The UAE’s Alia Saeed set a new championship record as she retained her women’s 10,000 metres title on the final day of the Asian Athletic Championships in Wuhan, China on Sunday.
The 24-year-old clocked 31min 52.29sec with Bahrain’s Eunice Chumba (32.44.57) and Japan’s Numata Michi (32.44.57) in second and third places respectively.
It was her second medal of the event having finished runner-up to compatriot Betlhem Belayneh in the 5,000 metres. It meant the UAE finished the Asian Championships with three gold and a silver after Belayneh retained her 1,500m title.
Sunday’s victory also saw Saeed join Belayneh at the World Championships in August.
UAE Athletics Federation president Ahmed Al Kamali said: “It was a very good run from Alia especially as it was the championship record. She was very relaxed and she’s in good shape going forward.”
Alia Mohmed Saeed became 4th runner (first Non-CHN runner) to win W10000m in both Asian Championships and Asian Games.
— K Ken Nakamura (@KKenNakamura) June 7, 2015
Asked if Saeed could claim a medal at the World Championships, Al Kamali said: “Alia is on a very good run and it’s a matter of luck sometimes. When you are in the final, you already have a chance and if you are on the top of your game then you may get on the podium.
“We don’t want to push her as we have a long time to go. We want her to be in peak condition for the World Championships.”
Both Saeed and Belayneh return to the UAE this evening before travelling to Barcelona for a training camp.
With two months to go until the Worlds in Beijing, Al Kamali added: “At the moment we are looking for some small competitions for her [Saeed]. We will ask the Paris Diamond League to see if she can compete so that when the World Championships come she will be ready.
“The same applies for Belayneh. It’s important to find competitions that will push them as they will face strong competitors in Beijing.”