Mainland runners in league of their own in 100m sprints

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 13 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 13 December, 2009, 12:00am

China powered to both sprint gold medals in the men's and women's 100 metres as the mainland juggernaut continued to steam ahead at the Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground yesterday.

Su Bingtian, 20, exploded out of the starting blocks before sprinting to an impressive victory in the men's blue-riband event in 10.33 seconds. He finished ahead of Japan's Shintaro Kimura (10.39 seconds) and Taiwan's Yi Wei-chen (10.45 seconds).

Hong Kong's best sprint hope, Lai Chun-ho, who had the fastest qualifying time in the heats of 10.53 seconds, missed out on a medal, finishing fourth in the same time.

Su, who hails from Guangdong province, was pleased with his gold, his first in a multi-sports event, although he said he had to overcome a less-than-ideal start.

'The weather was good today, but it was a bit windy and there was some headwind at the start. But once I got going, everything was good and I was confident of winning,' Su said.

Lai, whose personal best is 10.38 seconds, was disappointed that he wasn't able to finish among the medal winners after his early promise in the heats.

'I expected to win at least a bronze but things didn't go my way from the start,' 20-year-old Lai said.

'I didn't perform that well. It's really the runner who can perform on the day and it wasn't my race. I'm disappointed.'

China completed a sprint double when Tao Yujia raced to victory in the women's 100 ahead of Japanese pair Mayumi Watanabe and Maki Wada. Tao clocked 11.70 seconds, Watanabe 11.83 and Wada 12.06.

Hong Kong's Leung Hau-sze was fourth in 12.17, ahead of teammate Wan Kin-yee (12.38).

Although Hong Kong failed to shine in the sprint events, the hosts came away with two more bronze medals - in the women's triple jump and in the women's 1,500m.

Yiu Kit-ching became the most successful local athlete in the track and field competition after picking up her second bronze to add to the one she won in the 3,000m steeplechase on Friday.

Yiu was unable to pass gold medallist Liu Qing and Mongolia's Shinetsetseg Chuluunkhuu in the 1,500m, which saw just three entries, but the diminutive runner did set a personal best time of four minutes and 40.71 seconds.

'I had prepared for these Games well and I am very happy to have won two bronze medals and beaten my personal best in the 1,500 metres, which was previously 4:41. I tried really hard to get silver, but the others were just too strong,' Yiu said.

Tse Mang-chi won bronze in the women's triple jump with a wind-assisted 12.30-metre leap.

The 28-year-old athletics coach finished behind South Korea's Jung Hye-kyung (13.56 metres) and Japan's Sayuri Takeda (12.80 metres).

'I didn't perform that well today and it was tough to compete in the event with just three other jumpers because you don't get much rest in between jumps as you would with a larger field,' Tse said.