By Sudipto Ganguly
Jakarta, Aug 26 : China’s Su Bingtian was crowned Asia’s fastest man today, justifying the hype surrounding him by winning the blue riband 100 metres sprint gold in an Asian Games record time.
Su became the first Asian-born sprinter to run the distance in under 10 seconds in June when he clocked 9.91 twice in the space of eight days, matching the Asian record held by Qatar’s Nigerian-born Femi Ogunode.
On Sunday, he held off his opponents with a late burst of speed to win the event in 9.92 seconds, ahead of Nigerian-born Qatari Tosin Ogunode, who clocked 10.00, on a hot and humid night in the Indonesian capital.
“It wasn’t about the time, it was about getting the win,” Su, 28, told reporters. “I knew that if I got a good start then I can’t be beaten.” Japan’s Ryota Yamagata was credited with the same time as Ogunode and won bronze. Indonesian teenager Lalu Muhammad Zohri ran a personal best of 10.20 but it was good enough for only seventh spot.
The crowd at the Gelora Bung Karno Stadium was in for a surprise in the women’s 100m final when Nigerian-born Edidiong Odiong of Bahrain was adjudged the winner in a photo-finish over India’s Dutee Chand, who lost her lead in the last few metres.
The 21-year-old Odiong clocked 11.30 to be crowned Asia’s fastest woman.
Chand was cleared to race in 2015 following a Court of Arbitration for Sport ruling on gender testing guidelines.
The Lausanne-based court suspended the governing International Association of Athletics Federations’ regulations regarding hyperandrogenism, a condition which produces high testosterone levels allowing Chand to compete again after a year sat out.
Pre-race favourite Wei Yongli of China, who recently became the first Asian woman to break the 11-second barrier, had topped the timings in Saturday’s heats and also the semi-finals but had to be satisfied with a bronze.
Sudan-born Abdalelah Hassan gave Qatar its first gold medal at the 18th Asian Games in the men’s 400m, finishing ahead of India’s Muhammed Anas in 44.89 seconds. Ali Khamis won the bronze for Bahrain.
Salwa Naser maintained Bahrain’s hold on the women’s 400m, following in the footsteps of Kemi Adekoya, who won the event in Incheon, South Korea, four years ago.
The Nigerian-born Naser, who won silver at the world championships last year, comfortably won in an Asian Games record time of 50.09. India’s Hima Das, the under-20 world champion, won silver while Elina Mikhina claimed bronze for Kazakhstan.
Women’s shot put world champion Gong Lijiao and Gao Yang made it a one-two for China although Gong’s distance of 19.66m was over two metres more than her compatriot. China has now won gold in the women’s shot put at each of the last 11 Asian Games, dating back to 1978.
China also took the top two positions in the men’s long jump when Wang Jianan and Zhang Yaoguang won the gold and silver medals respectively.
Bahrain also had their one-two moment on the night when Moroccan-born Hassan Chani and Kenyan-born Abraham Cheroben won the gold and silver respectively in the men’s 10,000m.
India’s Govindan Lakshmanan won the bronze but was later disqualified for stepping off the track during the race.
Jung Hye-lim won the women’s 100m hurdles to give South Korea their first Asiad gold in athletics in eight years. Silver medallist Emilia Nova became the first Indonesian woman to win a track medal since Supriati Sutono’s 5000m gold in 1998.
“This silver medal means a lot. Two weeks ago my hip flexor hurt but the past week I managed the pain. Because of the Asian Games, I just ignored the pain,” Nova said.