Qatari Abderrahman Samba's dominant men’s 400 metres hurdles victory highlighted the second day of action at the Asian Athletics Championships in Doha.
The 23-year-old ran hard for the first half, speeding to a narrow but clear lead by the second hurdle at the Khalifa International Stadium.
He made up the stagger on the four runners to his outside midway through the final turn before confidently striding across the line in 47.51sec, easily the fastest time in the world this year.
It was the sixth fastest performance of Samba’s career, but no one else has ever run so quick this early in the season.
"I’m so happy about that," he said.
"It’s fast, but I’m thinking about something much faster than this.
"But yes, it’s a great start.”
"Last year I started with 47.9 and finished with 46.9.
"This season I started with 47.5 so I want to end with 46.5."
Samba won by more than a second but did drag four of the next five finishers to lifetime bests.
Chinese Taipei's Chen Chieh took the silver medal in 48.92, while India's Jabir Madari Plliyalil claimed the bronze in 49.13 to replicate his performance from the 2017 Asian Athletics Championships in Bhubaneswar
Eighteen-year-old Qatari Bassem Hemeida, the 2018 World Under-20 Championships silver medallist who trains with Samba, came fourth in 49.45.
There was more home success in the men’s 800m as Abubaker Haydar Abdalla, the bronze medallist at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and Palembang, powered to victory in 1:44.33.
Kuwait’s Ebrahim Alzofairi took the silver medal in 1:46.88, while Qatar’s Jamal Hairane claimed the bronze in 1:47.27.
Another Kuwaiti, Yousef Karam, went one better than his compatriot with a memorable win in the men's 400m.
He triumphed in 44.84, a national record, with Bahrain’s Abbas Abubaker second in a personal best 45.14 and Kazakhstan’s Mikhail Litvin third in 45.25.
In the men’s 100m, world under-20 champion Lalu Muhammad Zohri of Indonesia nearly pulled off an unlikely victory only to be denied by Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu’s late race charge over the final three metres.
Zohri, who improved the Indonesian national record to 10.15 in the semi-finals earlier in the evening, built a clear lead by the midway point and looked ready to pull away about 70 metres into the race, when Kiryu, the Japanese national record holder in 9.98, began to gradually reel in the rising 18-year-old star.
He caught him over the final two strides to secure the win in 10.10 to Zohri’s 10.13.
China’s Wu Zhiqiang completed the podium in 10.18.
Olga Safronova dominated the women’s 100m in 11.17, a championship record, to notch Kazakhstan’s first victory.
She finished well clear of China’s Liang Xiaojing, second in 11.28, and Wei Yongli, third in 11.37.
The stand-out performance in the field came from Chinese Taipei’s Cheng Chao-Tsun in the men’s javelin throw.
The Asian record holder at 91.36m, unleashed a championships record-breaking 86.72m throw in the second round to take the title.
He held off India’s Shivpal Singh of India, whose best of 86.23m - a personal best by nearly four metres - also came in the second round.
Japan’s Ryohei Arai was the bronze medallist with 81.93m.