Nigerian-born Bahrain sprinter Edidiong Odiong on Sunday won gold at the 18th Asian Games women’s 100m final at the 76,127-capacity Gelora Bung Karno Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.
The 21-year-old, who ditched Nigeria for a lucrative deal with the island country in 2015, dipped late to finish in 11.30secs to become Asia’s fastest woman.
India’s Dutee Chand ran 11.32secs to pick up silver while 2014 champion China’s Wei Yongli won bronze.
Although Odiong, who won the 400m event at the 2013 African Youth Athletics Championships in Warri and represented Nigeria at the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships in Oregon, United States, switched her international allegiance to Bahrain in 2015, she was cleared by the International Association of Athletics Federations to compete for her new owners the following year.
Abbas Abubakar, Salwa Naser (Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu) and Kemi Adekoya had earlier dumped Nigeria for cash-rich Bahrain.
Naser won the women’s 400m gold after finishing in 50.09secs while India’s Hima Das arrived in 50.79secs to claim silver.
The 20-year-old, who ran 50.06secs to win silver the London 2017 World Championships, has won four legs of the Diamond League Series this year. She has so far won three gold for her adopted country since she started competing for them since she had her first success at the 2014 Arab Junior Athletics Championships in Cairo.
In men’s 100m Nigerian-born runner Femi Ogunode claimed silver in a time of 10 secs.
China’s Su Bingtian grabbed gold after clocking 9.92 secs. Japan’s Ryota Yamagata carted home bronze for his effort.
Su, who tied the Asian record created by the Nigerian-born Qatar sprinter Femi Ogunode in 2015 after running 9.91secs in the 100m race at the Paris leg of the 2018 IAAF Diamond League in June, expressed his readiness for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.
“I expected I could explode in the final, but I didn’t,” the 28-year-old was quoted by Xinhua as telling reporters at the mixed zone after winning Sunday’s event.
“I’m proud to win honours for my country, but I do hope for more at Tokyo Olympic Games.”
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Kenyan-born world champion Rose Chelimo won the women’s marathon in a sluggish time of two hours, 34 minutes and 51 secs.
“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.”
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