Category Archives: 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games

Track Beauty of the Week: Chisato Fukushima 福島 千里

Chisato Fukushima 福島 千里 is this week’s track beauty!

The 22-year old sprinter is Japan’s premiere speedster. At such a young age, Fukushima owns both the 100m and 200m dash national records, with respective times of 11.21s and 22.89s. The Hokkaido-born Fukushima’s international exposure is extensive, being a veteran of the World Youth and World Junior Championships, the World Championships and the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Photos from rikuren.or.jp, japanichiban.com and Wikipedia

Fukushima’s first major regional achievements occurred in 2009, where the Japanese ruled the century dash and the 4x100m relay. A year later in the Guangzhou Asian Games, the 22-year old cemented her role as Asia’s fastest woman by notching a 100m-200m double. Fukushima’s 100m dash gold was Japan’s first in the event in 44 years!

In the 100m dash in Guangzhou, Fukushima came from behind to pip Uzbekistan’s Guzel Khubbieva, 11.33s to 11.34. The Japanese started half a stride behind  the powerfully-built Uzbek. Fukushima turned on her afterburners at the last 30m, edging out Khubbieva by a hundredth of a second.

Prior to her twin Asiad crowns, Fukushima rewrote the Japanese record books by setting new marks in the two events. 2010, indeed, was sprinter’s breakout year.

Judging from here less-than-perfect sprinting form, Fukushima is still a raw, yet glistening gem. In the coming years, sub-11 100m dash times are within range for the talented Japanese.

Sources:

Wikipedia

Rikuren.co.jp

 

Track Beauty of the Week: Gretta Taslakian

Gretta Taslakian is this week’s track beauty!

The 25-year Lebanese sprinter qualified for the 2010 Asian Games 200m dash final last December, but finished beyond the medal standings. Taslakian has a personal best of 23.56s in the half-lap.

Taslakian at the 2007 Arab Games

She has competed in both the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games, without advancing from the preliminary rounds.

Nevertheless, she exudes a refreshing aura with her bright smile and ebullient demeanor, reminding this track aficionado of a middle-eastern counterpart of the ever-so-bubbly Lolo Jones! Just like Jones, Taslakian uses the internet well to interact with her fans – a rare habit among non-European and non-American track athletes.

Be a fan of Gretta Taslakian

Photos from azad-hye.org, Gretta Taslakian FB fan page, athleticsperformance.org

The Lebanese speedster once won silver in the 2004 Asian Junior Championships. The powerfully-built Taslakian has had much success in regional competitions, notching a double gold performance in the 2007 Pan-Arab Games.

Photos from teethless.vampire

Article by Joboy Quintos

Video credits:

georgekifai

yummymarshmellow

Track Beauty of the Week: Svetlana Radzivil Светлана Радзивил

Svetlana Radzivil Светлана Радзивил is this week’s track beauty!

The 23-year old is a former World Junior Champion, winning the U-20 crown in 2006 with a 1.91m clearance. The lanky 6’0 Uzbekistani athlete placed 18th at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, failing to match or at least go near her 1.98m Asian senior record (a mark which she shares with two other women).

Photos from Zimbio/Getty Images and India Times

Radzivil’s first major international victory came at the 2010 Asian Games in Guangzhou. The Uzbek bested compatriot Nadiya Dusonova (1.93m). Dusonova is the joint holder of the Asian record.

Photos from Asian Athletics, Daylife, and uza.uz

The Uzbek jumped 1.95m – a season’s best – to claim first place. Aside from her Asian Games gold, Radzivil got 3rd place at the same Aoti Stadium during the 2009 Asian Athletics Championships.

Photo from Zimbio/Getty Images

The high jumper reached a new milestone in her senior career in 2011. Radzivil qualified for the high jump final in Daegu, placing 8th place overall with a best leap of 1.93m. The Uzbek has recently set a new indoor personal best of 1.95m at the ongoing World Indoor Championships in Istanbul.

The Philippine Asiad Athletics Campaign

The Philippine Amateur Track & Field Association (PATAFA), one of the country’s best-performing NSA’s sent a crack team of Southeast Asian Games champions in the likes of hammer thrower Arniel Ferrera, steeplechaser Rene Herrera and distance runner Eduardo Buenavista. Henry Dagmil, a near 8.00-meter long jumper, and javelin throwers Danilo Fresnido and Rosie Villarito, also competed.

