Lui Xiang Wins Asian Games in 13.50! by Alfons Juck, Note by Larry Eder


Cover shot of People's Youth Daily, August 2008, by Larry Eder

Lui Xiang took gold at the Asian Games, as China went 1,2 in the last major event of the athletics 2009 calendar. What a difference a year makes, as Lui continues to surprise critics and fans with his strong hurdling. There were two false starts in this one, so Chinese fans were a bit nervous......


GUANGZHOU (CHN, Nov 12): It was all about Liu Xiang during the evening programme of 3rd day of Asian Championships. But China won also other four golds from seven events. Only two remained for Bahrain and Japan. Rain stopped for the last event 110 m hurdles, but track was very wet. There was plenty of drama at the start as David Tarbotton writes. First false start by Shi Dongpeng, then on the second attempt, Al-Moualed from Saudi Arabia clearly broke and was disqualified. Crowd about 10,000 was in big tension but Liu won clearly with 13.50 (-0.1) and got his third gold from this event after 2002 and 2005. He celebrated with Shi Dongpeng (second in 13.67), both taking off their shirts and throwing them to the crowd. This was planned as prior to this he was handed a tracksuit top to put on. He exited the track in the middle of the straight, but the post event control staff, brought him back to exit via the finish line and media. Another top battle happened in long jump. National Games silver winner Li Jinzhe leaped to 816 (+1.5) in fifth round. Only second best separated double gold medalist Hussein Taher Al-Sabee of Saudi Arabia and another Chinese jumper Yu Zhenwei (796 for both, but Al-Sabee had another 796 while Yu 795). Fourth Korean record holder Kim Deok-Hyung mastered 793. Another Chinese surprise was steeple runner Lin Xiangqian who finished second (8:34.13) between two Kenyan imports. National record holder Tareq Mubarak Taher won in 8:33.58 and secured first gold from this event for Bahrain. Qatari world finalist Ali Abubaker Kamal was only third (8:34.73). Clear women Chinese wins in javelin by National Games gold medalist Liu Chun Hua (57.93) and Pole Vaulter Li Caixia (430). Japanese Yoshika Tatsumi won the steeple in meet record 10:05.94. In the morning 20 km walk in constant rain (programme was delayed by 30 minutes) was dominated by Chinese duo Li Jianbo (1:22:55) and Chu Yafei (1:22:56), bronze for Korean Park Chil-Sung (1:24:51). Chinese Liu Haibo leads the decathlon after first day (3878, also 208 in high jump). In relay wars Japanese men clocked 39.24 against Chinese 39.27 in the 4x100 m heats, while in women heats Japan achieved the fastest 44.34 but China was disqualified. In the 200 m semis the fastest United Arab Emirates record holder Omar Juma Al-Salfa (21.03 in heats and 21.07 in semis) and Momoko Takahashi of Japan in women section 23.75. In the 800 m heats the fastest by Iranian duo Sajjad Moradi (1:51.31) and Amir Moradi (still junior, 1:51.42) and by Liu Qing of China (2:05.62). Notable non-starters here Ali Belal Mansour and Mimi Belete, both of Bahrain.


MOSCOW (RUS): Rusathletics. com informs about indoor plans for multiple pole vault world record holder Yelena Isinbayeva. The double olympic winner is heading for a short campaign which will most probably consist of only three competitions. At the beginning is her debut at IAAF Permit Russian Winter in Moscow on February 7 and at the end the World Indoor Championships in Doha. In-between the special Pole Vault meet in Donyetsk, Ukraine organised by her mentor Sergey Bubka (March 6). So far she spent some time in Chinese spa place Hainang, was at home in Volgograd, but now already started her preparation for the coming winter season. Isinbayeva will compete for first time in Russia since summer 2007 where she was the star of Russian Challenge Meet on August 5 with 480 winning jump. On Thursday she flew to Mexico for World Sport Congress and then to Monte Carlo World Athletics Gala 2009. For that she plans a new evening clothing.


