Asiad soaked by worst rain in 42 years

Rain plays spoilsport in Doha, swamping the tennis and soft tennis finals for the second day in succession.

india Updated: Dec 08, 2006 22:42 IST

Torrential rain returned to this normally baking-hot Gulf state on Friday, swamping the Asian Games tennis and soft tennis finals for the second day in succession.

Officials at the Qatar meterology department said that the country, where summer temperatures can soar to around 45 degrees, has suffered the heaviest rain in 42 years.

As well as disrupting the Asian Games, the downpours have brought chaos to city streets, many of which are unpassable for pedestrians.

On Thursday, Doha recorded 13.3mm of rain in the morning with the total for December standing at 25mm, the heaviest in 42 years. The monthly average is 13mm.

The previous worst downpours were recorded in 1964 when the country had a total of 155mm.

When the rains came on Friday, Japan were leading South Korea 1-0 in the men's tennis team final.

Later, India were facing Taiwan in the final of the women's team event.

Officials were keeping their fingers crossed that the rain would relent by later afternoon when three track and field finals, the men's hammer and 3,000m steeplechase and the women's 10,000m, were due to be held.

They fear that the weather could keep spectators away from the 50,000-capacity Khalifa Stadium.

First Published: Dec 08, 2006 22:42 IST