Xie Wenjun, 42 days shy of his 19th birthday, scored his first victory over his Chinese team-mate Shi Dongpeng in the men’s 110m Hurdles as the curtain came down on the three-leg Asian Grand Prix circuit here on Saturday (30).
All three fixtures of the 2009 Asian GP – Suzhou, Kunshan and Hong Kong – are part of a select group of Area meetings at which points can be acquired by athletes to qualify for the IAAF / VTB Bank World Athletics Final, to be held on 12-13 September in Thessaloniki, Greece.
Having played second fiddle to his more experienced team-mate through the first two legs, Xie Wenjun pipped him 13.63 to 13.69 to proclaim his arrival in the big league. A former National junior champion, Xie Wenjun had finished third in the National championships in Yulin a fortnight ago, with Shi Dongpeng coming second.
Twenty-five-year-old Shi Dongpeng, a fifth-place finisher at the 2007 IAAF World Championships, was one of five athletes who could not make a clean sweep of the three legs after having been in the running at the end of the second leg in Kunshan. Two others had failed by the end of the second leg.
Ten sweep series
Ten finished with the distinction of having won all the three legs. They were: Men: Su Bingtian (China, 100m), Mohammed Al-Azemi (Kuwait, 800m), Surendra Kumar Singh (India, 3000m/5000m) and Kim Deok-Hyung (Korea, Triple Jump); Women: Guzel Khubbieva (Uzbekistan, 100m), Margarita Matsko (Kazakhstan, 800m), Natalya Ivoninskaya (Kazakhstan, 100m Hurdles), Xie Limei (China, Triple Jump), Gong Lijiao (China, Shot Put) and Song Aimin (China, Discus).
The final leg produced a series of reversals for some of the more established athletes in the circuit, apart from Shi Dongpeng. Kazakh Sergey Zasimovich scored over Asian champion Lee Hupe Wei of Malaysia in High Jump, scaling over 2.28m that put him in joint seventh place in the season lists. The Malaysian cleared 2.24m just as he had done in the previous two legs. Indian Hari Sankar Roy had his best showing in the circuit, a 2.21m fetching him the bronze.
Indian Bibin Mathew, after having settled for the silver in the earlier legs, scored over Chinese Liu Xiaosheng in a photo-finish in the men’s 400m. Both were credited with 46.76, with the thousandth of a second reading showing the Indian just ahead at 46.766 to 46.769. This was the first major title at the continental level for the 22-year-old Indian.
Chinese Taipei’s Chang Ming-Huang wrested the Shot Put title back from Indian Om Prakash Singh with a throw of 19.11m, the poorest winning mark in the circuit. The Indian, who has a best of 19.74m this season, could manage only 18.54m while Uzbekistan’s Grigoriy Kamulya got into the medals for the first time by taking the bronze with 18.51m.
Chinese Qin Qiang, who had convincingly won the men’s javelin titles at Suzhou and Kunshan, fouled his first attempt today and then pulled out, apparently because of an injury. The beneficiary was Korean Park Jae-Myong, the continental leader for the season (83.10m), who nailed the gold at an unimpressive 74.45m.
Margarita Matsko clocked her and Asia’s second best for the season in the women’s 800m, winning in 2:02.93. She had won in Kunshan in 2:02.83.
The women’s High Jump produced a new winner in Chinese Zheng Zhingjuan, with the betterknown Sevtlana Radzivil, Tatyana Effimenko, Nadezhda Dussanova and Anna Ustinova taking a back-seat. Thai Noengrothai Chaipetch sneaked in with a bronze with a 1.88m.
Chinese Xie Limei triple-jumped 14.25m, Asia’s top mark for the season. As in the previous two legs, she did not have any opposition worth the name.
Chinese Song Aimin was untroubled while winning the women’s Discus gold with a 62.91m throw, but she was not as towering as she was over the past week. Indians Krishna Poonia (57.53m) and Seema Antil (56.88m) took their customary silver and bronze, but must be wondering what it takes to match the Chinese in the event.
By An IAAF Correspondent
100m: Race ‘A’ : 1. Su Bingtian (Chn) 10.52, 2. Tsu Chiho (Hkg) 10.55, 3. Abepitiyage Shehan Sadaruwan (Sri) 10.59; Race ‘B’: Apinan Sukhaphai (Tha) 10.71, 2. Tang Yik Chun (Hkg) 10.77, 3. Wattana Deewong (Tha) 10.83. 400m: 1. Bibin Mathew (Ind) 46.76, 2. Liu Xiaosheng (chn) 46.76, 3. Shake Mortaja (Ind) 47.42. 800m: 1. Mohammed Al-Azemi (KUW) 1:51.23, 2. Li Xiangyu (Chn) 1:51.44, 3. Prakash Verma (Ind) 1:51.55. 3000m: 1. Surendra Kumar Singh (Ind) 8:07.22, 2. Ravinder Sharma (Ind) 8:07.91, 3. Sandeep Kumar (Ind) 8:08.37. High Jump: 1. Sergey Zasimovich (Kaz) 2.28, 2. Lee Hup Wei (Mas) 2.24, 3. Hari Shankar Roy (Ind) 2.20. 110m Hurdles: 1. Xie Wenjun (Chn) 13.63, 2. Shi Dongpeng (Chn) 13.69, 3. Park Tae-Kyoung (Kor) 13.97. Triple Jump: 1. Kim Deok-Hyung (Kor) 16.97, 2. Sergey Ektov (Kaz) 16.42, 3. Roman Valiyev (Kaz) 16.41. Shot Put: 1. Chang Ming-Huang (Tpe) 19.11, 2. Om Prakash Singh (Ind) 18.54, 3. Grigoriy Kamulya (Uzb) 18.51. Javelin: 1. Park Jae-Myong (Kor) 74.45, 2. Chen Qi (Chn) 73.10, 3. Anil Kumar Singh (Ind) 71.82. 4x100m relay: 1. Thailand 39.48, 2. China 39.67, 3. India 39.68. 4x400m relay: 1. Japan 3:05.20, 2. India 3:13.49, 3. Hong Kong 3:22.06.