ASIAN GAMES: Athletics ends with 13 new Games Records in Jakarta

The 18th Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang (INA) are zooming toward Sunday’s Closing Ceremony and the track & field competition finished on Friday with some noteworthy performances:

∙ Birhanu Balew (BRN), the world leader in the men’s 5,000 m at 13:01.09, won the men’s 5,000 m in a modest 13:43.17, ahead of Albert Rop (also BRN: 13:43.76).

∙ Qatar produced a rousing finish to the meet with an Asian Record of 3:00.46 in the men’s 4×400 m, thanks to legs from Abderrahman Samba (44.5), Mohamad Abbas, Mohamed Mohamed and Abdelelah Haroun. That effort broke Japan’s 3:00.76 Asian Record from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

∙ Iran’s Ehsan Hadadi dominated the men’s discus as expected, winning 65.71 m (215-7) to secure his fourth consecutive Asian Games victory,

∙ Uzbekistan’s Svetlana Radzivil, 31, won the women’s High Jump at 1.96 m (6-5), moving to no. 8 on the world list for 2018 and winning her third Asian Games gold in a row in the event.

There were two double winners in the individual events, both on the women’s side: Edidiong Odiong (BRN) in the 100 and 200 m (11.30 and 22.96), and Kalkidan Gezahegne in the 1,500 m and 5,000 m (4:07.88 and 15:08.08). A total of 13 Asian Games records were set in Jakarta.

Elsewhere, in men’s Rugby Sevens, Japan set an Asian Games record by defeating Indonesia, 92-0. Is that good?

Japan’s Shohei Ono won the men’s -73 kg class in Judo, giving him gold medals in the Olympic Games (2016), World Championships (2013-15) and Asian Games. He and Kosei Inoue (JPN: -100 kg) are the only ones ever to do this.

The overall athlete total at the Games has been reported at 11,720 from 45 countries. China continues to run away with the overall medal count at 241 (112-76-53), with Japan second (174: 59-49-66) and Korea third (141: 39-46-56). The Games will finish on Sunday.