Chinese long jumper Qing Lin (© Getty Images)
The 16th Asian Junior Championships, held at the Taipei City Stadium in Chinese Taipei, ended on Sunday (15) after four days of competition as several of Asia’s top teenagers demonstrated their talent ahead of the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships next month.
Two of the most likely gold medal contenders, Chinese long jumper Lin Qing and Qatari hammer thrower Ashraf Amjad El Seify, had commanding wins in their specialist events.
Lin, the 2011 world youth champion, opened with 7.90m and then added three centimetres to his best set two years ago when he was 17, with his third-round effort of 7.99m.
Behind him, Hong Kong’s Chan Ming-Tai improved his own absolute national record by six centimetres with 7.70m, the same distance as Japan’s Shoutaro Shiroyama whose best mark was also 7.70m but who had to settle for the bronze medal by virtue of an inferior second-best effort.
Ashraf Amjad El Seify, who will have the chance to defend his world junior title at Oregon 2014 after winning in Barcelona two years ago as a 17-year-old, tossed his implement out to 79.71m to win by more than 10 metres from his younger brother Ahmed Amgad El Seify, who set a personal best of 68.90m.
Perhaps the best performances in the men’s track events came from Iranian sprinter Mohamed Hussein Abaraghi, who won the 200m in 20.65 after earlier setting a absolute national record of 20.63 in his semi-final, while Japanese hurdler Taio Kanai impressed with a personal best and championship record of 13.33 in the 110m hurdles.
On the women’s side, Chinese jumpers Wang Lin and Wang Rong should challenge for medals in Eugene with winning performances of 1.88m and 13.64m in the high jump and triple jump respectively.
Overall, regional powerhouses China and Japan dominated proceedings.
Chinese takeaway plenty of medals
Leading the way with 12 golds, 10 silvers and 2 bronzes, China just edged out Japan (11-5-5) as both finished well clear of their nearest rivals Qatar (6-2-1) and Taipei (4-3-8).
For the Chinese, success came mainly from the women, especially in the field events.
On the track, Liang Xiao-Jing clinched gold in the 100m in 11.58 and helped China win the 4x100m relay in 45.34.
In addition to the two Wangs, field event successes came when Li Chao Qun clinched gold in the pole vault with 4.05m and Li Xiao-Hong won the long jump with 6.27m.
In the throws, Xu Jia Qi reached 16.50m to win the shot put and Xie Yu Chen took the discus with 55.65m.
The Chinese men were also strong in the field events. Fang Yao-Qing was particularly impressive in the triple jump as he finished first by almost a metre with his 16.32m to move up to third place in the 2014 junior lists.
Also clinching titles for the Chinese men were Huang Bo-Kai, who cleared 5.25m in the pole vault, and high jumper Bai Jia-Xu who was the only man over 2.10m.
Japan’s Takuya Kawakami won a hotly contested men’s 100m, clocking 10.47, and Japan also won the 4x100m in 39.49.
Japanese women took both hurdles events with Mako Fukube winning the 100m hurdles in 13.98 and Akiko Ito clocking 58.80 in the 400m hurdles.
Japan’s Maki Izumida also featured in a rare 5000m dead heat. She and Kyrgyzstan's Daria Maslova – who also won the 3000m – could not be separated at the end of the 12-and-a-half-lap race and both were awarded gold and credited with the same time of 16:18.35. Japanese javelin thrower Shiori Touma also had a good win in the women’s event with 55.75m.
Qatar dominated the men’s track events from 400m upwards. Musaab Adam Ali scored a fine double with wins in both the 5000m with 14:34.07 and 3000m steeplechase in 9:02.80. Also getting gold for Qatar on the track were Mohamed Nasir E Abbas, who won the 400m in 47.31; Mohamed Elnour Mohamed took the 800m in 1:52.73 and Idriss Moussa Youssouf triumphed over 1500m in 3:53.36.
CJ Chua for the IAAF