Susanthika Jayasinghe, Olga Rypakova and Kareema Saleh Jassem completed doubles on the fourth day of the Asian Athletics Championships at the Amman International Stadium here yesterday (28).
Jayasinghe took the 200m gold in 22.99 seconds to add to the 100m title she had won on the second day. Rypakova updated the championship record in Triple Jump by leaping 14.69m for her second gold. The Kazakh had won the Long Jump title on Friday (27) after a close battle with India's Anju Bobby George.
Jassem added the 5000m gold to the 10,000m she had won earlier. Like on that occasion, the field was so thin that well before the race began everyone knew what results to expect. The 19-year-old Bahrain girl's only worthwhile adversary was Indian Preeja Sreedharan.
Second sprint double
For Jayasinghe this was her second sprint double in the Asian Championships having won both sprint titles at home in 2002. There was some opposition then in Colombo but there was none to challenge her here.
The late withdrawals of Asian Games champions Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan and Rakia Al-Ghasara of Bahrain spoilt what could have been an exciting match-up.
"Yes, had they not withdrawn we could have had a more competitive race here," said Jayasinghe. "But I am not unhappy with my 22.99 today. I was taking things easy and yet clocked below 23," the Sri Lankan said.
Behind Jayasinghe, another Sri Lankan, Sujani Budhika, a relative newcomer, clocked 23.28 for the silver and Vietnamese Vu Thi Huong took the bronze in 23.30.
Jayasinghe, who has a best of 22.28 for the 200m, said she was concentrating on the 200m for the Osaka World Championships.
Season’s best for Rypakova
Rypakova produced her season’s best in Triple Jump in the fourth round and then passed her last two attempts. She had opened with a foul, then did 14.65m on her second attempt and a 14.08m performance after that. Her winning mark, bettering Chinese Huang Qiuyan's 2003 effort of 14.39m, was just four centimetres off the continental record posted by Chinese Xie Limei at Bangkok in the Asian Grand Prix last month.
Chinese Sha Li, third behind Xie Limei and Rypakova in the season's lists, opened with a 14.03, but that remained her best through the course of the competition. Kazakh Irina Litvinenko had the bronze at 13.80m.
Successful defence for Effimenko
Women's High Jump also produced a quality competition with as many as six athletes going over 1.88 metres. Tatyana Effimenko of Kyrgyzstan retained her title and in the process equalled the championship record of 1.94m held by Miki Imai of Japan since 1998.
Two Kazakhstan competitors, Yeketerina Yeveseyeva and Anna Ustinova were tied at 1.91 for the silver. Yeveseyeva clinched it on a countback. She had cleared that height on her first attempt before failing thrice at 1.94m, while Ustinova had cleared 1.91 on her third attempt.
The Decathlon - won by 11pts
In what turned out to be the most dramatic turn-around of the day, Qatari Ahmed Hassan Moussa snatched the Decathlon gold from the grasp of Iranian Hadi Sepehrzadi after everything came down to the last event, the 1500 metres.
Sepehrzadi had led through nine events before giving up in the 1500 metres, unable to keep pace with the leading group and finishing the race in 5:02.58. In comparison, Moussa who came fourth, did it in 4:44.95. A mere 11 points separated Moussa and Sephrzadi. The Iranian had a national record at 7667, but his target of 7700 points, not to speak of the gold, eluded him. Moussa also missed 7700-point mark, needed to make the Osaka World Championships.
Indian P. J. Vinod had a personal best of 7441 points while finising fourth. He was lying second most of the time but slumped badly in Javelin Throw where he had 45.11, allowing Andreev to nose ahead.
One-two for China in the Discus Throw
The Chinese, Xu Shaoyang (61.30m) and Li Yanfeng (61.13m), expectedly made it a one-two in the women's Discus Throw. Indian Krishna Poonia had the bronze with just 55.38m.
China had not even entered its top three especially with Asian Games champion Song Aimin missing from their squad, and yet they still managed the gold and silver!
Xu Shaoyang, the World junior silver medalist in 2002, had a series that contained five throws over 58 metres. Li Yanfeng was even better, with four throws over 59 metres. But then Xu Shaoyang's third-round 61.30m throw remained unmatched.
Engrossing two lap duel
In a slow men's 800m race, Saudi Arabian Mohammed Obeid Al-Salhi had the gold after an engrossing fight with Irnian Sajjad Moradi. It was Moradi who made the first move, stepping up the pace on the 'bell'. Al-Salhi took off with 300 metres left and surged past Moradi on the back straight. The Iranian's chase round the bend proved in vain.
Singh takes the Shot Put gold
Indian Navpreet Singh, in his first competition of the season, took the Shot Put gold with a second-round throw of 19.70 metres. He had two other throws of 19.68. Defending champion and favourite Khaled Habash Al-Suwaidi of Qatar could only manage the bronze with 19.51. Chinese Taipei's Chang Ming-Huang who has gone past the 20-metre mark this season, reached 19.66 metres on his fourth attempt for the silver.
Saudi Arabian Sultan Abdelmajeed Al-Hebshi who had set an Asian record of 20.61 metres this season, was not entered in these championships.
By an IAAF Correspondent
Results (28 July)
200m: 1. Kenji Fujimitsu (Jpn) 20.85, 2. Alwaleed Abdullah (Qat) 20.98, 3. Khalil Hahanahneh (Jor) 21.03.
800m : 1. Mohammed Obeid Al-Salhi (KSA) 1:51.73, 2. Sajjad Moradi (Iri) 1:52.22, 3. Abubaker Ali Kamal (Qat) 1: 52.22.
Shot Put : 1. Navpreet Singh (Ind) 19.70, 2. Chang Ming-Huang (Tpe) 19.66, 3. Khaled Habash Al-Suwaidi (Qat) 19.51.
Decathlon : 1. Ahmed Hassan Moussa (Qat) 7678,2. Hadi Sepehrzad (Iri) 7667, 3. Pavel Andreev (Uzb) 7484.
200m : Susanthika Jayasinghe (Sri) 22.99, 2. Sujani Budhika (Sri) 23.28, 3. Vu Thi Huong (Vie) 23.30.
5000m : 1. Kareema Saleh Jassem (Brn) 16:40.87, 2. Preeja Sreedharan (Ind) 16:56.16, 3. Kim Mi Gyong (PRK) 18:21.32.
High Jump : 1. Tatyana Effimenko (Kgz) 1.94 (equal CR), 2. Yeketerina Yeveseyeva (Kaz) 1.91, 3. Anna Ustinova (Kaz) 1.91.
Triple Jump : 1. Olga Rypakova (Kaz) 14.69 (CR), 2. Sha Li (Chn) 14.03, 3. Irina Litvinenko (Kaz) 13.80.
Discus Throw : 1. Xu Shaoyang (Chn) 61.30, 2. Li Yanfeng (Chn) 61.13, 3 Krishna Poonia (Ind) 55.38, 4. Harwant Kaur (Ind) 52.43.