the days strong head-winds prevent the athletes delivering better marks in sprints and jumps.
Double for Rahul and Mudan
India’s Rahul Kumar Pal had a distance double. While he had a comfortable win over 10000m on the second day of competition, Rahul won the second gold in 5000m on the final day in a thriller from Japan’s Kota Murayama. He challenged the Indian till the post but the experienced Indian Army athlete triumphed at the end.
Chen Mudan, the jump-star from China, outclassed her opponents to take the Long and Triple Jump titles.
China secured the top spot on chart with 15 gold, 5 silver and 3 bronze medals ahead of Chinese Taipei (6-3-6) and India (4-4-5). Hosts Sri Lanka had a unique 2-2-2 in the seventh place.
Vaulters from China set new meet marks through Zhang Wei (5.35) and Xu Huiqin (4.25). In men’s 800m Teng Haining clocked a new time of 1:46.56 on the last day of competition to take revenge of Iranian Driouch’s win in 1500m earlier.
On the first event of the opening day Japanese twins Haruko and Moe Kyuma battled out for the top honours in 5000m. Eventually Haruko pockets the gold with a meet record 16:07.74.
Outside the records best performances came from long jumper Lin Qing (7.96) and shot putter Li Meng (19.95) from China.
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF
JUNIOR MEN: 100m (9) (-2.3): 1. Taftian Hassan IRI 10.49, 2. Xie Zhenye CHN 10.54, 3. Yousef Ali Al-Shalani KSA 10.64;