Asian Aths Champs, Manila -21sept03- Shaheen Loses

MANILA, Sept 21 (AFP) - World champion Saif SaeedShaheen bit the dust Sunday as he was sensationallybeaten in the Asian athletics championships men’s 1,500meters final following his shock withdrawal from the3,000-meter steeplechase.
The Kenyan transplant put the interests of his adoptedcountry Qatar before personal glory in a bold gamble,hoping to double their gold medal haul as organizers hadscheduled the two track events only 75 minutes apart.
Busan Asian Games champion Khamis Abdulla dulydelivered by winning the steeplechase gold as expected.
But Shaheen, once known as Stephen Cherono and thewinner of steeplechase gold at the Paris worldchampionships last month, sprinted too early and wasbeaten by eventual winner Rashid Ramzi of Bahrain, thereigning 1,500m Asian Games champion.
I know Shaheen is a world champion, so I held mypower in reserve for the final round,'' the Bahrainisaid. He went too soon.’’
Shaheen accepted his defeat with a helpless shrug.
I want (Abdulla) to win the steeplechase gold,''Shaheen told AFP earlier, explaining his decision towithdraw from the steeplechase final. I don’t want to run too many races.’’

Shaheen made his ill-timed burst on the 900m mark,only to be overhauled by Ramzi as they began the finallap.
The 20 year-old Shaheen, fifth in the 1,500m event atthe Lausanne Super Grand Prix in July, stepped on thegas but his tank was empty as Ramzi, 23, proved he hadthe stronger finishing kick.
The Bahraini won in 3mins 41.66secs, while Shaheensettled for the silver in 3.42.79. Japan’s FumikazuKobayashi had threatened Shaheen but ended up third in3.42.96.
Shaheen said he hopes to make amends in the 5,000mfinal on Tuesday.
A second Kenyan import to Qatar, Ahmad HassanAbdullah, later erased the Asian athleticschampionship’s oldest mark when he took the men’s10,000m gold.
Abdullah, previously known as Albert Chepkurui, setthe new standard of 28mins 45.64secs. The previous best mark for thecompetition was 28:53.29, set by Japan’s Kunimitsu Itohin Tokyo on June 8, 1981.
It was the day for Middle Eastern athletes to shine asKuwait also won two gold medals.
Ali Izenkawi, 19 year-old son of a Hungarian longjumper and a Kuwaiti shot put specialist, won the hammerthrow gold with a best effort of 70.62m.
Fawzi Al Shammari doubled up Kuwait’s golden harvestby winning the men’s 400m final in 45.16secs.
China padded their overall lead Sunday by picking upfive more golds, two short of their target with two daysof competition still to run.
We aim to win from 11 to 13 gold medals,'' saidtheir head coach Kan Fulan. We expect our women athletes to get more golds thanthe men because of the stiff competition from MiddleEast countries in the track events.’’
Chen Haijian won the men’s 100m final, while ShiDongpeng captured the 110m men’s hurdles and Su Yipingthe women’s 100m hurdles.
Li Yanfeng took the women’s discus throw title whileWu Sha annexed the women’s pole vault gold.
Japan took the men’s 4x100m relay gold, Myanmar’s YinYin Khine the women’s 400m gold, and Nhung Bui Thi of Vietnam the women’s highjump title.
Uzbekistan picked up the women’s 100m title with thetalents of Lyubov Perepelova and the women’s long jumpthrough Anastasiya Juravleva.
Irina Naumenkko topped the heptathlon to notchKazakhstan’s first gold, while Tatiana Borisova pickedup the women’s 1,500m gold for Kyrgyzstan.