Super Su wins 100m as Africa looms large at Asian Games

Talek HARRIS
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China's Su Bingtian won the 100 metres in a Games-record time of 9.92 seconds

China's Su Bingtian won the men's 100 metres in a tournament-record 9.92 seconds as he interrupted a series of victories by African-born runners at the Asian Games on Sunday.

Su's emotional win, following his silver at Incheon 2014 and two months after he equalled the Asian record of 9.91, came as Unified Korea celebrated their first gold medal at a major Games.

The combined North and South Korean team, symbolising this year's rapprochement on the Korean peninsula, won the women's 500m dragon boating -- their only title together since the 1991 world table tennis championships.

Su roared in delight after he streaked to 100m victory eight-hundredths ahead of Nigerian-born Qatari Tosin Ogunode -- brother of Femi Ogunode, with whom Su shares the Asian record.

Nigerian-born Bahrainis Edidiong Odiong and Salwa Naser won the women's 100m and 400m respectively, and Bahrain's Hassan Chani won the men's 10,000m.

Odiong won the 100m in 11.30 ahead of India's Dutee Chand, who missed the last Games in a row over her hyperandrogenism, the condition that also affects South African middle distance star Caster Semenya.

Earlier, Bahrain's Kenyan-born world champion Rose Chelimo overcame Jakarta's heat and smog to win the women's marathon in a sluggish time of two hours, 34 minutes and 51 seconds.

"It was bad, it was too hot," the 29-year-old told AFP. "I felt something in my throat too. The air here, you feel like it's hard to breathe."

North and South Korea are also fielding joint teams in rowing and basketball at the regional Olympics following a rapid improvement in relations this year.

The Unified Korea women's basketball team trounced Thailand 106-63 to reach the semi-finals, as the players spoke of how they had bonded during the tournament.

"The people on both sides are the same," said South Korea's American-born guard Kim Han-byul. "They are not scary or anything like portrayed on the internet."

- Giant-killer -

Unified Korea's successes came on a busy middle Sunday at the two-week Games, with 35 gold medals decided in 12 different sports.

Malaysian squash legend Nicol David celebrated her 35th birthday in style as she won a record-extending fifth women's singles gold medal.

The former long-time world number one grittily came from behind in the fifth set to beat 19-year-old compatriot Sivasangari Subramaniam 11-13, 11-9, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8.

In badminton, Indonesia's Anthony Sinisuka Ginting extended his dream run into the semi-finals as he handily beat Olympic champion Chen Long 21-19, 21-11.

With the win Ginting, who ousted Japan's world champion Kento Momota in the last 16, kept China out of the men's singles medals for first time since 2002.

Japanese golfer Keita Nakajima's final round of one-under-par 71 was enough to secure gold by a stroke from Oh Seung-taek of South Korea. Japan also won the men's team title.

Yuka Saso of the Philippines shot a blistering 66 as she won the women's golf by three shots from China's Liu Wenbo, and helped secure the women's team gold medal into the bargain.

In climbing, Japan's Akiyo Noguchi won the inaugural women's combined, underlining her reputation as a serious gold-medal contender when the sport makes its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020.

North Korea's Rim Jong Sim followed her younger sister Rim Un Sim onto the top step of the weightlifting podium as she comfortably won the women's 75kg class.

At the end of day eight, China remained comfortably ahead in the medal count with 78 golds, ahead of Japan on 40 and South Korea's 27.