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Veteran Uzbek sprinter still running hot at 34

(China Daily)
Updated: 2010-11-23 09:29
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GUANGZHOU - She failed to defend the Asiad championship, but won the respect of fans and fellow athletes.

Veteran Uzbek sprinter still running hot at 34
Chisato Fukushima of Japan (left) finishes ahead of Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan (right) to win gold in the women's 100m final in the athletics competition at the 16th Asian Games on Monday. Khubbieva claimed silver. [Photo/Agencies] 

Thirty-four-year-old Asiad defending champion Guzel Khubbieva of Uzbekistan clocked a season's best 11.34 seconds to claim the silver medal in the women's 100m sprint on Monday - just 0.01 of a second behind Japan's Chisato Fukushima, who is 12 years younger.

"I don't think too much about my age," said Khubbieva. "I think time has rewarded me with more experience than most of my competitors."

Khubbieva jumped into the spotlight in 2002, when she picked up her first Asiad medal in the 4x100m relay at Busan. She reached her peak in 2006 by winning one gold and one silver at Doha.

The Guangzhou effort produced her fourth Asian Games medal, but the veteran is still expecting more.

"There is still passion in me," she said. "I don't feel it's time for my retirement. I think I can still have great performances. I'm sure I will be competing in the future."

Fukushima took the gold in 11.33 seconds while Vietnam's Vu Thi Huong won bronze in 11.43.

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