LAUSANNE (SUI): Barcelona will be qualification for Split. European Athletics Council approved the selection guidelines for the European Team for IAAF Continental Cup 2010 early September in Split. Team members will be selected in Barcelona during European Championships after each event. Top two in each event and in 1500 m, 3000 m, 5000 m and Steeple top three will be named. If this athletes will not be available next in order will be considered. Another condition is that in each event the two or three athletes must be from different countries. Also three athletes must be in the team from host country. One is obvious in person of high jump world champion Blanka Vlasic. These three home athletes will be named even before Barcelona. In the 4x100 m relays national teams will be selected.


YOKOHAMA (JPN): The Sunday´s Yokohama Women‘s Marathon is its inaugural edition, but the race may be considered to as the continuation of now defunct Tokyo Women‘s Marathon, for its sponsors are the same. After Tokyo builded a mass marathon for men and women the special women race was moved from Tokyo to Yokohama. It is one of the last possibilities to record fast women times so far no women broke 2:20 this year (world lead by Irina Mikitenko from London Marathon is 2:22:11). Since 2000 only twice 2:20 was not broken (2000 and 2007). Also the fastest time on Japanese soil maybe under threat, the 2:21:18 of Mizuki Noguchi from Osaka 2003. Current olympic champion Romanian Constantina Dita could finish her first marathon of the year after she was unable to do so in London. Also 6th and 7th from London are among the favorites. Russian European track 10 000 m champion Inga Abitova (2:25:55 PB in London as sixth) and double world champion Catherine Ndereba of Kenya (who was 7th in London). Ethiopian Seoul winner this spring Robe Guta can make ground after dnf at World Championships marathon. Two European runners to note are Lithuanian record holder Zivile Balciunaite (2:25:15) who was 19th in Berlin World Championships and Italian Bruna Genovese (2:25:28 PB) who was 3rd in Torino in spring. Best Japanese should be Kiyoko Shimahara who won Hokkaido marathon in August after clocking PB 2:25:10. As Japan Running News writes it will be the first certified loop course for an elite marathon in Japan.


NIJMEGEN (NED): Double olympic winner Tirunesh Dibaba and her husband Sileshi Sihine will be the main stars of the 26th Fortis Zevenheuvelenloop (Seven Hills) this Sunday. Dibaba who missed Berlin World Championships competed only three times on the track (New York, London, WAF) and her last road appearance is registered in 2005 at Carlsbad 5km in California. Informs event website. Dibaba will for first time ever run a 15 km on the road. Her husband Sihine won here already two times in 2004 and 2007. Other announced names are title defender Bezunesh Bekele of Ethiopia, European CC Champion 2006 Tetyana Holovchenko of Ukraine and Kenyans Loise Kangogo with Agnes Kiprotich. Czech group will be headed by multiple national champion Petra Kaminkova. In men´s race junior CC World champion Aleye Abshiro of Ethiopia and Ugandan national record holder Nicholas Kiprono are the names to note. Best home runner should be recent marathon Dutch championships third placer Patrick Stitzinger. The confirmation of fast course is the current world record 41:29 by Felix Limo here in 2001 (in the meantime equalled by Deriba Merga in Ras-Al-Khaimah 2009) and women´f fastest 46:57 by Mesawat Tufa in 2008 what is only two seconds behind the current world record of Japanese Kayoko Fukushi (46:55 in 2006 in Marugame).


JOHANNESBURG (RSA): In latest South African developments the local media are informing, that he Athletics South Africa board is likely to be scrapped altogether as members embroiled in the Caster Semenya saga continue to defy an order for their suspension. The battle has left a number of top local athletes, who depend on prize money, anxious. Late last week, the South African Sports Confederation and Olympic Committee (Sascoc) decided to suspend the entire board of ASA pending the outcome of a disciplinary investigation. The board refused to accept the call and, led by ASA chairman Leonard Chuene, have reportedly been arriving for duty this week at the ASA offices in Johannesburg. SASCOC are waiting for a recommendation from the IAAF before moving ahead with the removal of the entire ASA board. Meanwhile, SASCOC board member and former Cricket SA president Ray Mali has been appointed as administrator of ASA and mandated to form a board comprising members from the athletics board. The interim ASA board would in turn constitute a disciplinary body to look into the handling of the Semenya issue and allegations of mismanagement.

