Chinese athletes concluded their quest for the places on the Osaka World Championships team on Sunday in Suzhou. The last day offered several good results and mainly junior athletes were in good form – quite usual in China.
Li lowers Asian Steeplechase standard to 9:32.35
The first event of the morning competition offered the best race of the day. In the women’s 3000m Steeplechase 21-year-old Inner Mongolia athlete Li Zhenzhu and Zhu Yanmei, 20, from Shaanxi, were determined to get a special result right from the start. The pair, who also were one-two at the National Grand Prix Final last September when Li set an national record 9:48.63, were together the whole race all the way to the finish line with Li winning with an Asian record of 9:32.35, bettering Minori Hayakari’s (JPN) previous record of 9:41.21 from the 2005 Helsinki World Championships by almost nine seconds. Zhu Yanmei, running only her third career steeplechase final race lost by the narrowest possible margin, 0.01 seconds setting a big personal best 9:32.36, also her first ever sub-10 minute race. Li’s Asian record also erased the previous Chinese record which 19-year-old Jin Yuan set in California last Sunday (9:48.33).