ASIAN ATHLETICS | Golden day for India as Jyothi, Ajay and Abdulla triumph

Decathlete Tejaswin and quartermiler Aishwarya add more joy with bronze-medal winning performances

Updated - July 13, 2023 09:19 pm IST

Published - July 13, 2023 09:18 pm IST

Ajay Kumar Saroj was caught in a box for a good part of the men’s 1500m final at the 25th Asian Athletics Championships in Bangkok on Thursday.

The 2017 Asian champion was stuck in the inner lane with runners surrounding him, nine of them in front, including Qatar’s Mohamed al Garni who began as the event’s top seed.

But the 26-year-old from Uttar Pradesh made his move on the final corner, moving away and climbing to third, and produced a fine finish to complete a hat-tick of Asian Championships medals. He had won a silver at the last edition, in Doha 2019.

After a quiet opening day, India won three golds on the second day. Jyothi Yarraji won India’s first-ever women’s 100m hurdles title at the Asians while Commonwealth Games silver medallist Abdulla Aboobacker won the men’s triple jump gold with a season-best 16.92m which came in the fourth round.

“Towards the end, I knew the athletes ahead of me were getting tired and I was able to focus on the finish and win,” said Ajay.

Jyothi did not have a great start but she was superior in the second half of the race. The 23-year-old from Visakhapatnam overcame rain and a strong challenge from Japan’s seasoned Asuka Terada and Masumi Aoki for a memorable victory.

India also won two bronze medals through decathlete Tejaswin Shankar — the National high jump record holder was making his debut in the multi-eventer in a major championship — and female quartermiler Aishwarya Mishra.

The results (medallists and Indian performances): Men: 400m: 1. Sato Kentaro (Jpn) 45.00s, 2. Fuga Sato (Jpn) 45.13, 3. Yousef Ahmed Masrahi (KSA) 45.19, 4. Muhammed Ajmal (Ind) 45.36, 6. Rajesh Ramesh (Ind) 45.67y.

1500m: 1. Ajay Kumar Saroj (Ind) 3:41.51s, 2. Yusuke Takahashi (Jpn) 3:42.04, 3. Liu Dezhu (Chn) 3:42.30, 11. Jinson Johnson (Ind) 3:46.91.

Triple jump: 1. Abdulla Aboobacker (Ind) 16.92m, 2. Hikaru Ikehata (Jpn) 16.73, 3. Kim Jangwoo (Kor) 16.59.

Hammer throw: 1. Qi Wang (Chn) 72.13m, 2. Sukhrob Khodjaev (Uzb) 71.83, 3. Shota Fukuda (Jpn) 71.80.

Decathlon: 1. Yuma Maruyama (Jpn) 7745 pts, 2. Suttisak Singkhon (Tha) 7626, 3. Tejaswin Shankar (Ind) 7527.

Women: 400m: 1. Nadeesha Ramanayaka (Sri) 52.61s, 2. Farida Solieva (Uzb) 52.95, 3. Aishwarya Mishra (Ind) 53.07.

10,000: 1. Haruka Kokai (Jpn) 32:59.36s, 2. Momoka Kawaguchi (Jpn) 33:18.72, 3. Bayartsogt Munkhzaya (Mgl) 33:24.79, 4. Sanjivani Jadhav (Ind) 34:04.47.

100m hurdles: 1. Jyothi Yarraji (Ind) 13.09s, 2. Asuka Terrada (Jpn) 13.13, 3. Masumi Aoki (Jpn) 13.26, 4. Nithya Ramaraj (Ind) 13.55.

High jump: 1. Kristina Ovchinnikova (Kaz) 1.86m, 2. Matvayeva (Kaz) 1.86, 3. Svetlana Radzivil (Uzb) 1.83, 7. Pooja (Ind) & Rubina Yadav (Ind) both 1.75.

Hammer throw: 1. Zhao Jie (Chn) 69.39m, 2. Joy Mcarthar (Jpn) 66.56, 3. Raika Murakami (Jpn) 64.17.

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