Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Monday, Aug 12, 2002

About Us
Contact Us
News: Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Sport - Athletics Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Abdulrahman keeps up family tradition; China maintains superiority

By K. P. Mohan

Navpreet Singh of India who won the shot put silver in the 14th Asian athletics championship in Colombo on Sunday. — Photos: Rajeev Bhatt

COLOMBO AUG. 11. The men's metric mile gold will remain in the Suleiman family. Abdulrahman Suleiman kept up a family tradition, and his own reputation as the World junior silver medallist, while winning the 1500 metres gold in the Asian athletics championships here on Sunday.

Even as China maintained its overall superiority by claiming five of the 11 gold medals at stake on third day, there was a slump in India's collection.

A lone silver earned by shot putter Navpreet Singh behind Qatari Saad Bilal Mubarak was all that the country could show. The previous two days had produced three and four medals for India, which had finished second in the medals standings last time behind China. This time, though India has fielded only a second-string team, a better fare could have been expected. A gold is yet to come India's way so far.

It was gold No. 6 for the Suleiman family from the continental meet, the five prior to Sunday belonging to Mohamed Suleiman, who between 1991 and 2000 had four gold medals from the 1500m and another in 1991, from the 5000 metres. He had completed a hat-trick of 1500m titles last time in Jakarta and could have been expected to continue in the 5000 metres.

Now retired, the senior Suleiman is here as the manager of the Qatar team. As Abdulrahman finished the race, out-kicking the rest including his team-mate Yousuf Jamal Noor, over the final straight, Mohamed Suleiman jumped a fence, national flag in hand, to smother his younger brother in an embrace, kissed him and told him: "You have done the family and the country proud.''

It was not one of those tough races which the senior Suleiman had run in the past. The Qataris kept themselves behind, for the first two laps, but once they took the bell in front, with Bahrain's Ramzi Rashid in hot pursuit, there was no looking back.

On the backstraight, Abdulrahman lengthened his strides, though allowing his team-mate Noor much room and then into the straight, overtook the latter quite effortlessly even as Rashid made the charge for the silver. Abdulrahman had 3:45.98, Rashid 3:46.41 and Noor 3:46.85.

``I ran for the gold not for timing,'' said Abdulrahman. His silver in the recent World junior championships in Kingston had come in a personal best 3:40.57. ''I am happy that the Suleiman name has remained for 12 years. I was confident of my tactics, I was confident of winning.'' (Mohamed Suleiman had skipped the metric mile in 1993 and unsuccessfully tried the 5000 metres.)

Liu claims hurdles gold

Relaxing and, in fact, easing up at the finish, was the 19-year-old Chinese Liu Xiang in the high hurdles. He won by a huge margin from Mubarak Ata Mubarak of Saudi Arabia. "This was a relaxed race,'' said the Chinese who had bettered countryman Li Tong's eight-year-old Asian record with a 13.12s effort while winning the `B' race at the Lausanne Grand Prix on July 2.

Liu Xiang said that his main aim for the year was to win the Busan Asian Games, of which he felt confident enough, and then qualify for the final of the Athens Olympics in 2004.

Just as he had done in Fukuoka, four years ago, Saad Bilal Mubarak came up with a big one on his first throw in the shot put competition. The 19.22 the Qatari opened with stood for the duration of the competition as the best. Indian Navpreet Singh, a disappointment at the Commonwealth Games with three foul throws in the qualifying round, came up to 18.97 in the fifth round for the silver. North Korean Kim Jae Li had the bronze at 17.98 while the second Indian, Jaiveer Singh finished seventh with just 17.37.

``I wanted to see the tricolour go up and hear the National anthem being played. I tried my best, but that was not enough,'' said Navpreet who bagged his first Asian senior medal. Back home, Navpreet had a 19.45 as his best for the season while Jaiveer had an 18.53.

The defending champion in men's javelin, Jagdish Bishnoi finished fourth with a throw of 72.92m. The gold went to Chinese Li Rongxiang at 82.75, a new championship record bettering countryman Zhang Lianbiao's 1991 record of 81.52m.

Triple jumper Amarjit Singh did creditably to reach 16.12 metres on his sixth attempt but that was not good enough to fetch him a medal. Saudi Arabian Salem Mouled Al-Ahmadi who swept the titles in the Asian Grand Prix circuit earlier this season won with 16.61, while Japanese Kazuyoshi Ishikawa took the silver at 16.42.

In keeping with the overall gloom that is descending on the Indian camp, Kuldip Kumar took the fourth place in the men's 1500 metres, in 3:48.85. He was never in contention for the bronze. The other Indian, T. M. Sajeevan, came sixth in 3:51.46.

The Indian women competitors in the metric mile, Geeta Manral (4:23.84) and Sunita Kumari (4:24.77) finished sixth and seventh respectively.

Sunita Kumari later made the 800m final as a fastest loser, clocking 2:09.62 while Sunita Dahiya went out, finishing fourth in her heat in 2:11.56.

Anand Menezes made the 200m final, coming second behind favourite Fawzi Al-Shammari of Kuwait in one of the semifinals in 21.37 while Clifford Joshua was out, coming seventh in the other at 21.62.

P. S. Primesh (1:53.09) and K. A. Jayakumar (1:52.77) were out of the 800m final, coming sixth in two different heats.

Also to go out was Mukti Saha in the women's 200 metres, with a poor 25.34.

The results: Men: 1500m: 1. Abdulrahman Suleiman (QAT) 3:45.98, 2. Ramzi Rashid (BRN) 3:46.41, 3. Yousuf Jamal Noor (QAT) 3:46.85.

110m hurdles: 1. Liu Xiang (CHN) 13.56s, 2. Mubarak Ata Mubarak (KSA) 13.96, 3. Mohammed Faiz Mohammed (MAS) 14.33.

Pole vault: 1. Daichi Sawano (JPN) 5.40m, 2. Kim Se In (KOR) 5.40, 3. Gregoriy Yegorov (KAZ) 5.20.

Triple jump: 1. Salem Mouled Al-Ahmadi (KSA) 16.61m, 2. Kazuyoshi Ishikawa (JPN) 16.42, 3. Mohammed Hamdi Abdul Aziz (QAT) 16.18.

Shot put: 1. Saad Bilal Mubarak (QAT) 19.22m, 2. Navpreet Singh (IND) 18.97, 3. Kim Jae Li (PRK) 17.98.

Javelin: 1. Li Rongxiang (CHN) 82.75, 2. Sergey Voynov (UZB) 79.70, 3. Pak Jae Myong (KOR) 79.22.

Women: 1500m: 1. Tatyana Borisova (KGZ) 4:16.27, 2. Svetlana Lukasheva (KAZ) 4:18.63, 3. Mizuho Nasukawa (JPN) 4:19.27.

100m hurdles: 1. Yvonne Kanazawa (JPN) 13.40s, 2. Sriyani Kulawansa (SRI) 13.43, 3. Trecia Roberts (THA) 13.60.

Triple jump: 1. Wu Lingmei (CHN) 13.83, 2. Mariya Sokova (UZB) 13.81, 3. Yelena Parfenova (KAZ) 13.11.

Javelin: 1. Ma Ning (CHN) 57.15, 2. Xue Juan (CHN) 56.04, 3. Lee Young Sun (KOR) 53.72.

20km walk: 1, Gao Kelian (CHN) 1:36:57, 2. Jiang Xingli (CHN) 1:37.02, 3. Ryoko Tadamasa (JPN) 1:42:43.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail


News: Front Page | National | Southern States | Other States | International | Opinion | Sport | Miscellaneous |
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | Home |

Copyright 2002, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu