Special Correspondent

Anju is looking to compete in the triple jump event too at the Asian GamesJapanese Asami Tanno leads the women's 400m list with a time of 51.84sIndia has strong candidates in the women's 400m as well as 800m in the Doha Asiad

NEW DELHI: Shot putter Navpreet Singh is the lone Indian among the leaders in various athletics events in Asia up to July 22. India also tops the women's 4x400m relay event.

According to a list of 2006 season leaders prepared by German statistician Heinrich Hubbeling, who brings out the annual `Asian athletics' on behalf of the Asian Athletics Association (AAA), Navpreet's performance of 19.84 metres in the Bangalore Grand Prix tops the list in shot put.

The Indian team of Rajwinder Kaur, Chitra Soman, Manjeet Kaur and Pinki Paramanik, which won bronze in the Melbourne Commonwealth Games, occupies the No. 1 slot in the women's 4x400m relay with a time of 3:29.57.

Remarkable records

The season has so far seen some remarkable Asian records being returned in the men's section. Apart from the well-publicised World record by Chinese Liu Xiang in the 110m (12.88s) at Lausanne on July 11, there were three other Asian records this season. Two of them came at the Golden Gala in Rome on July 14, with the reigning World champion in the 800 metres and 1500 metres, Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain, clocking 3:29.14 for the metric mile and World record holder in steeplechase, Saif Saaeed Shaheen of Qatar, timing 12:51.98 for the 5000 metres.

Ramzi held the previous 1500m record as well, at 3:30.00, clocked in Rome last year, while Saudi Arabian Moukhled Al-Outaibi had clocked the previous mark in the 5000 metres, 12:58.58 in the Dutch town of Heusden last year.

The fourth men's record came in long jump when Saudi Arabian Mohammed Al-Khuwailidi stretched his own mark of 8.44m to 8.48m at Sotteville, France on July 2.

From the Indian perspective, the leading mark in men's discus stood at 63.49 metres in the name of Rasheed Shafi Al-Dosari of Qatar while India's best bet in the event, Vikas Gowda, has a 61.76m effort this season.


Surprisingly, the women in Asia have not set a record yet this season in any of the Olympic events, though there have been a few notable performances. Bahrain's Rakia Al-Gassra, who came into prominence at the Athens Olympics, tops the sprints with timings of 11.34 seconds and 23.02 seconds for the 100 metres and 200 metres. Quite notably, Sri Lankan Susanthika Jayasinghe, who has made a comeback this season, has a best of 23.11s for the 200 metres.

It will be of interest to the Indian athletics camp to note that Japanese Asami Tanno leads the women's 400 metres with a time of 51.84 seconds. Bahrain's Mariam Yusuf Jamal, who topped the Asian lists last year in the 800 metres (1:59.69), 1500 metres (3:56.79) and 3000 metres (8:28.87), heads the 800m (1:59.04) and 1500m (4:02.45) lists this season. India has strong candidates in the 400 metres and 800 metres and has slim medal hopes in the 1500 metres as well in the Asian Games to come off in Doha in December.

Ikeda in lead

Japanese Kumiko Ikeda leads the women's long jump lists with 6.86 metres while Chinese Song Aimin's 63.44 metres at the Asian Grand Prix meet in Pune has not been surpassed in discus.

Anju George, one of the leading gold medal contenders for India at Doha, has a best of 6.54 metres, the effort that helped her finish sixth in long jump at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games. Anju is also looking at the prospects of competing in the triple jump event in the Asian Games. Uzbek Anastasiya Zhuravlyeva leads triple jump at 14.33 metres.

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