The Rundown

The Philippines sent its best athletes, led by 2010 Asian long jump champion Marestella Torres, to the Guangzhou Asiad, only to come home empty-handed. The Philippine athletics medal drought continues, with the country’s best hope, Torres, losing the bronze medal on count back.

  • Marestella Torres (4th, Women’s long jump)
  • Henry Dagmil (6th, Men’s long jump)
  • Rosie Villarito (9th, Women’s javelin throw)
  • Arniel Ferrera (9th, Men’s hammer throw)
  • Danilo Fresnido (10th, Men’s javelin throw)
  • Rene Herrera (13th, Men’s 3,000m steeplechase)
  • Eduardo Buenavista (17th, Men’s marathon)

Read “Torres Lands 4th at the Asian Games”

Read Pinoymiler’s Asiad Day 2 round-up

Photo from Daylife and Zimbio

Aside from Torres, the closest to the medal standings was Dagmil at 6th place with his 7.45m leap. The Men’s long jump was won by South Korea’s Kim Deok-hyeon’s (김덕현). The Olympic and World Championships veteran was far from his lifetime best of 7.99m and his season’s best of 7.77m.

Read Pinoymiler’s Asiad Day 3 round-up

Read “South Korea’s Twin Long Jump Golds”

Photo from Zimbio and Getty Images

SEA Games hammer throw record-holder Arniel Ferrera placed 9th (58.06m). Tajikistan’s Dilshod Nazarov topped the field with his 76.44m heave. Likewise, Herrera finished 13th in the 3,000m steeplechase despite stopping the clock at season’s best of 9:02.93. The event was won by Tareq Mubarak Taher (8:25.89), a Kenyan-born Bahraini.

Read Pinoymiler’s Asiad Day 1 round-up

Photos from Daylife and Getty Images

The ageless Danilo Fresnido threw the javelin to 70.35m, good enough for 10th. Japan’s 2009 World Championship bronze medalist Yukifumi Murakami 村上 幸史 dominated the competition with his 83.15m mark. On the distaff side, Rosie Villarito (48.87m) finished second to the last at the women’s javelin throw competition. Japan scored a golden double in the javelin with Ebihira Yuki’s winning heave of 61.56 m.

Read GMA7’s article on Asiad penultimate day

Read Pinoymiler’s article on the Asiad Javelin Throw and Marathon

Read Pinoymiler’s Asiad Day 4 round-up

Buenavista, the country’s long-time distance running ace, ran a puzzling if not utterly shocking race in the Men’s marathon (2:45.07), a far cry from his national record of 2:18.44. According to a report by the Manila Standard, Buenavista will be facing a PATAFA inquiry on his Asiad performance. (As an athlete myself – and a huge admirer of Vertek – I do not want to judge. Let us hear it from the man himself. For all we know, he could have been nursing an injury. Let us keep in mind that Vertek has competed with distinction for Flag and Country in countless other meets).

Post-mortem

SEA Games success does not automatically translate into Asian Games success. Save for Torres and Dagmil, the level of competition in the Asiad was simply too much for our best track & field athletes. The government and the private sector did not spend millions on our track & field athletes, unlike the Smart Gilas Basketball team which finished 6th overall Filipino track athletes, like most Filipino athletes not playing in the PBA or not named Manny Pacquiao, are marginalized. Our lone IAAF-accredited stadium is currently under renovation with much controversy. Even if Torres and Dagmil had training and competition stints abroad, our domestic jumping facilities pale in comparison with our Asian neighbors.

The rest of the Asiad athletics campaigners aren’t as well-supported like Torres and Dagmil.

Indeed, you reap what you sow.

With their circumstances in mind, I cannot in all honesty lay the blame on our athletes alone. In fact, I’m welling up with much admiration for those eight brave souls – to go against Asia’s best for one’s motherland is an honor accorded to so few!

But then again, the words of POC’s Romasanta (a former Gintong Alay official) sounds promising. He emphasized focus on medal rich sports like gymnastics, swimming and athletics. I am not lambasting the well-meaning support of Smart for the country’s national basketball program since like most Filipinos, I’m a basketball fanatic as well. I’m just hoping that some kind corporate entity back an honest-to-goodness athletics program, similar to golf’ and shooting’s respective grassroots development schemes.

I’m a firm believer that a million pesos spent in the course of an athlete’s years-long preparation is money well-spent than a million peso reward given after winning a SEA Games, Asian Games or Olympic Gold.

