Zhang Wenxiu competing in the Hammer at the Asian Games (Getty Images) © Copyright
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Fifth Asian hammer record for Zhang - Chinese championships

As has become custom, the women’s throwing disciplines were the key events in the Chinese National Championships in Shijiazhuang from 2-5 August.

Zhang reaches 74.86m

21-year-old Zhang Wenxiu set another Asian record in the Hammer Throw winning by almost 10 metres with the new record of 74.86m. Liu Yinghui (65.70m) and Hao Shuai (65.66m) were the two others on the podium. This was already Zhang’s fifth Asian record during her career, her first coming in April 2004 throwing also a then World junior record 72.37m. She had set the earlier record at the World Championships trials in June with 74.30m.

World youth best in women’s Shot Put

Only 16-years-old, Gong Lijiao became the youngest ever national champion in the women’s Shot Put. She won the tight shot competition with a world youth best 19.13m, bettering Ilke Wyludda’s (GDR) old mark of 19.08m from 1986 by  five centimetres. Gong had thrown her previous best of 19.07m indoors this season and had an 18.77m outdoor best before this competition. Gong’s mark was also the best junior mark in the world since 1994 when fellow Chinese Cheng Xiaoyan set the Asian junior record of 20.02m. Reigning Chinese champion Li Ling was second at 18.91m and Li Meiju, who reigned over the shot in China for many years, third this time equalling her season’s best 18.84m.

The women’s discus was another close competition with the first three within one metre. Sun Taifeng, the winner at the World Champs trials, also took the national title with a 62.92m result. Song Aimin (62.47m) was second and Li Yanfeng third with a season’s best 62.24m.

19-year-old Chang Chunfeng won the women’s Javelin Throw at 58.43m. Juniors occupied all the podium positions, with 17-year-old Song Dan second with a season’s best 56.82m and Li Lingwei third at 55.43m.

Shi Dongpeng grabs first title in the 110m Hurdles

The No. 2 Chinese in the men’s 110m Hurdles, Shi Dongpeng, took the title after finishing second behind world record holder Liu Xiang for four consecutive years. Although Liu was not competing this year, Shi’s winning time was a fast 13.31 against a light headwind. Ji Wei was second at 13.67s and Xing Yanan was just able to keep 19-year-old Yin Jing behind with the two timed at 13.67 and 13.68 respectively. It was a significant  personal best for the junior Yin.

Asian junior record in the men’s Pole Vault

Liu Feiliang, who recently set the national record of 5.71m, was narrowly beaten in the Pole Vault competition where for the first time two Chinese men cleared 5.60m in the same competition. Yang Yansheng, 19 –years-old, set the Asian junior record and beat Liu with both clearing 5.60m. Yang, who won the 2005 World Youth Champs and took the silver at the 2006 World Junior Championships, not only won the national title before Liu Feiliang, but also stripped him the Asian junior record of 5.55m which he had set in 2004.

Gao Hongwei won the men’s Long Jump with an 8.03m leap ahead of  Zhou Can (8.22m this season), who was second at 7.98m. Another 8.22m jumper this season, Li Runrun, could not get a result this time. Gu Junjie took the men’s Triple Jump title jumping 16.94m against a headwind. Wu Bo was a close second with 16.87m and Li Yanxi took third with a season’s best 16.84m. The best Chinese jumper this season, Zhong Minwei (17.27m), was disappointed with a sixth place finish, reaching only 16.51m.

2005 World Youth and 2006 World Junior Champion Huang Haiqiang won the High Jump at 2.24m, ahead of 2007 World Youth Champion Wang Chen, who cleared 2.20m today. A big upset was seen in the men’s 400m Hurdles where reigning champion Meng Yan was beaten by Ou Yongjian in a tight finish with Ou clocking a big personal best 49.87 against Meng’s 49.89s. The 23-year-old Ou’s previous best was 50.22 from 2006.

The best Chinese sprinter right now is clearly Zhang Peimeng, who won the men’s 100m in a personal best 10.34 against a strong headwind. Yin Hualong was a distant second losing by .16 seconds.

In the women’s running events Xing Huina did not take part in any events although she had been entered in the 5000m. Liu Qing was a double winner over 800/1500m with times 2:02.29 and 4:16.56s, only winning the longer distance by .02 seconds ahead of 19-year-old Li Yong.

17-year-old Zhang Yingying was very close to another double in the 5000/10,000m. She won the 5000m in 15:36.23 ahead of 18-year-old Bai Xue who clocked 15:45.10. But Bai outsprinted her in the 10,000m winning in 33:33.49 before Zhang’s 33:34.22. Huang Xiaoxiao won the women’s 400m Hurdles in 55.31m and 19-year-old Wu Sha matched her four-year-old personal best winning the Pole Vault with a 4.30m clearance. The best Chinese vaulter Gao Shuying was missing from the competition because she competed in London on Friday clearing 4.60m there.

Chen Yaling equalled her season’s best 6.59m and won the Long Jump with another favourite Xie Limei easily taking the Triple Jump title with a 14.42m winning mark.

Mirko Jalava for the IAAF

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