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Pakistan off to dismal start in Asian Youth Games
 
 
 
SINGAPORE - Pakistan players were way off the mark in their qualifying campaign for the medal round of sailing and athletics events of the inaugural Asian Youth Games on Monday.
Muhammad Mustafa Ahmed and Pulwasha Salahuddin Khattak took part in Byte CII Boys' and girls' Division sailing races only to finish at the end and second last in their heats respectively and Wajiha Kiran slumped to number seven in her 100 metre heat in the seven-player event.
Pakistan sent the top players of the country in their age group to compete in sailing, athletics, swimming and table tennis and as on day two, Pakistan players participated in two events - sailing and athletics while the remaining two, swimming and table tennis have yet to begin.
Muhammad Mustafa Ahmed got the 12th place in the first race and his position remained the same in the second race with Singapore's Darren Choy winning the Race 1 and 2 regatta, topping the Byte CII boys rankings for now.
In the girls category, Singapore's Najwa Jumali clinched the top spot despite some wind disturbances at the start and Pakistan's Pulwasha Salahuddin Khattak got eighth position in race 1 and was seventh in race 2.
In the athletics, about 22 athletes was drawn in three heats of 100 metres. Pakistan's Wajiha Kiram finished seventh in heat number two and clocked 14 secs while the leader of the three heats turned out to be Akane Kimura of Japan and Ching-Hsien Liao of Taipei, Sunae Lee of Korea and Jiawen He of China, Ranjita Mahanta of India and Gedsuda Kumklieng of Thailand. These athletes topped the three heats to qualify for the next stage while the remaining heats will be staged today.
However, on the medals table, China was on the top winning two gold medals in diving while India got one gold.
China edged ahead of all participating Asian nations by winning two gold medals each with breath-taking dive from Liu Jiao of China. She took away the gold medal from her competitors at the 5M/10M Platform finals with a score of 492.05.
China's Wu Dongliang won the first gold medal of the AYG by racking up the highest score in the Boys' 3m Springboard finals with an astounding score of 626.60.
Like many other spectators who had gathered at the Toa Payoh Swimming Complex for the first day of the diving competition, Dr. Vivian Balakrishnan, Singapore's Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports felt that China's win was expected as they are considered a diving powerhouse and that the Chinese divers are an inspiration to many aspiring Singapore divers.
India got its gold medal on the roster when in the Boys Discus final Arjun clinched top slot with a throw of 58.72 metres. The 18-year old athlete beat four other athletes with his winning throw on his fifth and final attempt.
On his gold-medal winning performance, Arjun was surprisingly not too satisfied with his performance, saying: "It's not my best. I've thrown longer."
 
 
on epaper page 21
 
 
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