Sources:

Gma7 news

Pinoymiler

Gz2010.cn

Yahoo News

IAAF

Wikipedia

Track Beauty of the Week: Maryam Yusuf Jamal مريم يوسف جمال‎

Maryam Yusuf Jamal مريم يوسف جمال‎‎ is this week’s track beauty!

The Ethiopian-born Bahraini is one of the best middle distance runners in the world today. Jamal, once known as Zenebech Tola, won back-to-back World Championship crowns in the 1500m run in 2007 and 2008. Her best times of 1:57.80 and 3:56.18 in the 800m and 1500m, respectively, place her in the top echelons of all-time best performances. Jamal won the 16th Asian Games 1500m title, but failed to follow it up with a win in the 800m.

Photos from life.com, iaaf.org, wn.com, timeoutbahrain.com

The high level of competition for major championship slots in her country of birth, as well as rampant factionalism in sports, prompted Jamal to turn to foreign shores. She sought to gain Swiss, American, Canadian and French citizenship but wound up in the oil-rich nation of Bahrain instead.

Video credit:

sportsnetwork

Additional link:

Wiki

16th Asian Games – 110m High Hurdles

The following clips are full-length high quality shots of Liu Xiang’s (刘翔) golden Asiad campaign!

Results from gz2010.cn

Video credit:

cctv7military

South Korea’s Twin Long Jump Golds

South Korea’s unexpected long jump double golds are my favorite Asian Games underdog stories . Seeing my compatriots lose in those two events brings forth sad feelings. But then again, I love a good underdog story. It just wasn’t my beloved country’s time to hatch her own version of pleasant athletics surprises.

South Korea’s first Long Jump gold was Jung Soon-ok’s (정순옥) upset win over World Indoor Triple Jump Champion Olga Rypakova. Jung leaped to 6.50m in her third attempt, snatching the lead from the Asian triple jump record holder. Rypakova, incidentally, has a better season’s best of 6.60m than Jung’s erstwhile SB of 6.48m.

Read the IAAF article here

Photos from Daylife.com

Kim Deok-hyeon’s (김덕현) golden moment was even more dramatic. In the fifth round, Kim overhauled Su Xiongfeng’s 8.05m, sailing to a season’s best of 8.11m. After his winning leap, Kim writhed in pain on the long jump pit, clutching his immobile left leg. His left leg had cramped up upon landing! He limped off the pit in almost hilarious manner. He was obviously in pain, but as soon as he saw that he won gold, his expression brightened up!

Read The Korea Times article here

Photos from Daylife.com

In a touching display of emotion, Kim sobbed as he triumphantly waved South Korea’s flag in victory.

Video credits:

fizzykor

Goora8Real

Liu Xiang (刘翔) wins 3rd Asiad Gold!!!

Liu Xiang 刘 翔 stamped his class in a badly outgunned field, stopping the clock at 13.09s. Shi Dong Peng 史冬鹏 placed 2nd with a 13.39s performance, making it a 1-2 finish for the host country. South Korea’s Park Tae-Kyong 박태경 won Bronze.

When I watched the Youtube clip above and saw my idol romp to his best performance in years, I was ecstatic. Seeing Liu celebrate at the finish line is a priceless moment for this hardcore Liu Xiang fan. I raised my arms in triumph, rejoicing with the billion strong Chinese people! All of a sudden, the bad memories of Beijing 2008 are but a distant memory. Even though I watched the race from a measly streaming site, I could almost feel the electricity of Guangzhou’s Aoti Stadium as the thousands of spectators cheered wildly!

Whilst watching the slow motion replay of the race, one can feel the raw intensity of Liu. After all, the Asian Games is the biggest athletics event in China since the 2008 Olympics. The fact that Liu grazed a few hurdles with his hamstring is a testament to this momentous race.

Read the IAAF article here

Read the Universal Sports article here

Read the Yahoo Sports article here

Photos from Daylife.com and Getty Images

Liu’s 13.09s is his best time since the 2007 season. The 2004 Olympic Champion dramatically lowered his erstwhile 2010 seasons’ best of 13.40s.

Results from gz2010.cn

I love how Liu jumped to the top of the podium during the medal ceremony. It was reminiscent of his historic 2004 Athens Olympic gold!

Liu Xiang is indeed back! Dayron Robles and David Oliver – watch out!

