Men's High Jump podium in Hangzhou: champion Mutaz Essa Barshim (c), silver medallist Zhnag Guowei (l), and Ghazal Majd Eddin (r) with Maurice Nicholas, Honorary Secretary of the Asian Athletics Association (Yukio Seki) © Copyright
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Barshim soars 2.37m Asian record in Hangzhou as Asian Indoor champs conclude

The final day of the 5th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships witnessed a record being bettered in every other event, but Qatari youngster Mutaz Barshim take the sheen away from others with his high octane 2.37m world Lead in the High Jump on Sunday (19).

In fact Barshim was leading the six title defenders from last edition of the championships, which was held two years ago in Teheran, to Hangzhou, China.  Having here with a 2.33m area record set in Spala, Poland, just a week ago, Barshim was already the leading name at the two-day meet. The 20-year-old’s mark in Poland bettered the the previous continental mar, set by Chin's Zhu Jianhua 26 years ago, by two centimetres.

Although he could have easily won here with a lower height, the Qatari, the 2010 World junior champion and winner at the quadrangular Asian Games in Guangzhou that same year, wanted to prove that he would not take anything for granted.

Today when he cleared 2.37m, adding four centimetres to his newly acquired area record, the entire arena responded with a standing ovation. With that jump Barshim snatched the season’s world lead from Russian Andrey Silnov, who hitherto led the list with his 2.36m at Moscow since 5 February.  With today’s win Barshim is expected to ignite further fireworks at next month's World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

Li Ling vaults to 4.50 Area record

Revealing their champion status, the hosts took the top spot in half of the 14 finals contested on Sunday to stand tall in the medal tally. China also had a pair of medal sweeps, in men’s Triple Jump and Shot Put. In both the events their bronze medals were decided by just 1one centimetere. However it was the women who ruled the roost for the land of dragons today.

Hailing from Zhejiang province, to which Hangzhou is the regional capital, pole vaulter Li Ling saw the home support as an added asset. It clearly reflected in her splendid show as she vaulted 4.50m for the gold. Ling replaced her country-mate Zhang Yingning’s old record 4.46m set in Shanghai five years ago from the books.  Incidentally she won the last Asian Indoor Games title in Hanoi with a 4.45m effort and was consistent at that height since 2008.  Like Barshim, the Chinese vaulter also a medal contender in Istanbul.

Dong Bin defends Triple Jump title

Triple jumper Dong Bin was lucky to defend his title after landed on the pit in an identical distance of 17.01m with teammate Cao Shuo.  Shuo cleared the 17-metre earlier this month, after a gap of three years, at the National Grand Prix in Nanjing.  Li Yanxi took the bronze in 16.23m, just a shade away from Kazakh jumper Roman Valiyev’s 16.22m fourth place.

Shot putter Zhang Jun, who recorded an indoor area best of 20.16m in the Nanjing National Grand Prix, tossed the iron ball to a new meet distance of 19.78m. The former World University Games silver medallist received a challenge from teammate Wang Guangfu, who ultimately landed in silver position at 19.40m while Wang Like completed the Chinese sweep by pushing Gholoum Ahmad of Kuwait 19.09m to 19.08m for the bronze medal.    

Lyudmila Grankovskaya of Khazakhstan, the only woman gold medallist of last edition to entered this year, finished third in the Triple Jump. China were 1-2 in this event with World and Olympic finalist Xie Limei taking the top place with a modest 14.06m. However Kuwaiti runner Mohammad Al-Azimi successfully defended his title in the men’s 800m with a championship record of 1:47.37.

Bahraini distance runners continue to dominate in both the divisions. Proving his supremacy, the Daegu Worlds 5000m finalist Shugi Bilisuma capped the 3000m gold with a meet mark 7:43.88 in what was apparently his maiden indoor appearance. In a similar act, his teammate and another Daegu finalist, Shitaye Eshete, did the same in the women’s race with a time of 8:49.27.

In the sprints, Iranian Reza Ghasemi dashed to 60m gold in 6.68. His teammate Hassan Heidarpour, who clocked an impressive 6.59 in the semi-finals yesterday, finished third at 6.78.  Local star Wei Yongli posted a season’s best 7.37 to win the women’s 60m contest. Kazakh sprinter Viktoriya Zyabkina, who set a meet record of 7.33 in the semis, had to settle with a bronze clocking 7.44 today.

The men’s relay was not contested due to insufficient entries.

Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF

Leading Results:


60m: 1. Reza Ghasemi IRI 6.68, 2. Lai Chun Ho HKG 6.78, 3. Hassan Heidarpour IRI 6.78

800m: 1. Mohammad Al-Azimi KUW 1:47.37 (CR), 2. Adnan Al-Mntfage IRQ 1:49.42, 3. Yang Xiaofei CHN 1:50.32

3000m: 1. Shugi Gelasa Bilisuma BRN 7:43.88 (CR), 2. Mohamad Al-Garni QAT 7:46.17, 3. Gebre Alemu Bekele BRN 7:48.04

High Jump: 1. Mutaz Essa Barshim QAT 2.37 (WL, AR and CR), 2. Zhang Guowei CHN 2.28, 3. Ghazal Majd Eddin SYN 2.24

Triple Jump: 1. Dong Bin CHN 17.01 (CR), 2. Cao Shuo CHN 17.01, 3. Li Yanxi CHN 16.23

Shot Put: 1. Zhang Jun CHN 19.78 (CR), 2. Wang Guangfu CHN 19.40, 3. Wang Like CHN 19.09

Heptathlon: 1. Dmitriy Karpov KAZ 5928 (CR), 2. Ushiro Keisuke JPN 5590, 3. Tanaka Hiromasa JPN 5033


60m: 1. Wei Yongli CHN 7.37, 2. Tao Yujia CHN 7.40, 3. Viktoriya Zyabkina KAZ 7.44

800m: 1. Zhao Jing CHN 2:04.15, 2. Shumi Regasa Gensebi BRN 2:05.96, 3. Song Tingting CHN 2:11.32

3000m: 1. Shitaye Eshete Habtegebrel BRN 8:49.27 (CR), 2. Belayneh Betlhem UAE 8:53.56, 3. Chalchissa Tejitu Daba BRN 8:53.75

Pole Vault: 1. Li Ling CHN 4.50 (AR and CR), 2. Choi Yun-hee KOR 4.30, 3. Nakada Megumi JPN 4.15

Triple Jump: 1. Xie Limei CHN 14.06, 2. Li Yanmei CHN 13.73, 3. Lyudmila Grankovskaya KAZ 13.22

Pentathlon: 1. Irina Karpova KAZ 4050, 2. Duong Thi Viet Anh VIE 33812, 3. Sepideh Tavakoli IRI 3775

4x400m Relay: 1. China 3:40.34, 2. Kazakhstan 3:44.85, 3. Kryghistan 3:56.11