India will be going for a re-appeal after its protest against Bahrain's Ruth Jebet, who had won the women's 3000 metre steeplechase, was turned down as the track and field competition at the 17th Asian Games got off to a controversial start at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium on Saturday.
An official told IANS that India had lodged a protest against Ruth and the medals ceremony had to be cancelled at the last moment. The protest was upheld and Ruth was first stripped off her gold medal since she was in clear breach for stepping out of the track after losing her balance. Ruth, who had clocked 9:31.36 seconds for a Games record, was inconsolable after the public announcement system in the stadium declared that the medal ceremony has been postponed due to her disqualification.
Second-placed Chinese Zhenzhu Li, who clocked 9:35.23 secs, was promoted to gold. Both Lalita Babar and Sudha Singh, who had clocked their personal best timings of 9:35.37 secs and 9:31.64 secs, picked up the silver and bronze, respectively. Sudha had set a Games record of 9:35.23 secs enroute to her gold medal in the 2010 Asian Games.
But later, the decision was turned down by the technical committee prompting India to make a re-appeal to the Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) or the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS), which has opened a centre in Incheon for prompt decision in disputed cases.
Another defending champion Preeja Sreedharan finished a disappointing seventh in the women's 10,000 metre final with her season's best timing of 32:29.17 secs. The gold went to Mohammed Saeed Alia Mohammed with a personal best timing of 31:51.86 secs while Chinese Changqin Ding took the silver also with a personal best of 31:53.09 secs. Japanese runner Ayumi Hagiwara took the bronze with a timing of 31:55.67 secs.
Among other Indians in fray, Mohammed Kunhu and Arokia Rajiv made it to the final of the 100 metres that will be held Saturday. In the women's 400 meters, R Povamma and Mandeep Kaur also qualified for the final race.
Kheta Ram (13:37.40 secs) and Suresh Kumar (13:42.28 secs) disappointed in the men's 5000m final finishing seventh and ninth respectively despite clocking their personal best. Qatar's Mohamad Al Garni set a Games Record to claim the gold medal with a timing of 13:26.13 secs while Bahrain's Alemu Bekele Gebre (13:27.98secs) and Albert Kibichii Rop (13:28.08 secs) took the silver and bronze respectively.
In the men's hammer throw final, Chandrodaya Narayan Singh finished eighth with throw of 66.98m. Tajikistan's Dilshod Nazarov clinched the gold medal with a throw of 76.82m. China picked up the silver and bronze with season's best performances from Shizhu Wang (73.65m) and Yong Wan (73.43m).