Bhubanseswar, July 6: India’s Arokia Raj came up with the fastest time (46.61 seconds) in round one of the glamourous men’s 400m on the opening morning of competition in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships at the Kalinga Stadium here on Wednesday.
Here’s an account of the proceedings.
Thailand’s Suttisak Singkon came up with solid efforts in long jump (7.79m) and shot put (14.09m) to grab the lead after the first three events. He was second behind Japanese Kazuya Kawaski in 100m dash, unable to breach the 11-second mark, but came into his own in the two field events on the opening morning. Silver medallist the last time in Wuhan, China’s Guo Qi, who has a season’s best of 7517 points under his belt, did not find his rhythm and is lying fifth among seven starters.
Men’s 400m round one:
India’s Arokia Rajiv held off a challenge from Sri Lankan Ajith Premakumara in the second heat to emerge the fast qualifier with a time of 46.41 seconds. Oman’s Mubarak Ahmed was a comfortable winner of the fourth heat in 46.51 seconds while Sri Lanka’s Dilip Ruwan, who beat home favourite Muhammaed Anas in the opening heat, was third fastest with 46.58. The third Indian in the fray Amoj Jacob was the best in the slowest of the four heats, winning in 47.09. Saudi Arabia’s Ismaeel Mohammed, who was drawn in the same heat as Mubarak Ahmed, clocked the fourth fastest time in the heats (46.60).
Men’s 1500m round one:
India’s Ajay Kumar Saroj got the crowd on its feet with a stirring run over the final 450m that saw him win the second heat in 3:51.37 from Iran’s Moslam Niadoost (Iran) and Adnan Taes (Iraq); Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed Othman, who was challenging the Indian on the final bend, lost steam in the final 50m and finished fourth.
Earlier, Qatar’s Jamal Hairane won the first heat quite comfortably while Indian SIddhantha Adhikari came up with a good finishing burst to move into second place.
Men’s high jump qualification:
The gangling Zhang Guowei (China), world championship silver medallist, sent out a strong signal to his competitors when qualifying for the final by clearing at 2.10m. Takahari Hiromi (Japan), Bai Long (China), Syrian Majed El Dein Ghazal and Korean Woo Sang-Hyeok as well Indians B Chethan and Ajay Kumar were among the 14 who cleared this height and ensured a place in the final. Bangladesh’s Mahfuzur Rahman and Kuwait’s Abdal Rahman Alyouga were the ones who went out of the qualification, unable to clear 2.04m and 2.00m respectively.
Women’s 1500m round one:
India’s Chitra PU bravely hung in as part of a tight bunch of six runners and found her way through to lead briefly on the home stretch of the second heats – giving the goodly crowd at the Kalinga Stadium reason to cheer. However, Japan’s Ayako Jinnouchi surged forward to break the beam while North Korea’s Hyo Sim’s desperate lunge at the finish earned her the third place.
In a faster heat earlier, China’s Geng Min ran along the shoulders of front-running Japanese Nozomi Tanaka for a long while and after Jordan’s Tamara Amer shifted gears to take the bell, Gen Min responded with a kick over the last 250m that saw her home comfortably ahead of the others. India’s Monika Choudhary, lying sixth for much of the race, despite some jostling moved up to fourth place with a hardy effort over the last 150m.