Vikas Gowda gives India first gold at Asian Athletics

Pune, July 4 (IANS) Discus Thrower Vikas Gowda won India's first gold medal at the 20th Asian Athletics Championship when he hurdled the iron disk to 64.90m to beat Irani strongman Mohammed Samini at the Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi here Thursday.

India won three medals, all of different colours as they moved up on the medals tally after having won just two bronze medals on the opening day.

Women's 400m runner M.R Poovamma struck silver medal with a run of 53.37 seconds, while the long distance runner Ratiram Saini took the bronze in the men's 10000m race.

Indian long distance runners led the race on the initial stages of men's 10000m. At the end Bahraini duo Alemu Bekele (28:47.26) and Bilisuma Shugi (28:58.67) were 1-2 when Saini (29:35.42) sprinted out compatriot Kheta Ram (29:35.72) for the bronze.

National record-holder Sahana Kumari disappointed the fans with a fourth place finish in high jump. A She could manage to clear only 1.86m, as against her personal best of 1.92m, as Uzbekistan's Nadia Dusanova became the first athlete from her country to win the event in 1.90m.

Dusanova's teammate and pre-event favourite Svetlana Radzivil pocketed the silver after sailing over 1.88m, the same height the bronze medallist Marina Aitova also achieved.

As expectedly Dmitry Karpov, the Kazakh decathlete who is a bronze medallist in the 2004 Athens Olympics as well as bagged two bronze medals in the World championships, went home with the gold medal, having garnered 8,037 points - a new championship record.

Indian hurdlers Siddhanth Thingalaya (men's 110m hurdles), Gayathry and Hemasree (women's 100m hurdles) advanced to Friday's finals.

Meanwhile, Su Bingtain of China successfully defends his title in the marquee event of the day, men'ss 100m, clocking 10.17 secs. Samuel Francis (Qatar), the Asian record-holder, settled with a silver in 10.27s while the bronze medal went to Barakat Al-Harthi from Bahrain (10.30).

In a similar passion, Yousef Ahmed Al-Masrahi of Saudi Arabia won his second consecutive gold in the 400m with a brilliant 45.08 clocking well ahead of fancied Bahraini quarter-miler Ali Khamis (45.65) and Japan's Yuzo Kanemaru (45.95).

Wei Yongli made it a memorable day for China by taking the women's sprint title in 11.29 secs. Chisato Fukushima of Japan (11.53) and Tao Yujia of China (11.63) filled the minor places on the podium.

It was the fourth time that China made that "unique double" of winning the gold medals in 100m in both men and women divisions in the same championships. Earlier Zheng Chen and Zhang Caihua (1989), Lin Wei and Cui Dangfeng (1995), Zhou Wei and Yan Jiankui (1998) have achieved this honour.

Asian Athletics Championship:

Results: Day 2

Men:

100m: 1. Su Bintian (Chn) 10.17s, 2. Samuel Francis (Qat) 10.27, 3. Barakat Al Harthi (Oma) 10.30.

400m: 1. Yousef Ahmed Masrahi (Ksa) 45.08s, 2. Khamis Ali (Brn) 45.65, 3. Yuzo Kanemaru (Jpn) 45.95a.5. Mohammed Kunhi (Ind) 46.61, 6. Rajiv Arokia (ind) 46.63.

10,000 m: 1. Gebre Alemu Bekele (Brn) 28 min 47.26 sec, 2. Gelas Bilisuma Shugi (Brn) 28:58.67, 3. Ratiram Saini (Ind) 29:35.42, 4.A Kheta Ram (Ind) 29:35.72, 5. Lakshmanan G (Ind) 30:46.45.

Discus throw: 1. Vikas Gowda (Ind) 64.90m, 2. Mohammed Samini (Iri) 61.93, 3. Ahmed Mohammed Dheeb (Qat) 60.82a11. Arjun (Ind) 52.90, 12. Vikas Poonia (Ind) 51.30.

Decathlon: 1. Dmitriy Karpov (Kaz) 8037, 2. Akihiko Nakamura (Jpn) 7620, 3. Leonid Andreyev (Uzb) 7383a4. Daya Ram (Ind) 6705, 5. Dileep Kumar K (Ind) 6544, 12. Bhartinder Singh (Ind) 3268.

Women:

100m: 1. Yongli Wei (Chn) 11.29s, 2. Chisato Fukishima (Jpn) 11.53, 3. Yujia Tao (Chn) 11.63.

400m: 1. Yanmin Zhao (Chn) 52.49s, 2. Poovamma MR (Ind) 53.37, 3. Greta Taslakian (Leb) 53.43, 4. Anu Mariam Jose (Ind) 53.49a7. Nirmala (Ind) 55.40.

High jump: 1. Nadia Dusanova (Uzb) 1.90m, 2. Svetlana RadzivilA (Uzb) 1.88, 3. Marina Aitova (Kaz) 1.88, 4. Sahana Kumari (Ind) 1.86a10. Mallika Mondal (Ind) 1.75.

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