China enjoy pool party; Asiad gets first dope test
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 00:17
Reuters: China proved they are still the Asian Games gold standard in the pool by scooping six swimming titles on Tuesday, while the first doping test of the 17th Asiad also came to light with a Tajikistan soccer player testing positive.
The Olympic Council of Asia (OCA) said in a statement that Khurshed Beknazarov had tested positive for a stimulant and had been thrown out of the Games.
“His urine specimen collected on 14 September 2014 after the competition was found to contain methylhexaneamine, a prohibited substance in the WADA Prohibited List 2014,” the OCA said.
Beknazarov, who played in Tajikistan’s 1-0 win over Singapore in the football preliminaries that day, also had his accreditation withdrawn, the OCA added.
On the fourth day of competition in Incheon, China’s sleek swimmers and sharp shooters helped them reach the 40 gold medal mark, while hosts South Korea kept their noses in front of fierce rivals Japan.
South Korea, who are aiming to finish runner-up to China for a fifth straight Games and win 90 gold medals, have earned 19 so far, three more than third-placed Japan.
The powerhouse countries of Northeast Asia may one day have a major rival to worry about from the south, with Australia welcoming the idea of possibly competing at future Asian Games.
Asian Olympic officials have agreed to let Oceania nations join them in smaller multi-sports events and while there are no firm plans to allow Oceania countries to compete at the main Asian Games, the Olympic Council of Asia has opened the door.
“We would definitely be interested in competing in the Asian Games,” Australian Olympic Committee spokesman Mike Tancred told Reuters.
“We would view the Asian Winter Games as another opportunity to further develop our young skaters, alpine and freestyle athletes. It would be of particular interest because of Pyeongchang 2018 and with Beijing bidding for the 2022 Games.”
Competition from Australian swimmers would undoubtedly make life more difficult at the Asian Games, but with a squad boasting Olympic champions Sun Yang and Ye Shiwen and a slew of emerging stars the Chinese won’t be losing any sleep just yet.
Sun and Ye showed their Olympic class by cruising to victory while China also offered a sneak peek of their next wave of potential champions with teenager Shen Duo picking up her third gold and Chen Xinyi, Fu Yuanhui and Ning Zetao getting their first.
The only blemish on an otherwise perfect night in the pool for China came in the men’s 200m breaststroke, where Kazakhstan teenager Dmitry Balandin slashed nearly six seconds off his best time to win gold.
“I’m tired,” said Balandin. “But today was my best day. I am happy this time.”
The same situation played out at the Ongnyeon International Shooting Range, where the Kazakh women’s trap team prevented a Chinese clean sweep.