DOHA, Qatar, Abderrahman Samba had to be content with a bronze medal for now.But the Qatari star, who was gunning for world record after clocking 46.98 in June 2018 in Paris before slipping away because of injuries, will surely come back to challenge his opponents Karsten Warholm of Norway and Rai Benjamin of the US.
At the World Athletics Championships at Khalifa International Stadium in Doha on Monday, Samba, running in the ninth lane, was struggling to put in his best effort for the most part of the race, but a fine finish helped him clock 48.03 and beat Kyron McMaster at the tape.
“I am not happy, I am over the moon. If I could find the worlds now, I would, but there are no words for how I am feeling right now,” said an ecstatic and relieved Samba.
“Two days ago, I wasn’t sure whether to compete or not, so to make the podium is amazing. “It has been a long hard season for me with lots of injuries. I am happy with my medal, but not with my place,” said Samba.
HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani , President of Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) and Chairman of the Doha 2019 World Athletics Championships has congratulated Samba on his first ever achievement in this world athletics Championships.
Warholm took gold in 47.42 while Benjamin took silver in 47.66. World record-holder Kevin Young, now 50 years of age eagerly watching the progress and rivalry of the trio, said they have made the 400m hurdles one of the most exciting events. And if these athletes can stay injury-free, it could be the marquee event in athletics for some years to come.
With a big weight of expectations of his back now, Samba can recuperate and refresh before training his guns at Warholm and Benjamin at Tokyo Olympics.
Earlier, Halimah Nakaayi of Uganda sprinted to the finish line, leaving top-class opponents such as Raevyn Rogers and Ajee Wilson of the US Eunice Jepkoech Sum of Kenya as well as compatriot Winnie Nanyondo in her wake to win a fiercely contested and wildly cheered 800m Nakaayi won in 1:58.04 while Rogers took silver after finishing strongly (1:58.18). Wilson took bronze in 1:58.84.
On other hand, Qatari athlete Mutaz Barshim will begin on Tuesday the quest of defending his world title in the high jump competition at the World Athletics Championships, Doha 2019.
Barshim will play in the first round of the competition, which will see the participation of 31 contestants, including Syria’s Majd Al-Din Ghazal and Italy’s Gianmarco Tamberi.
The contestants in the high jump competition will be divided into two groups of 15 and 16, with 12 qualifiers for Friday’s final.
Bershim, holder of the gold medal in London 2017, also holds the second best world record in the high jump competition in history, recording a height of 2.43 meters, two centimeters lower that the record 2.45m set by Javier Sotomayor of Cuba in 1993.
The Qatari champion Mutaz Barshim confirmed his physical and mental readiness to compete in the high jump, hoping to give the best performance during the qualifiers.
Source: Qatar Olympic Committee