Gold medallist Adnan Taess Akkar celebrates on the podium for the Asian Games men's 800m in Incheon on October 1, 2014
Gold medallist Adnan Taess Akkar celebrates on the podium for the Asian Games men's 800m in Incheon on October 1, 2014 © Martin Bureau - AFP
Gold medallist Adnan Taess Akkar celebrates on the podium for the Asian Games men's 800m in Incheon on October 1, 2014
Last updated: October 1, 2014

Joy for Iraq in dramatic day of Asian Games athletics

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A sensational triple disqualification in the Asian Games men's 800 metres on Wednesday lifted Iraq's Adnan Taess Akkar from fourth to win his country's first gold medal in Incheon.

Qatar's Femi Ogunode set one of four Games records for the day with a new mark of 20.14 seconds as he took 200m gold to add to his 100m win.

China's Zhang Li broke the javelin record with a throw of 77.33 metres, while Margarita Mukasheva ran a 1:59.02 in the women's 800m, one of three golds for Kazakhstan.

But events were overshadowed by the incident-packed men's 800m, where the first three finishers were disqualified for obstruction and lane violations.

Saudi runner Abdulaziz Mohammed crossed the line first with a dramatic late surge, pipping Qatar's Busaab Bala by just 0.05 seconds, with Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich of Bahrain coming in third.

But just after the bell for the last lap Mohammed faltered and appeared to grab Rotich's shirt, almost pulling off his bib number.

As a result the Saudi was stripped of his win for obstruction, while Bala and Rotich were penalised for straying out of their lanes.

- 'Mistakes broke the rules' -

Saudi, Qatari and Bahraini officials appealed, but the victory ceremony went ahead and an elated Akkar, who took bronze in the 1,500m and 800m silver in 2010, grinned broadly as he received his medal.

The 34-year-old said officials had made the right decision.

"The athletes from Bahrain, Qatar and Saudi Arabia were very worthy opponents, but they made mistakes and those mistakes were against the rules," he said.

Akkar said the same thing had happened to him at a meet in China in 2011, while for Bahrain it was the second athletics disqualification at the Incheon Games.

Steeplechaser Ruth Jebet was stripped of gold on Saturday for stepping inside the track but had the decision overturned on appeal.

A Bahrain official said Rotich was the grieved party in Wednesday's incident, saying he had been impeded and had only left his lane because his shirt was pulled

"Between the Saudi Arabian and the Indian there was jostling, when the Saudi Arabian went to fall he took our athlete by the shirt," a Bahrain official told AFP.

"He is a victim, he did nothing wrong."

- Disappointment -

Despite setting a new Games record, Ogunode said he was disappointed not to have finished in under 20 seconds, after clocking 9.93 in the 100m.

"When I got to 50 metres I missed the rhythm in my arms," he said.

"My aim was to go under 10 and under 20. It doesn't happen today but I know very soon it's going to."

In the women's 400 metres hurdles, Ogunode's fellow Nigeria-born runner Oluwakemi Adekoya, who competes for Bahrain, added the women's 400m hurdles gold to the 400m flat she won on Sunday.

Away from the track, Japan's Takayuki Tanii denied China a clean sweep in race walking, taking gold in the men's 50 kilometre event in three hours, 40 minutes and 19 seconds -- more than seven minutes quicker than the old Asian Games record.

Kazakh Olympic champion Olga Rypakova won the triple jump, while teammate Olga Safronova made up for her disappointing third in the 100m with gold in the 200.

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