Monday, Sep 22, 2003
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By K.P. Mohan
Kyrgyzstan's Tatiana Borisova winning the women's 1500m event ahead of India's Madhuri Singh in the Asian athletics championships in Manila on Sunday.
The day was marked by the defeat of Qatar's steeplechase world champion, Saif Saeed Shaheen, in the 1500 metres by Bahrain's Rashid Ramzi, the Asian Games champion, and the triumph of Kuwaiti Fawzi Al-Shmmari over Saudi Arabian Hamdan Odha Al-Bishi in the 400 metres.
From the Indian angle, Bobby Aloysius ending up without a medal in high jump was most upsettting on a day when the colour of the medals in the country's collection improved, from two bronze the previous day to as many silvers.
Not unexpectedly, Indian athletes have found the going tough in this meet, though an excuse could be trotted out that five of the gold medal winners at the last Asian Games could not make it here.
Madhuri ran her season best of 4:17.87 to take the silver in the metric mile behind Tatiana Borisova of Kyrgyzstan. After having kept herself behind the leaders, she started sneaking up with about 250 metres to go to the finish and though Borisova was never in danger on the home straight, Madhuri was able to hold off the rest without much trouble.
Neelam, though she won the silver, was not at her best. Her form had taken a dip right after she made the final at the Paris World and today, though she had three throws over 58 metres she could not pose a challenge to the second string Chinese in the discus event.
The top Chinese woman, Song Aimin, though entered originally, was absent. In her place, Li Yanfeng took over the leading role and right from the opening round when she had a 61.67, she led to win the contest hands down.
Li Yanfeng went up to 61.87m in the last round, while Neelam's best of 58.64 metres came on her fifth attempt. The second Chinese, Xu Shaoyang, finished with the bronze at 58.13m. India's Harwant Kaur was fourth with 55.89m.
In a crowded day's programme, when India's male sprinters, Anil Kumar and Sanjay Ghosh went out at the semifinal stage, K.J. Manojlal put up a brave fight in the 400 metres coming fifth in 46.77s.
Ghosh, Piyush Kumar, Amit Saha and Anil Kumar later came third in a 4x100m heat to carry India into the final.
Among the other Indians, Gulab Chand took the fifth place in the 1500m at 3:46.94, Aman Saini brought up the rear in the 10,000m, with 32:47.73 and Pramila Aiyappa (5500) and Soma Biswas (5136) took the fifth and seventh places respectively in heptathlon.
Bobby Aloysius's failure at the high jump pit was the least expected.
As an unknown Vietnamese, Bui Thi Nhung cleared 1.88m on her last attempt to trigger celebration among the small band of her supporters, Bobby was already out of the medal race after failing thrice at 1.84m.
She had cleared 1.80 on her first attempt.
Women: 100m: 1. Lyubov Perepelova (Uzb) 11.43s, 2. Qin Wangping (Chn) 11.56, 3. Guzel Khubbieva (Uzb) 11.57; 400m: 1. Yin Yin Khine (Myr) 52.96s, 2. Bu Fangfang (Chn) 52.97, 3. Svetlana Bodritskaya (Kaz) 53.19; 1500m: 1. Tatiana Borisova (Kgz) 4:15.97, 2. Madhuri Singh (Ind) 4:17.87, 3. Svetlana Lukasheva (Kaz) 4:23.12; 100m hurdles: 1. Su Yiping (Chn) 13.09s, 2. Feng Yun (Chn) 13.25, 3. Trecia Roberts (Tha) 13.29; High jump: 1. Nhung Bui Thi (Vie) 1.88m, 2.Miyuki Aoyama (Jpn) 1.84, 3. Noengrothai Chaipetch (Tha) 1.84; Pole vault: 1. Wu Sha (Chn) 4.20m, 2. Takayo Kondo (Jpn) 4.10, 3. Niputu Desi Margawati (Ina) 3.90; Long jump: 1. Anastasiya Juravleva (Uzb) 6.53m, 2. Liang Shuyan (Chn) 6.51, 3. Lerma Elmira Gabito (Phi) 6.50; Discus: 1. Li Yanfeng (Chn) 61.87m, 2. Neelam J. Singh (Ind) 58.64, 3. Xu Shaoyang (Chn) 58.13; Heptathlon: 1. Irina Naumenko (Kaz) 5845 pts, 2. Yuki Nakata (Jpn) 5723, 3. Shen Shengfei (Chn) 5633.
Correction: In the athletics picture published on Sunday, September 21, the athlete in front is Sri Lankan Sujeewa Jayasena, followed by the winner Sun Yingjie of China and India's Aruna Devi and not as published. The error is regretted.
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