Mahboob wins marathon, doping costs China gold
INCHEON, South Korea (AP) — Ali Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain won the men’s marathon to wrap up the Asian Games athletics competition on Friday.
Off the track, officials announced they were taking the gold away from a Chinese hammer thrower who became the sixth athlete to fail a doping test at the games.
Mahboob won the marathon in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 38 seconds, followed by Kohei Matsumura of Japan, who was 1 second behind, and Yuki Kawauchi.
The win by the Bahraini, originally from Kenya, completed a string of golds collected by native African runners at the games who have been scooped up by Middle Eastern countries. Mahboob’s gold was the ninth for Bahrain in athletics.
China had to give up the gold won by Zhang Wenxiu, who tested positive for the banned substance Zeranol and its metabolite B-Zeranol. Zhang is the most prominent of the games’ doping cases, and she is only the second gold medal winner to be called into question.
Her team, nevertheless, continues to be the undisputed leader overall.
With only one day left, China has put together a lead with 148 gold medals. Host South Korea is second with 76 golds and Japan third with 46. Leading the way for China on Friday were gold-medal winning divers Qiu Bo in the men’s 10-meter platform and He Zi in the women’s 3-meter springboard.
Boxing generated the most medals Friday, and of the 10 Kazakhstan grabbed six. South Korea earned two while Mongolia and Thailand got one each.
“Our country won quite some medals but I’d like to remind everyone that winning a gold at the Asian Games is not easy for anyone,” Adilbek Niyazymbetov of Kazakhstan said after winning the 81-kilogram final against Kim Hyeong-kyu.
After its last-minute defeat in the much-anticipated North-South showdown in men’s football the night before, North Korea got some consolation from mixed doubles table tennis world champions Kim Hyok Bong and Kim Jong, who won their country its 11th gold of the games.
Though patterned after the Olympics, the games have a distinctly Asian flair — and that was on display as they wound down Friday.
The Indian men and women won the finals in Kabbadi, a rough, tag-like game that is extremely popular on the sub-continent. In the southeast Asian specialty of Sepaktakraw, which resembles volleyball but is played mainly with the feet, both golds went to Thailand.
The martial art of karate saw medals go to China, Jordan and Taiwan — but not Japan, where it was born — while South Korea collected another gold in its national sport of taekwondo, which also saw Southeast Asian Games champion Sorn Seavmey win Cambodia’s first gold.