Salimikordasiabi completes hat trick
JAKARTA, Aug 27, (Agencies): India’s Neeraj Chopra smashed the field to claim the men’s javelin gold at the Asian Games on Monday by posting his personal best which was nearly six meters clear of his closest competitor.
The long-haired 20-year-old entered the competition in Jakarta having posted the season’s best throw by an Asian when he hurled 87.43 meters at the Diamond League leg in Doha in May.
The Commonwealth Games champion threw even further at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium, clearing a distance of 88.06 meters. China’s Liu Qizhen posted a personal best of 82.22m for the silver. Pakistan’s Arshad Nadeem took bronze.
Chopra began with a modest 83.46 and after fouling his second attempt, registered his best effort of the night on his third.
“It was not easy, the competition was quite tough. The throwers were quite good but they just couldn’t perform tonight,” Chopra told reporters, saying it was the best achievement of his career so far.
In men’s high jump, China’s Wang Yu leapt 2.30 meters to claim the gold ahead of South Korea’s Woo Sang-hyeok whose season’s best of 2.28 fetched him the silver. Syrian Majd Eddin Ghzal and Japan’s Naoto Tobe both cleared 2.24 to claim a bronze apiece.
It was Syria’s first medal at the ongoing Games.
Vietnam’s Bui Thi Thu Thao won the women’s long jump with her season’s best leap of 6.55m to gift her country their first athletics gold at the 18th Games. India’s Neena Varakil won silver and the bronze went to China’s Xu Xiaoling.
On a productive third day in athletics for Bahrain, Nigerian-born Oluwakemi Adekoya won the women’s 400m hurdles in a Games record time of 54.48 seconds. Quach Thi Lan of Vietnam took the silver while Aminat Jamal gave Bahrain another place on the podium with a bronze.
Qatari Abderrahman Samba, 22, also broke the Games record in the men’s 400m hurdles when the Mauritanian-born finished his run in 47.66 seconds. Dharun Ayyasamy of India was a distant second with a time of 48.96 while Japanese athlete Takatoshi Abe finished third.
Kenyan-born Winfred Yavi also struck gold for Bahrain in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase, ahead of India’s Sudha Singh and Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Oanh.
The men’s 3,000m steeplechase gold went to Iranian Hossein Keyhani, who broke the Games record for the event by clocking eight minutes 22.79 seconds.
Kim Kuk Hyang extended North Korea’s record tally to eight Asian Games weightlifting golds Monday before there were remarkable scenes as they were joined in celebration by their South Korean neighbours.
The two countries are technically still at war but it did not stop their weightlifters exchanging warm greetings and posing for photos together as eight days of competition at the Jakarta International Expo drew to a close.
South Korea finished a distance behind their neighbours from across the fortified border with three silvers and two bronzes.
Kim enjoyed a comfortable win in the heaviest women’s class of +75kg with a total of 291kg as the secretive nation doubled their previous highest Asian Games weightlifting best of four golds set at Incheon 2014.
South Korea’s Son Young-hee took the silver on 282kg and Thailand’s Duangaksorn Chaidee the bronze with 280kg.
Earlier Behdad Salimikordasiabi became only the third weightlifter in history to complete a hat-trick of Asian Games wins.
Salimikordasiabi, the 2012 Olympic champion in the men’s superheavyweight (+105kg) class, vanquished controversial doping cheat Saeid Alihosseini in a battle of the Iranian giants.
Salimikordasiabi, who won gold at Guangzhou 2010 and Incheon 2014, battled his countryman lift-for-lift in a two-horse race for gold.
In claiming his third gold Salimikordasiabi matched South Korean superheavyweight Kim Tae-hyun, who won in the 1990, 1994 and 1998 Asian Games, and Iranian great Mohammad Nassiri, who won lightweight categories in the 1966, 1970 and 1974 Asiads.
The pair could not be separated after both opened with a snatch of 208kg, but it was Salimikordasiabi who prevailed with his final clean and jerk of 253kg, removing his shoes and belt and kneeling to kiss the stage in thanks.
Alihosseini controversially took silver ahead of Salimikordasiabi in the 2017 world championships in Anaheim in his first competition after returning from an eight-year doping ban.
The 2012 Olympic champion Salimikordasiabi revealed he been hampered by a leg injury that required surgery after last year’s Worlds in the Californian city.
“After my operation I’ve had a very bad feeling here,” he said pointing to his left knee.
“It had been very hard to train. I don’t know how I won. I was determined to do my best. That’s why I give thanks to God.”