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China topped the medal tally as the athletic competitions of the 2nd Asian Indoor Games concluded on a memorable note when the Kazakhstan’s women relay quartet bettered the continental record for 4x400m here on Thursday (1 Nov) evening.
The foursome comprises of Tatyana Khajimuradova, Tatyana Azarova, Anna Gavryushenko and Olga Tereshkova clocked an impressive time of 3:37.59, which eclipsed the previous Asian indoor record 3:38.17 held by China since 2003.
Some of the thanks must go to the team from Thailand who initiated a strong fight, while Tereshkova, the Universiade victor in 400m, produced a fine anchor to capture the gold for Kazakhstan.
Thailand claimed the silver in 3:38.25, while the defending champions India got the bronze medal with a 3:41.09 clocking. It may be recalled that the Kazakh team was disqualified during the inaugural edition in Pattaya.
Records galore as the meet concludes
As well as the Asaian record, the final day’s competition saw many new Games’ records. There would have been one more, had the results of the men’s 60m hurdles not had to be revised.
China’s Wu Youjia, the bronze medallist in the outdoor Asian championships at Amman, led the qualifiers from yesterday’s heats with a personal best 7.79 secs, which eventually bettered the Games’ record as well.
Youjia went on to win this evening’s final with an improved 7.74 show. However the race had to re-run after a protest. Youjia won again, but the ‘holding-off’ reduced his timing to 7.82 secs.
Qatar’s Rashid Ahmed Al-Mannai trounced a field of experienced jumpers to triumph with an all-time best show in men’s High Jump. The 19-year-old sent the fans roaring when he sailed over the bar at 2.24m. Defending champion Sergey Zasimovich jumped an identical 2.21m with Korea’s Kim Young Min. But the Kazakh was awarded silver medal on count-back.
Another Qatari Charles Bett Koech garnered top spot in 3000m with another new Games’ mark (8:04.69). India’s Surendra Singh made a gallant effort to catch-up with the Qatari, but had to settle with a silver medal in 8:04.99, with his colleague Sunil Kumar finishing third in 8:10.07.
China tops the medal tally
China was once again on top of the medals table with 8 gold, 3 silver and 1 bronze medal. Five out of eight titles were won by their women athletes, with the Chinese women took top honours in three events today.
Chen Xiaofang registered 9:23.11 for 3000m to better Indian O.P. Jaisha’s old Games’ mark of 9:38.43. Preeja Sreedharan, the double Asian outdoor champs silver medallist at Amman, could not repeat her predecessor’s effort and settled for a silver in 9:27.62. Bui Thi Hien of Vietnam claimed the bronze in 9:36.38, also bettering Jaisha’s record.
Liu Qing and Chen Yaling triumphed in 800m and Long jump respectively.
Kazakhstan finished second in the medal tally with 5-5-6, while the Indians were third in 3-3-4.
India’s P.J. Vinod defeated defending champion Pavel Dubitskiy to win the men’s Heptathlon. Vinod amassed 5561 points, 13 more than the Kazakh’s 2005 effort.
Vietnam will be hosting the next edition of the Asian Indoor Games in 2009. Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF