India’s Sajeesh Joseph finished fourth after three athletes were disqualified in the men’s 800 metres final at the 17th Asian Games on Wednesday. Joseph, 27, who was running in lane 7 got off to a poor start and trailed throughout the race, to finish the race in one minute and 49.59 seconds at the Incheon Asiad Main Stadium, well below his personal best of 1:46.81. He originally finished seventh among eight runners with one failing to finish.
Iraq’s Adnan Almntfage was promoted to the gold medal after originally finishing the final in fourth place. Mohammed Abdulaziz of Saudi Arabia crossed the line first, just ahead of Abdulrahman Musaeb Bala of Qatar and Abraham Kipchirchir Rotich of Bahrain after a frantic two-lap race.
But Almntfage was later elevated to the gold medal position after Abdulaziz was disqualified for obstruction and Bala and Rotich were disqualified for lane infractions. “I am truly thankful for the medal I won today,” said Almntfage after being promoted.
“I would like to say that the Bahraini, Qatari and Saudi opponents were very worthy opponents – however they made mistakes at the 200m mark. And these mistakes were against the rule of the competition, I hope these mistakes won’t happen again in such a competition,” he said.
China and Qatar also benefitted from the triple disqualifications with China’s Teng Haining moving up from fifth to second place and Qatar’s Jamal Hairane from sixth to third.
‘Sad for my friend’
The three disqualified athletes indicated that they planned to appeal the ruling but no decision had been made yet. “I was sad for the disqualified three guys,” said Hairane. “I’m happy I received a medal but I’m sad for my friend. “I saw the replay I saw the Qatari guy cross the line before the 100 metre – I saw the Bahraini and Saudi guy push, it was the right decision.”