Liu’s guts pose! (Photo from Zimbio/Getty Images)

Video credits:

wwcast

sasalove2a2

Additional link:

More photos

Torres lands 4th at the Asian Games

Ace Filipina long jumper, Marestella Torres, narrowly missed landing a podium finish at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games. Torres made only one legal jump (her first round attempt of 6.49m), which was good enough for 4th place. The Filipino national record holder at 6.68m lost to the Ukzbekistani Heptathlon Champion, Yuliya Tarasova, on countback.

Photos from Daylife and Getty Images

South Korea’s Jung Soon-Ok 정순옥 won top honors with her modest 6.53m leap. The 2010 World Indoor Champion in the Triple Jump, Olga Rypakova, grabbed the silver (6.50m).

Photos from Daylife and Getty Images

Torres was tantalizingly close to becoming the first-ever Filipino track & field athlete to win an Asian Games medal since the legendary Elma Muros-Posadas’ long jump bronze in the 1994 Hiroshima Games. In fact, the powerfully-built long jumper held the lead for the first two rounds, before Rypakova (the Asian triple jump record holder at 15.25m!) bettered Torres’ leap by 1 cm. Torres is a three-time SEA Games long jump champion and the surprise winner in last year’s Asian Athletics Championships.

Watch the ABS-CBN feature on Torres

According to a Manila Bulletin article, Torres twisted her ankle in the 2nd round.

Read the Manila Bulletin article here

Read the Inquirer article here

With Torres’ heartbreaking 4th place finish, the last Filipino hope for an athletics medal is long jumper Henry Dagmil. The long jump is an unpredictable event. In the event where the word “Beamonesque” was coined, anything can happen. Unless you’re a Carl Lewis, rock-hard consistency is hard to come by.

The competition could have gone both ways. Had Maris made a legal jump in one of those failed  attempts, she could have won gold! A 4th place finish is a respectable result nonetheless.  We’re proud of you Maris! Your time will come!

Additional link

Long Jump results

Liu Xiang (刘翔) is back!

The 27-year old former world record holder breezed through the heats of the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games, posting the fastest qualifying time (13.48s) in a modest field. Liu Xiang’s mid-13 second clocking, whilst highly competitive in Asian hurdling circles, is a far cry from Liu’s most stellar performances. Watching the clip of the race, it seems as if my idol was a tad bit less explosive.

Photo from chinadaily.com.cn and Xinhua

Korea’s Park Tae-Kyong, 3rd at the 2002 Asian Games, finished a distant second to Liu in the 1st heat (13.68s). 21-year old Chamras Rittedet of Thailand, the SEA Games Champion, stopped the clock at 13.82 – new personal best.

Results from gz2010.cn

It was a much better race than two of Liu’s most recent races in the 2010 World Indoor Championships and a Diamond League meet in Shanghai.

I’m quite stumped at Shi Dong Peng’s (史冬鹏) sub-par performance in the 2nd heat (13.82s). The past two years should have been Big Shi’s time to shine, in light of Liu’s injury. But the second-best Chinese hurdler never seemed to have retained his razor-sharp form in 2007, where Shi ran to a PB of 13.19s.

Read the Chinadaily article here

As Liu cleared the first few hurdles, shadows of his once potent self unraveled. The smooth hurdle clearances with his swooping lead arm, the snappy short-long-short three stride pattern was vintage Liu Xiang. Although the Chinese icon slowed down as he neared the tape, gone was the reluctance so evident in his injury-marred races of yesterday.

Read Liu Xiang and the Asian Games

In light of the relatively weak competition, Liu is a sure cinch to bag his third successive sprint hurdling crown in this Wednesday’s final – a significant albeit modest step towards London 2012!

Here’s my fearless forecast for the 110m high hurdles final: (1) Liu Xiang of course! (2) Chamras Rittedet and (3) Park Tae-Kyong or Shi Dong Peng.

Video credit

cctv7military

Additional link:

More Liu Xiang photos

Liu Xiang (刘翔) and the Asian Games

Since it’s Asian Games time again, I couldn’t help but watch  Liu Xiang’s 刘翔 gold medal-winning performances in Busan and Doha.  The 2002 Busan race was memorable. I was just starting out with the sport. I became an instant Liu Xiang fan once I saw him race! I even recorded the event on VHS; hence the grainy format.

