Doha, Qatar, Sunday 21 April 2019: Celebrations are underway at the Asian Athletics Championships, with 8 Gold medals already handed out to the continent’s finest athletes, in a day of excitement and broken records at the Khalifa International Stadium.
Day one of the Championships belong to the athletes from Bahrain claiming the headlines with four gold medals and new records for the Championships.
Bahrain’s Women impressed with victories for Salwa Naser in the 400m and another gold for Mutile Yavi in the 5000m event, whilst fellow countryman John Kibet Koech also claimed first place in the 3000m steeplechase and Dawit Fikadu ending the evening with gold in the Men’s 10000m.
Following her victory, Salwa Naser already switched her focus to the World Championships, commenting: “My time is a season best, but it is still a long way to go until the IAAF World Athletics Championships. My goal there is to win the gold medal, after finishing second two years ago in London.”
With just five months to go until IAAF World Athletics Championships gets underway in Doha, the Asian Athletics Championships gave fans a glimpse of what to expect when the world’s finest athletes head to Qatar at the end of September.
The four-day Asian Athletics Championships began with the opening ceremony welcoming all 42 nations, from Bahrain to Yemen as athletes gathered, proudly waving their flags.
Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba continued to impress with a comfortable win in the 400m hurdles heat, whilst Jamal Hairane, Abubaker Haydar Abdalla and Abdirahman Saeed Hassan all qualified for the 800m finals tomorrow at 19:06.
Whilst Qatari athletes enjoyed success, records were also broken in the Javelin with China’s Lyu Huihui throwing an Asian Athletics best of 65.83 metres as she secured the first gold medal of the evening, commenting:
“It has been a fantastic season for me so far, with a new area record and now with a new Championships’ record. I worked hard during winter time and changed a basic element of my technique regarding my final step.
“After two medals at World Athletics Championships, a gold and a silver, I believe I am ready to win the gold here in Doha in this marvellous stadium.”
The Asian Athletics Championships records continued to be broken with Philippines’ Ernest John Obeina claiming gold in the men's pole vault, whilst Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi won his 6th championship title with a new Asian Championships record in the Men’s Discus.
Three more days remain of the competition in the Khalifa International Stadium with all the latest news and ticket details available at www.aac2019.com whilst fans can join the conversation online using #AsianAthletics
Full list of victories on Day One:
Javelin Throw, Women: Huihui Lyu, China
Pole Vault, Men: Ernest John Obeina, Philippines
5000m, Women: Mutile Yavi, Bahrain
Shot Put, Women: Lijiao Gong, China
400m, Women: Salwa Naser, Bahrain
Discus Throw, Men: Ehsan Hadadi, Iran
3000m Steeplechase, Men: John Kibet Koech, Bahrain
10,000m, Men: Dawit Fikadu, Bahrain