Of the 40 titles on offer at the Asian Youth Championships in Bangkok from 20-23 May, 16 of them were won by Chinese athletes.
With this being just the second edition of the championships, championship records in many events were broken – 17 of them, to be exact. But the volume of championship records didn’t dilute the value of some of the winning marks.
Gong Luying was one of the top performers. The 17-year-old won the long jump on the opening day of the championships with a championship record of 6.11m. Gong, who is currently second on this year’s world U18 list with her 6.35m leap from last month, had to take a break from her specialist event to contest the 100m semi-finals. She later went on to take the bronze medal in the final.
Compatriot Feng Lulu won the 100m in 11.77 and she later won the 200m by half a second in 24.06. Both of her winning marks were championship records.
Liu Zhekai was one of the most dominant performers of the championships. He sent his javelin out to 77.25m to win by three metres, moving to third on this year’s world U18 list.
Niu Chunge was another Chinese field event winner. She set a championship record of 4.15m to take the pole vault title and leap to fifth on the Asian U18 all-time list.
Chinese Taipei’s Lu Hao-Hua also now occupies the same position on the Asian U18 all-time list after clocking a lifetime best of 13.40 in the boys’ 110m hurdles. He recorded that championship record in the heats and then went on to win the final in 13.45, finishing 0.21 ahead of China’s Ning Xiaohan.
While Lu’s victory was decisive, the closest event was the boys’ 800m where just two thousandths separated the gold and silver medallists. India’s Mathew Abhishek and Sri Lanka’s Mudiyansela Harsha Dissanayaka were given the same time official finishing time of 1:54.99, but Abhishek was awarded the title in a photo finish.
The girls’ shot put was also close as just one centimetre separated Chinese duo Yu Tianxiao and Shi Hongmei, who threw 17.51m and 17.50m respectively.
Elsewhere, Korea’s Lee Seungjun was an impressive winner of the boys’ long jump, leaping 7.49m. The sole victory for host nation Thailand came in the boys’ pole vault, where Kasinpob Chomchanad set a championship record of 5.00m.
Jon Mulkeen for the IAAF