Jamal runs hot as India and China bag tennis titles


GUANGZHOU: World champion Maryam Jamal comfortably defended her 1,500m Asian Games title on Tuesday as Somdev Devvarman and Peng Shuai delivered tennis gold to India and China.
The Ethiopian-born Jamal, running for Bahrain, lived up to her top billing on the track to win a slow-paced race she never looked like losing with Vietnam’s Truong Thanh Hang a shock silver medallist.
Jamal said she planned to bid for a golden double, as she did at the last Games in Doha four years ago. Her success was Bahrain’s third gold in Guangzhou, far behind dominant table-toppers China who equalled their final tally of 165 from Doha in 2006 with four more days of action still to go. South Korea are next up on 64 while Japan has 34.
All but 11 of the 45 countries and territories taking part have now managed to climb the podium. With men’s world champion Youssef Saad Kamel failing to qualify for the final, Saudi Arabia’s M Shaween claimed 1,500m gold ahead of Iran’s Sajad Moradi.
Another Baharini, Kenyan-born Tareq Mubarak Taher, defended his 3,000m steeplechase title while China’s Li Yanfeng won the women’s discus and South Korea’s Jung Soon-Ok was crowned women’s long jump champion. Qatar’s Mutaz Barshim cleared 2.27 metres to take the men’s high jump title. It was India’s Devvarman who took top honours at the Aoti tennis Centre, upsetting Uzbek ATP stalwart Denis Istomin 6-1, 6-2 in the men’s tennis final. Devvarman had already won the doubles title when he teamed with Sanam Singh on Monday and was ecstatic.
Peng Shuai convincingly kept the women’s gold medal in Chinese hands when she also clinched her second title of the Guangzhou Asiad. Peng, who had linked up with Li Na to win the women’s team event, claimed a 7-5, 6-2 victory over Uzbekistan’s Akgul Amanmuradova in front of a packed house. At the University Town Main Stadiumn, defending champions Japan beat Hong Kong 28-21 to win the men’s rugby gold, while Kazakhstan shocked favourites China to claim the inaugural women’s title.
The Japanese found more success on the football field with goals from Kota Mizunuma and Kensuke Nagai helping them beat four-time champions Iran to make the final where they will meet United Arab Emirates. The UAE came through their match with South Korea thanks to a sensational last-gasp extra-time winner by Ahmed Al Abry.
Elsewhere, Bangladesh’s cricket team cruised to victory over Malaysia by 70 runs, joining Pakistan in the semi-finals.