Long-distance runner Violah Jepchumba picked up Bahrain’s first gold medal in the 19th Asian Games when she won the women’s 10,000 metres final on the first day of athletics competitions in Hangzhou, China, yesterday.
The 33-year-old athlete posted a personal best time of 31m, 43.73sec, to upstage Japan’s Ririka Hironaka, who won silver with a time of 31:50.74, and Kazakhstan’s Caroline Chepkoech Kipkirui – also Kenyan-born – who finished with a bronze medal with a time of 33:15.83.
On a day in which hosts China dominated, with Jun Zhang and Yang Jiayu claiming the men’s and women’s 20 kilometres race walk gold medals and Wang Zheng and Gong Lijiao winning the women’s hammer throw and women’s shot put competitions respectively, Jepchumba’s triumph prevented a Chinese clean sweep.
“It wasn’t easy,” Jepchumba told reporters after her race.
“But I’m happy. It was a neat finish.”
Jepchumba’s previous personal best in the 10,000m was a time of 34:33.62, which she achieved in Kuwait in May, 2022.
The athlete, who has been competing in international events since 2014, currently holds the Asian record for the half-marathon with a time of 1h, 5m and 22sec which she set on April 1, 2017, in Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Abbas Yusuf has qualified for the final of the men’s 400m race, to be held today at 3.10pm, Bahrain time.
Abbas clocked 45.77 seconds in the first heat to reach the final.
Salwa Eid Naser and Kemi Adekoya will also be seen in action today, in the women’s 400m final. The race is scheduled to be held at 3pm.
In the heats, Adekoya finished in a personal best time of 50.53 seconds while Salwa clocked 52.52 seconds.
Bahrain’s Hajar Alkhaldi and Odiong Ofonime have qualified for the women’s 100m final, which will take place at 4.40pm.
Alkhaldi produced a season best 11.34 seconds and Odiong clocked 11.34 seconds in the heats to book their spots in the final.
Saeed Alkhaledi has reached the semi-finals of the men’s 100m race. The semi-final race will be held at 2.30pm today.