Yang Huizhen gets 4x400m gold for China at the 2015 Asian Championships (© Asian Championships LOC / AAA)
Hosts China collected four more gold medals to finish on top of the medal table with 15 titles at the 2015 Asian Championships, which concluded in heavy rain in Wuhan on Sunday (7).
Thanks to the powerful home stretch from 400m champion Yang Huizhen, the anchor leg runner in the women’s 4x400m relay, China rallied to run down defending champions India in the final few metres, snatching victory in 3:33.44.
“My plan was to follow in the first 200 and then charge for the win after the final curve. I have given everything. With such rainy weather, we are satisfied with the time,” said the 22-year-old Yang, who set a personal best of 52.37 to win the individual 400m title on Thursday.
Despite the absence of Olympic and world championships medallist Gong Lijiao, China’s rule in the women’s shot put was still unshakable.
The 2011 world youth and 2014 world junior champion Guo Tianqian improved her best by two centimetres to win with her fourth round effort of 18.59m.
China’s Gao Yang took the silver with 17.98m while her countrywomen Bian Ka finished third with 17.78 and completed a clean sweep for the hosts.
Chinese triple jump medal takeaway
The women’s triple jump event also witnessed a 1-2-3 by China.
Wang Wupin claimed the title with 13.76m, followed by Li Yanmei and Wang Rong with 13.57m and 13.44m respectively
“I planned to jump over 14 metres but the rain was too heavy and the runway was wet and slippery, making it impossible to compete to my best level,” reflected Wang, who improved her best to 14.10m last month in Beijing.
Javelin thrower Liu Shiying contributed the fourth gold for China as she reached 61.33m with her fifth round effort to seal the victory, beating the championship record of 60.65 set by her compatriot Li Lingwei two years ago.
The biggest surprise of the day and perhaps the whole championships, was the defeat of Qatari high jump star and 2015 world-leader Mutaz Essa Barshim.
Barshim, whose Asian record is 2.43m, struggled to find his form in the rain and failed to go higher than 2.20m.
Japan’s Takashi Eto, a modest 11th last autumn at the Asian Games in the South Korean city of Incheaon when Barshim took the gold medal, took an unexpected gold medal when he went over 2.24m.
Hsiang Chunhsien, of Chinese Taipei, also went over that height but had to settle for the silver on count-back.
“It's not my best. I don’t like competing in this weather,” bemoaned Barshim, who suffered his first defeat in right competitions in 2015.
Two more golds for Ogunode
Fellow Qatari Femi Ogunode was also bothered by the wet conditions but managed to win the men’s 200m.
“Breaking the 200m Asian record was my plan before the rain started this morning. So my goal was just going for the win, not the record because I do not want to push myself and get injured,” said Ogunode after winning the race in 20.32, just 0.04 shy of the championship record he set in the semi-final on Saturday.
As the winner of men’s 100m and 200m events, Ogunode added a third title to his name in Wuhan as he helped Qatar win the men’s 4x400m gold with a championship record of 3:02.50.
The men’s 800m was also won by Qatar with reigning champion Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla clocking 1:49.40.
United Arab Emirates distance runner Alia Saeed Mohammed added the continental title to her Asian Games gold as she clocked 31:52.29 to win over 25 laps of the track, slicing 35 seconds from the previous championship record by Bahrain’s Shitaye Eshete of Bahrain at the last edition of the championship in 2013.
Defending champion Viktoriya Zyabkin,a of Kazakhstan, shrugged off a laboriously slow start with a reaction time of 0.351 seconds to win the women’s 200m in 23.09.
India’s Tintu Lukka produced a season’s best of 2:01.53 to win the women’s 800m while Japan’s Nakamura Akihiko took the decathlon gold medal with 7773 points.
Vincent Wu for the IAAF