Bahrain opened their account for medals at the 18th Asian Games, being held in Jakarta and Palembang. El Hassan El Abbassi and Eunice Chumba took a silver medal each on the inaugural day of athletics events amidst fierce challenge from some of the continent’s best athletes.
In the men’s 42km marathon, El Abbassi finished second to Hiroto Inoue after a neck-and-neck competition. The Bahraini completed the race in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 22 seconds, losing out to the Japanese in the final metres.
Duo Bujie, a Chinese athlete from Tibet who took to marathon running after a childhood spent herding yaks, finished 26 seconds further back to take bronze. Late on, Eunice completed Bahrain’s joy after coming second in the women’s 10,000m final in 32 minutes and 11.12 seconds.
Kyrgyzstan’s Daria Maslova (32:07.23) clinched the gold while Deshun Zhang (32:12.78) of China settled for the bronze. In the men’s 400m qualifying heats, Abbas Abubaker made it to the final after topping his heat in 45.59 seconds, while Ali Khamis raced to second place in his heat clocking 46.07 seconds.