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Sunday, 28 September 2014





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Clocks 52.78 seconds to win heat one:

Chandrika Subhashini in today’s women’s 400m final

INCHEON, Sep, 27 - Sprinter Chandrika Subhashini gave Sri Lanka athletic team the perfect start they have been looking for by qualifying to run in women’s 400m final on the opening day of the track and field competition of the 17th Asian Games at the Incheon Asian Main Stadium here today.

Chandrika Subhashini

Running in the women’s 400m heat one under lights, the 27-year-old former Asian Championship silver medallist returned a timing of 52.78 second to finish way ahead of other six competitors who ran in the same heat. Yuliya Rakhmanovaof Kazakhstan who finished second, was almost one-and-a-half second behind the Lankan lass in clocking 54.21 seconds, though both of them advanced to the next round. Malaysia’s BintiAbdul Razak finished third in heat one, clocking 54.47 seconds.

Indian Poovamma Raju Machettira won the women’s 400m heat two in 52..17 seconds with Vietnam’s Thi Lan Quach finishing second in 52.57 seconds, both registering better timings than Subhashini. But the best timing among 21 competitors who ran in today’s qualifiers was recorded by Oluwakemi Mujidat Adekova of Bahrain who had a superb performance in 51.11 seconds to win the heat three. In the second place of heat three was Indian Kaur Mandeep with a season’s best 53.06.

Thus, Subhashini has a good chance of securing a medal in the women’s 400m in which Sri Lanka’s Damayanthi Darsha till holds the Asian Games record.

Darshawon back to back gold medals in women’s 400m in Bangkok 1998 and Busan 2002, the last time Sri Lanka had won an Asian Games gold medal.

Sprinters who secured the first two places in the three women’s 400m first round heats and the two fastest among the rest will run in Sunday’s women’s 400m final scheduled to be worked off at 7.35 pm (4.05 pm SL time). “I am glad to enter the final. I will run all out to make my country proud.

It’s going to be a tough race but I will give out my best,” she said after winning the heat.

First athletic medal to Tajikistan Tajikistan took the first athletic medal of the Games when men’s hammer thrower Dilshod Nazarov came first clearing a distance of 76.82m in his

fourth attempt. China’s Shizhu Wang (73.65m) and Yong Wan (74.32), both season’s bests, won the silver and bronze medals respectively.

UAE’s Alia Mohammed Saeed Mohammed clocked a personal best 31 minutes and 51.86 seconds to win the women’s 10,000m gold medal, ahead of China’s Changqin Ding (a personal best 31:53.09 – silver) and Japan’s Ayumi Higiwara (31:55.67).

China’s first athletic gold medal came in women’s shot putt final when Lijiao Gong cleared 19.06m in the second of her six attempts while her teammate Tianguin Guo won the bronze (17.52m), behind Iranian Leyla Rajabi (17.80m).

Qatar’s Mohamed Al Garni established a new Asian Games record to win the gold medal in men’s 5,000m, clocking 13 minutes and 26.13 seconds. He pushed the Bahrain duo of Alemu Bekele Gebre (13:27.98) and Albert Kibichi Rop (13:28.08) to the second and third places.

The athletic gold for the day was won by Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet in women’s 3,000m steeplechase, clocking a new Asian Games record timing of nine minutes and 31.36 seconds. Zhenzhu Li of China (9:35.23) won the silver, ahead of Lalitha Shivaji Baber of India ((:35.37).

China leads with 96 golds

Asia’s sporting heavyweights China extended its lead in the latest medals standing of the Incheon 2014 Games day seven with 96 gold medals. They have totalled 195 medals, including 58 silver and 41 bronze medals.

Hosts South Korea slightly extended their lead over Japan, pocketing 35 golds, 42 silver and 40 bronze medals. In the third place is Japan which has bagged 32 golds, 43 silver and 38 bronze medals.

Kazakhstan takes the fourth place with nine golds, ten silver and 18 bronze medals, followed by North Korea which has eight gold and silver medals plus nine bronze medals to its credit.

Korean women in volleyball semis

Meanwhile, the South Korean women’s volleyball team cruised to the semifinals of the Incheon Asian Games after beating Hong Kong in straight

sets today. Without volleyball star Kim Yeon-koung in the lineup, South Korea pulled off a comfortable 3-0 (25-13, 25-15, 25-11) victory over Hong Kong for the semifinal berth at Songnim Gymnasium. The country is eyeing its first Asiad title in 20 years.

The host overwhelmed its opponent and finished the game in one hour and three minutes. Yang Hyo-jin scored 13 points including five aces, while Bae Yoo-na lent support with 12 points.

South Korea is a strong contender for the gold medal at this year’s Asian Games. It has not given up a set in the group round matches against India, Thailand and Japan. It will take on the winner between Japan and Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals on Tuesday.

Korea to keep injured striker

South Korean head coach Lee Kwang-jong said he will have a still-injured striker at the ready to come off the bench in the second half. At a pre-match press conference, Lee noted that Kim Shin-wook, the lanky forward who has missed the last two games with a leg injury, may enter the match against Japan in the second half if needed. “He’s not yet 100 percent. Depending on the situation, he could play in the second half,” the coach said. South Korea, seeking its first Asian Games men’s football gold since 1986 Seoul Games when they take on the defending champions Japan at Munhak Stadium on Sunday.

South Korea put together a perfect record in the group stage and defeated Hong Kong 3-0 on Thursday to make the quarters. Japan had two wins and a loss in group play, and beat Palestine 4-0 to reach the final eight.

Kim sustained a bruise to his calf in the second group match against Saudi Arabia last Wednesday and sat out South Korea’s two subsequent matches. The team has scored five goals without the 196-centimeter Kim, but the 2013 MVP in the top domestic league, the K League Classic, would add a new dimension to Lee’s offense.

The coach said Kim did some jogging on Thursday and then trained yesterday with players who didn’t see action against Hong Kong.

Football limited to U-23

The Asian Games football tournament is limited to players under 23, and Japan has built a roster of players under 21. South Korea, with more experienced players on its roster, may have an edge, but Lee said he wasn’t taking Japan lightly.

“Japan has shown good defensive organization and passing plays, I think this will be a competitive match. South Korea and Japan have long been rivals, and our players are mentally ready for this match, even though it’s only the quarterfinals,” the coach added.

Makoto Teguramori, the Japanese head coach, said his players will keep an eye on two South Koreans who have competed in Japan. Midfielder Park Joo-ho and defensive back Kim Jin-su, both ex-J. Leaguers, now ply their trade in the Bundesliga. They scored a goal apiece in South Korea’s 3-0 win over Hong Kong in the first knockout contest.

“South Koreans mostly have good speed and we have to be prepared for that,” Teguramori said, adding that “South Korea hasn’t faced a strong team yet but I think their players have shown great determination to win”. South Korea has yet to give up a goal in Incheon and Teguramori said he will try to put an end to its clean sheet in the quarters.


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