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Asiad: Indian athletes draw blank after first day's high

Source: PTI
November 22, 2010 19:56 IST
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After opening their track and field campaign in a spectacular fashion with two gold and a silver on Sunday, Indian athletes came a cropper on Monday as they failed to collect a single medal on the second day of the competitions in Guangzhou.

Medal prospects Mandeep Kaur and Manjeet Kaur finished disappointing fourth and fifth with below-par performances in women's 400m final at the Aoti Main Stadium.

One-lap racer Mandeep Kaur, the leading timer in Asia this season and drawn on the outside lane seven, led the field till the back stretch before flagging behind to finish fourth in 52.99 secs.

Defending champion Olga Tereshkova of Kazakhstan left the entire bunch behind at the final stretch and crossed the finish line in 51.97secs, her season's best.

Japan's Asami Chiba improved upon her bronze in 2006 Asian Games in Doha by bagging the silver in 52.68 while the bronze went to another Kazakh Marina Maslyonko (52.70).

National record holder Manjeet, gold medallist at the 2002 Busan Games and silver medallist four years later in Doha, finished a poor fifth in 53.27, two seconds below her personal best.

In the women's hammer throw, national record holder Hardeep Kaur started with a foul attempt before attaining her best effort of the day, 60.54m in her third attempt, to finish fourth.

The Indian's effort was 2.40m less than bronze medalist Yuka Murofushi of Japan.

It was an improvement on the police officer's 2006 performance where she had finished sixth.

China made it 1-2 with defending champion and Beijing Olympics bronze medallist Zhang Wenxiu taking the gold with 72.84m and Wang Zheng (68.17m) grabbing the silver.

India drew a blank from athletics with only men's 1500m runners Chatholi Hamza and Sandeep Karan Singh advancing to the finals.

Indian men sprinters Mohammed Najeeb Qureshi and Krishnakumar Rane both failed to advance to the men's 100m final after finishing fourth by both in the semis.

Qureshi jumped out of the blocks slow to finish fourth in heat number three in 10.46secs while Rane clocked an even poorer 10.62 in heat number two while ending up fourth.

In the women's 100m sprint, H M Jyothi of India took the last spot in semi-final heat number two, clocking a pathetic 11.98 and was eliminated from the final.

In the men's 110m hurdles, Sidhanth Thingalaya failed to advance to the final after making it to the semiifinal heats. He did failed to complete the race in heat number two and had to exit.

However, middle distance runners -- Chatholi Hamza and Sandeep Karan Singh -- brought some cheer to the athletics team as they progressed to the final of the men's 1500m as one of the 12 best qualifiers even as world champion Yusuf Saad Kamel of Bahrain was knocked out.

Chatholi clocked three minutes 46.68 seconds when finishing fourth in heat one in which 2009 World Championships winner Kamel finished a shocking ninth and exited.

Sandeep too finished fourth in heat two, timing 3:53.88.

In the women's heptathlon, G G Pramila was in third spot with 3204 points after the conclusion of the first four of the seven events -- 100m hurdles, high jump, shot put and 200m run.

Compatriot Susmita Singha Roy was fifth out of six competitors going into the second day on Tuesday with 3043 points.

The field was led by Uzbek Yuliya Tarsova with 3570 points while Japan's Yuki Nakayata was trailing her far behind in second place with 3217 points.

The last three events of the heptathlon are long jump, javelin throw and 800m.

Meanwhile, Yi Lao of China and Chisato Fukushima of Japan became the fastest man and woman of Asian Games by clinching the gold medal in 100m dashes in photo finish.

Making a late dash to the finish line, Lao edged out Yasir Alnashri of Saudi Arabia by two hundredths of a second for the men's gold while in an even tighter finish, Fukushima staved off the strong challenge of Uzbekistan's Guzel Khubbieva by one hundredths of a second.

Lao clocked 10.24secs, a tad below his personal best of 10.21, while Alnashri timed 10.26. The bronze went to Barakat Al Harthi of Oman (10.28).

Fukushima won the women's sprint in 11.33secs, a nail-biting fraction ahead of Khubbieva who crossed the line in 11.34.

The bronze went to Vu Thi Huong of Vietnam who was well behind the top two in 11.43.

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