BRUSSELS (BEL): IAAF Diamond League General Assembly was held in Brussels this week along with seminar concerning TV production. There will be no official communication after the meetings this week as the new series plans a number of significant announcements next week in Monte Carlo the day before the World Athletics Gala.

TALLINN (EST): The only international indoor combined events meeting Reval Hotels Cup in Tallinn organised by 2000 olympic winner Erki Nool will not be held next winter. In last seasons it had European Athletics Permit status, but this was recalled by the organisers due to financial difficulties. It also had a preliminary date on 13-14 February. Nool said for the Estonian media that the decision is by 90% clear. Beside the financial questions he also mentions lower interest among local media. For top combined eventers this was one of the possibilities to qualify for indoor championships.

LONDON (GBR): Denise Lewis (37) the 2000 Sydney Olympic heptathlon champion, has backed Sport England‘s injection of 10 million GBP aimed at encouraging women caring for children or those from deprived communities. Writes The money, from National Lottery funding, will be given to sports that will help drive an „Active Women“ campaign at grassroots level, with the possibility of also unearthing new talent to become elite athletes.

MADRID (ESP): Spain‘s fomer World and European indoor shot put champion Manuel Martinez snapped an achilles tendon last Saturday, playing indoor football in a charity match. He‘ll be unable to train for at least three months and believes that full recovery will take nine to ten months. The injury almost certainly rules out his participation at the World Indoor Championships and he said that competing at next summer‘s European Athletics Championships is very doubtful.

LUZERN (SUI): The third best one day meeting in Switzerland will be staged at another venue next year. The “Spitzen Leichtathletik Luzern” (EA Premium Meeting) will be held on Sunday Aug 8 in the Nottwil because the home stadium Allmend will undergo a reconstruction. The date is one week after European Championships in Barcelona and it will be held during a afternoon so there will be no need for lights which are not available in the stadium. Notwill is mainly known as paralympic sports center and is around 20 km from Luzern away.

KINGSTON (JAM): As informs, sprint king Usain Bolt has contributed financially to Asafa Powell’s Foundation. He also said he will continue to make this a yearly contribution. The financial contribution was not disclosed, but a check was presented at Tuesday night’s launch of the foundation, which will help upcoming stars. “It is a good thing that Asafa is doing, in giving other athletes a chance to be able to perform with the necessary equipment and other supplies,” said Bolt. The Asafa Powell Foundation was created with the theme ‘’Preparing today’s athletes to be tomorrow’s champions’’. With a wide cross section of the local track and field family present, as well as the toast of the night’s MVP Track Club members, the committee to guide the affairs of this new body was also named and is headed by attorney-at-law and track and field enthusiast Delano Franklyn.

LAUSANNE (SUI): The Court of Arbitration for Sport informs about new delay in hammer case of Belarus athletes Vadim Deviatovskiy and Ivan Tikhon from Beijing Games 2008. New date for their appeal hearing is set for January 25-27, 2010. The hearing was originally set for last July, then put back until Dec. 4-5. They won initially silver and bronze in China but later tested positive. The International Olympic Committee disqualified the two last December.


ANGERS (FRA, Nov 11): Rwandan Jean-Damacen Habarurema won the 35th cross Courrier de l‘Ouest. At 9.66 km he clocked 29:50. Severine Hammel was the best woman at 4.35 km with 14:38.

ARNAY LE DUC (FRA, Nov 11): Kenyan Agnes Kiprotich was the best at 42nd Cross D´Arnay Le Duc with 18:44 at 5.45 km. Burundi runners prevailed in the men race at 7.85 km. Ezekiel Nizigiyidmana won in 23:00 ahead of Eri Niyonsaba (23:02) and best Kenyan Ezekiel Chebii (23:08).

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