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Home >> Sports
UPDATED: 10:43, December 10, 2006
Habeeb, Khubbieva win 100m races
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Uzbekistan's Guzel Khubbieva pulled off an upset victory on Saturday as she outsprinted defending champion Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka to win the women's 100m gold medal at the Asian Games.

Yahya Hassan Habeeb cruised to victory with a time of 10.32 seconds in the men's 100m final to retain the title for Saudi Arabia. Fellow countryman Jamal Al Safaar won the race four years ago in 10.24.

Khubbieva, 30, clocked a season's best 11.27 seconds to win the blue-ribbon race. Jayasinghe, known as "The Queen of Sprint" in Asia, came second at 11.34, 0.06 seconds ahead of third-placed Ruqaya Al Ghasara of Bahrain.

A joyous Khubbieva jumped up and down after crossing the finish line.

"I didn't think that I would win but I did. This is my first gold medal," said Khubbieva through an interpreter.

Jayasinghe said that she was satisfied with the runner-up finish.

"The 200m is my favorite," said Susanthinka, the bronze medalist at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000. "I am looking forward to winning the 200m race."

Fast off the mark, Habeeb edged out Japanese Naoki Tsukahara into second place by two hundredths of a second. Thailand's Wachra Sondee was third in 10.39.

"We were expecting the gold medal. I followed my coach's instructions from the beginning," said Habeeb.

In the day's first athletics event, China's star distance runner Zhou Chunxiu gave a masterclass in front-running to win the women's marathon.

Zhou, who finished fifth in the 2005 world championships with a time of 2 hours, 24 minutes, 12 seconds, snatched the lead after about 500 meters and never looked back, clocking 2:27:03 over the distance of 42.195 meters.

"I had thought I could finish the race around two hours 20 minutes," said the 28-year-old Zhou. "The winds affected me somewhat."

Kiyoko Shimahara and Kayako Obata completed a 2-3 finish for Japan, which was missing several of its top marathoners who decided to concentrate on the world championships qualifying events this year. Shimahara took silver in 2:30:34, just four seconds ahead of Obata.

"Marathon is one of Japan's strength events, but we didn't win the gold medal this time. It's a pity," Shimahara said.

Jean Claude Rabbath earned Lebonon's first gold medal of this Games after winning the men's high jump final.

Rabbath cleared the height of 2.23 meters at his first attempt, but failed three times at 2.27m. Kazakhstan's Sergey Zassimovich and Japanese Naoyuki Daigo, who cleared 2.23m as well, placed second and third respectively.

World junior champion Huang Haiqiang of China fared badly as he failed at the height of 2.10m, finishing last in the 15-competitor field.

The 18-year-old Huang, who won gold with 2.32m at the world youth championships in August, attributed his poor performance to his knee injury and the cold weather.

"I haven't recovered from the knee injury and it was rather cold today. These factors worked together against my performance," said Huang.

Taher al-Saba claimed Saudi Arabia's first gold of the evening, winning the men's long jump with a leap of 8.02m. Kuwait's Saleh al-Hadad was second at 7.88, and Saudi Ahmed Faez bin Marzouq third at 7.85.

Al-Saba, who is coached by world record holder Mike Powell, said he too was aiming for a world championship.

"I feel great. I am the golden boy of Saudi Arabia," al-Saba said.

China's Li Ling won gold in the women's shot put with a distance of 18.42 meters, followed by Asian record holder Li Meiju, 18.08, and Lin Chia-ying of Chinese Taipei, 16.70.

Thailand's Buoban Pamang struck gold in the women's javelin with a personal best throw of 61.31, with China's Ma Ning grabbing silver in 57.53. Japan's Yuki Ebihara took bronze with a personal best of 57.47.

Bahrain's Maryam Yusuf Jamal won the women's 800m final with a time of 2:01.79. India's Santhi Soundarajan grabbed silver in 2:03. 16, and Kazakhstan's Viktoriya Yalovtseva had bronze in 2:03.19.

Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain held off a late charge by Qatar's Essa Ismail Rashed to win the men's 10,000m tile in 27:58.88, just 0.27 seconds ahead of Rashed.

Aadam Ismaeel Isa of Bahrain took bronze in 28:02.08.

Source: Xinhua

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