Saif Saeed Shaheen’s Asian record in the 3000m provided the highlight of the second day of the Asian Indoor Championships in Pattaya, Thailand on Saturday on Saturday (11 Feb).
In his indoor debut over the distance, Shaheen clocked a continental best of 7:39.77, becoming the fifth man to dip under 7:40 this winter. Shaheen, the World champion and World record holder in the 3000m Steeplechase, finished well ahead of Bahraini duo Tariq Taher (7:49.84) and Aadam Khamis (7:50.10).
Daichi Sawano of Japan cleared a meeting record 5.60 to win the Pole Vault. Yansheng Yang of China (5.40) and Alexandr Ashamed of Kazahkstan (5.30) collected the silver and bronze medals respectively.
Xiaolin Zhu (9:25.60) and Weiwei Sun (9:25.69) claimed a mini podium sweep for China in the women’s 3000m. India’s O.P. Jaisha, who barely three months ago won a distance double in the inaugural Asian Indoor Games at this venue, was third this time, clocking 9:26.72.
Ghamanda Ram, the other Indian winner here last year, also suffered a defeat in the men’s 800m at the hands of Qatari runners Albadri Salam Amer (1:50.93) and Adam Abdu Adam Ali (1:51.29). Ram was third at 1:51.45. Incidentally, Amer finished second behind Ram at last year’s Asian indoor games.
Perhaps the biggest upset came from Maho Hanaoka of Japan, who defeated Anju Bobby George in the women’s Long Jump. The Indian, who won a silver medal in last year’s World Athletics Final in Monaco, fell eight centimeters shoy of Hanaoka’s 6.40 winning leap. The long jumper’s lack of experience in indoor competition was cited as a main factor for her failure to win the event here. A 6.40 seventh place finish in the World indoors at Birmingham three year ago had been George’s only previous indoor appearance.
Chinese athletes captured the top spots in both the men and women’s 60m Hurdles. Malaysia got its first medal, a bronze, through its hurdler Faiz Mhamma who clocked 7.91 behind Chinese Lilu Liu (7.79) and Ming Chin (7.84) in the men’s event.
Rong Zhang (8.40) took the women's gold ahead of Kazakhstan's Natalya Ivoninskay (8.49) and Indonesian Dadeh Erawati (8.54).
Quarter-miler Jukkathip Pojaroen provided a pleasant moment to Thai fans with a 48.62 second place finish behind Omani Mohammed Al Rawa (47.90) in the men’s 400m.
China leads the medal table at the end of day two with five gold, three silver and three bronze medals.
Ram. Murali Krishnan for the IAAF