Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan solidified her world-championship chances by winning the women's 100 metres at the Asian Athletics Championships yesterday in Kobe, Japan.
Khubbieva, who won a gold medal at the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar, clocked 11.39 seconds in the final to beat China's Wei Yongli by three-10ths of a second.
"It was important to get a good result here for the world championships," Khubbieva said. "It was my first title in this meet and it couldn't have come at a better time."
The world meet will be in Daegu, South Korea from August 27-September 4.
Japan's Chisato Fukushima, who won the 100m at the Asian Games, was not entered, but she will take part in the 200m tomorrow.
China's Su Bingtian won the men's 100m, clocking 10.21 to finish .07 seconds ahead of Japan's Masashi Eriguchi. Sota Kawatsura, also of Japan, was third.
Mohammad Alazemi of Kuwait won the gold in his first 1,500m race.
"I'm very pleased because the conditions were tough, and there were a lot of strong rivals," he said.
In the women's 1,500m, the UAE's Betlhem Blayneh was unlucky to miss out on a place in the medals in finishing fifth, less than three seconds behind India's Jaisha Puthiyaveetil, who won bronze.
The UAE men's 4x100m relay team failed to finish their heat and Mohammad Darwish had an eighth-place finish in the triple jump. His best effort yesterday, 15.72m, was more than a metre off his personal best of 16.80m.
Elsewhere, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has said it hopes that the three countries that have never sent female athletes to the Olympics will have women on their teams at next year's London Games.
Anita DeFrantz, head of the IOC's women and sport commission, identified Brunei, Qatar and Saudi Arabia as the countries with no women athlete representatives. DeFrantz also named 10 international sports federations - including world football body, Fifa - that still have no women on their top executive boards.
In other news, Istanbul will bid to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, an IOC official said. Rome is the only official candidate to date.