Asia Champs Conclude: Yu-Tong & Obiena Shine



by NOUMAN RASOOL

Asia Champs Conclude: Yu-Tong & Obiena Shine

The Asian Championships came to a thrilling conclusion at Bangkok's Supachalasai National Stadium, as long jumper Lin Yu-Tong from Chinese Taipei and pole vaulter Ernest John Obiena from the Philippines dominated the competition, smashing championship records along the way.

The scorching Saturday conditions witnessed an intense men's long jump battle. Murali Sreeshankar of India set the tone with an impressive opening leap of 8.10m, which Yu-Tong soon matched. China's Zhang Mingkun secured an 8.08m jump in the first round but failed to surpass it.

Sreeshankar retook the lead with a third-round jump of 8.12m, but Yu-Tong responded magnificently with a massive national record of 8.40m in the following round. This extraordinary feat elevated him to equal seventh on the Asian all-time list.

In a final attempt to secure gold, Sreeshankar battled a headwind to achieve 8.37m, earning the silver medal. Both athletes also attained the Olympic qualifying standard, a remarkable accomplishment. Meanwhile, Obiena, who made history last month by becoming the first Asian pole vaulter to clear the six-meter mark, continued his outstanding performance.

He extended his own championship record to 5.91m, setting a new benchmark before narrowly missing three attempts at 6.02m.

Record-Breakers and Defending Champions Triumph

Yu-Tong and Obiena were among the exceptional athletes who shattered a total of 12 championship records over the course of the five-day competition.

Additionally, six individual athletes and two relay teams successfully defended their titles from the previous edition held four years ago, showcasing their prowess and consistency. On the final day, several other standout performances captivated the crowd.

Qatar's Abdalla Haydar Abubaker defended his men's 800m title with a dominant victory, finishing in 1:45.33, more than half a second ahead of the competition. Singapore's Shanti Veronica Pereira displayed her sprinting prowess, securing a remarkable double by triumphing in both the women's 100m and 200m events.

Pereira broke the championship record in the 200m, finishing comfortably ahead of India's Jyothi Yarraji, who earlier claimed victory in the 100m hurdles. The men's 200m race witnessed an impressive performance by Japan's Towa Uzawa, who seized gold in 20.23 seconds, while defending champion Xie Zhenye of China narrowly missed the podium, finishing in fourth place.

Other notable triumphs included South Korea's Woo Sang-Hyeok in the men's high jump, Japan's Roderik Genki Dean in the men's javelin, and Sri Lanka's Tharushi Dilasara Mudiyanselage in the women's 800m. As the Asian Championships came to a close, Sri Lanka's men's 4x400m relay team, along with India and Qatar, set the final championship record of the week, culminating in a spectacular race.

Looking ahead, the next two editions of the Asian Championships will be held in Gumi, Korea, in 2025, followed by Xiamen, China, in 2027. These future events promise to continue the legacy of excellence and sporting achievements showcased in Bangkok.