Read my “Sidekicks” post on Liu Xiang

2002 Busan Asian Games – 110m High Hurdles (from Todor Krastev):

  1. Liu Xiang 刘翔 (CHN) – 13.27s
  2. Satoru Tanigawa (JPN) – 13.83s
  3. Park Tae-Kyong 박태경 (KOR) – 13.89s
  4. Dongpeng Shi    史冬鹏 CHN    13.92s
  5. Mubarak Atah    SAR    14.07s
  6. Mohammed Aissa Al-Thawadi    QAT    14.26s
  7. Mohd Faiz Mohammed    MAS    14.57s
  8. Jung-Ho Lee    KOR    14.61s
Satoru Tanigawa of Japan was a far second, almost six hundredths of a second behind the then 19-year Liu Xiang. 18-year old Shi Dong Peng 史冬鹏 – the other half of the high hurdling Chinese duo – dropped out of contention for the medals after he clipped a hurdle. 2002 was the year Liu Xiang broke Renaldo Nehemiah’s world junior record, when the latter stopped the clock at 13.12s (over senior hurdles, not the junior ones!) in Lausanne, Switzerland.Fast-forward four years later in the Doha edition of the Asiad. Liu Xiang is now a household name in China, with world championship bronze and silver medals, an Olympic gold and a world record (12.88s, also set in Lausanne) to his name.

Liu was a monster in the race. He was a lot quicker in between hurdles; his technical proficiency was at a different level. Liu was the epitome of the complete sprint hurdler. Now 23-year old, Liu was approaching the peak of his physical fitness. The winning margin was not as glaring as in 2002, since Shi Dong Peng is a decent hurdler in his own right. Liu clocked 13.15s as he practically jogged to the tape once the victory was his. Big Shi ran a respectable 13.28s, one-hundredths of a second off Liu’s winning time four years ago.
2006 Doha Asian Games – 110m High Hurdles (from Wikipedia)
  1.     Liu Xiang (CHN) – 13.15s
  2.     Shi Dong Peng (CHN) – 13.28s
  3.     Naito Masato (JPN) – 13.60s
  4.     Park Tae-Kyong (KOR) – 13.67s
  5.     Tasuku Takonaka (JPN) – 13.88s
  6.     Mohammed Essa Al-Thawadi (KSA) – 13.89s
  7.     Lee Jung-Joon (KOR) – 13.91s
  8.     Hassan Mohd Robani (MAS) – 14.04s
Comparing the results of the two editions, one can see the dramatic increase in the level of competition. If the 2002 silver medalist, Tanigawa (13.83s) ran in Doha, he would have placed a dismal fifth! Perhaps the improvement in the quality of performances can be attributed to Liu Xiang’s rise to the top – and the subsequent emergence of the sprint hurdles as the centerpiece event in Asian athletics.Under much criticism, Liu was given a “free pass” to the Guangzhou Asian Games. The 2004 Olympic Champion was allowed to miss the national championships, in light of his recovery from his troublesome Achilles. I personally believe that an athlete of Liu’s stature should be given this special treatment. It’s not like he doesn’t deserve the extra lee-way. Despite all the challenges, I wish the best for my idol!

Also, godspeed to all the Filipino athletes competing in the 2011 Asiad, especially the tracksters – Arniel Ferrera (Hammer Throw), Mariz Torres (Long Jump), Henry Dagmil (Long Jump), Rosie Villarito (Javelin Throw), Danilo Fresnido (Javelin Throw), Rene Herrera (Steeplechase) and Eduardo Buenavista (Marathon).

Additional links:

Track Beauty of the Week: Reina Shiroshita (城下 麗奈 Rena Joshita)

Reina Shiroshita (城下 麗奈 Rena Joshita) is this week’s track beauty!

The sprint hurdler is a fixture on the Japan National Championships podium, having placed within the top 3 since 2008. Shiroshita twice finished one rung behind gold. At the 2010 Japan Championships, the 24-year old trailed the national record holder Asuka Terada (寺田 明日香) for the silver medal.

Photos from blog.livedoor.jp, mukumugi.blogspot.com, rikuren.or.jp, nikkansports.com, sawai.co.jp, sportswoman796.blog66.fc2.com

Shiroshita has a personal best of 13.25s (2010), despite some glaring technical deficiencies in her hurdling form, particularly her lead leg. The hurdler set her best mark at the Japanese Asian Games qualifiers.

Nevertheless, 13.25s is good enough for a respectable 4th place in the 2006 Doha Asian Games 100m hurdles final. If she could replicate or better her form, Japan would have a formidable 1-2 combination in the women’s sprint hurdles come the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games this November.

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