Sheikha Latifa on the podium again as the UAE begin to make an impact in China with showjumping medal adding to the tally.
Another quick silver for Sheikha Latifa in Guangzhou
GUANGZHOU, CHINA // Sheikha Latifa Al Maktoum won her second silver medal in three days yesterday as she finished runner-up in the individual showjumping.
Riding Kalaska De Semily, the 1998-born stallion, she jumped two clear rounds with no penalty points. She challenged the Saudi Arabian riders Prince Khalid Abdul Aziz Al Eid and Ramzi Hamad Al Duhaimi in the jump-offs to decide the final medallists.
In the jump-off, Sheikha Latifa went through the 10-hurdle course without knocking off any obstacles, the same as Al Duhaimi.
However, the gold went to Al Duhami as he completed the course in 48.53secs, a mere 0.15secs faster than the UAE rider's 48.68secs.
On Monday, Sheikha Latifa had successfully led the country to the silver medal in the showjumping team event along with Sheikh Rashid Al Maktoum, Sheikh Majid Al Qassimi and Ahmed al Junaibi.
Taleb Dhaher al Muhairi, the secretary general of the Emirates Equestrian Federation, was ecstatic over the second silver for the UAE in jumping.
"I am at a loss of words to express my happiness over this tremendous achievement by Sheikha Latifa," he said. "She put up a brave show and fought for her silver with world-class jumpers. Our efforts have borne fruits.
"This again shows the meticulous training and planning by the Emirati riders who have now become a team to reckon with in the international equestrian scene."
The UAE have now won three medals, all silver, at the Games in China, with Sheikh Juma bin Dalmouk Al Maktoum finishing second in the shooting double trap competition on Sunday. There is at least silver guaranteed today, too, in the football when the UAE take on Japan in the men's final.
Elsewhere in China yesterday, the host nation achieved a hat-trick of gold medals in the women's field hockey after beating South Korea in a penalty shoot-out.
The Chinese, cheered on by some 1,000 home fans in the final, won 5-4 after neither side had been able to find the net in normal or extra time.
Kim Eun-sil missed the first penalty stroke for the South Koreans, while the Chinese converted all their five shots and sealed the win when Sun Sinan beat goalkeeper Moon Young-hui.
China, who won the title in Busan in 2002 and repeated the feat in Doha four years later, have booked a direct entry to the 2012 London Olympics with their victory.
Liu Xiang won a third successive 110 metres hurdles crown yesterday, surprising himself as he had only just recovered from an ankle injury.
The victory was achieved in a time of 13.09, and he said: "I didn't expect to run 13.09 because I am not yet back to a very high level."
Bahrain's Ethiopian-born Maryam Jamal remained on course for a women's middle-distance double in the Asian Games after qualifying for today's 800m final with ease.
Jamal, the reigning double world champion in the 1500m and 800m, won the 1500m title on Tuesday and will be the woman to beat when she tries to repeat the double she achieved at the Doha Games in 2006.
She eased home in the relatively slow time of 2mins 04.55secs, and the slow first lap allowed her to open up with 250 metres to go and eliminate any threat from the rest of the field.
"I feel OK, very good," the 26-year-old said. "It's easy, not 100 per cent easy, but tomorrow I will try my best."
Malaysia's Puvaneswaran Ramasamy used his mental advantage against younger rivals to grab his second karate gold and write his name in the Asian Games history books.
The 35-year-old beat Saudi Arabia's Emad Mohammed A Almalki in the 55kg kumite (sparring) final to become the first karate competitor to climb the podium at five consecutive Asian Games.
"It feels great," said the Kuala Lumpur practitioner.
"Most other players are in their 20s. But in my journey through karate I have gained mental strategy," Ramasamy said. "I have used my mental strategy to win."
South Korea beat the Philippines 74-66 in the basketball competition yesterday, while a big and quick Japanese team dispatched North Korea 92-75, setting up a semi-final between the winners.
* With agencies