Incheon: Kuwait’s Abdullah Al Mezayen claimed his country’s first gold medal of the Asian Games on Tuesday in the men’s squash singles with a remarkable comeback against India’s Saurav Ghoshal.
Trailing by two games in the best-of-five encounter, the 26-year-old Kuwaiti turned the tables on the world number 16 in a bruising encounter at Incheon’s Yeorumul Squash Courts.
Afterwards Mezayen said he was thrilled to win the Gulf kingdom their first gold, while a despondent Ghoshal could only pay tribute to his opponent.
“I didn’t play badly but he put together some very very good periods, some great shots — things which other people at that stage wouldn’t think of doing,” the Indian told reporters.
Mezayen, who admitted thinking all was lost after slumping in the second game, eventually won 10-12, 2-11, 14-12, 11-8, 11-9.
Qatar, meanwhile, gained a dubious record at the weightlifting arena when Essa Saleh Al Buainain completed the lightest sequence of lifts in the Asian Games — male or female.
It prompted one official watching the men’s 77kg Group B event to say: “I think he is here for tourism, not lifting. That’s not even a girl’s weight.”
Al Buainain opened with a 55kg on the bar, or about two sacks of potatoes.
He raised it to a less than Goliath-like 60kg and then went on to clean and jerk 80kg for a total of 140kg — weights comfortably lifted at local gyms and fully 90kg lower than the next best competitor.
In comparison, the last-placed woman in the tiny 48kg weight class on Saturday recorded a total 26kg heavier than Al Buainain — and she was only 1.40m (4ft 7in) tall.
The portly Al Buainain refused to answer questions after, but Qatar Olympic Committee member Salman Ahmad was more forthright.
“This is preparation for the future,” Ahmad said. “All our three lifters will train for the future but they are still not experienced. We have to take them step by step.
“We are preparing now for the Gulf Cup in Dammam, Saudi Arabia in December,” he added.
And would Al Buainain be off sightseeing in Seoul now his schedule had been completed? “No. He is not coming here for holiday,” Ahmad retorted. “He is still a young boy.”
Al Buainain will be 30 in December.