Bahraini brilliance lands three more golds

19 May 2017
Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser competes during the Women's 400m of the Athletics events at the Baku 2017.
Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser competes during the Women's 400m of the Athletics events at the Baku 2017.

Bahrain's sprinters enjoyed another stunning day as they won three more athletics gold medals on Friday at the fourth Islamic Solidarity Games in Baku.

Salwa Eid Naser got Bahrain off to a great start in the evening session at the Olympic Stadium as she beat team-mate Oluwakemi Adekoya to the women's 400m title.

Naser, who turns 19 next week, showed great promise in making the semi-finals at the Rio Olympics, and she secured her first major title in a time of 51.33secs at the expense of pre-race favourite Adekoya.

Adekoya had hoped to make it a 400m double after she won gold in the hurdles final over this distance, but the Asian Games champion couldn't catch her compatriot after a poor start.

The Bahraini gold dust spilled on to the 4x100m relays as their sprinters surged to victory in the men's and women's finals.

Eid Naser was back on the track just moments after her 400m exploits, and she orchestrated a glittering performance alongside team-mates Iman Essa, Hajar Alkhaldi and 200m champion Edidiong Ofonime Odiong as Bahrain clocked 44.98secs.

Yinka Ajayi produced a stirring finish for Nigeria as they snatched silver away from African rivals Cameroon in a time of 46.20secs.

Bahrain then stunned Turkey in the men's relay final to win their eighth athletics gold in Baku.

Saeed Alkhaldi, 200m silver medallist Salem Eid Yaqoob and Musa Isah put Bahrain in a great position and Andrew Fisher held off a rampaging Ramil Guliev as he crossed in 39.55secs, with Turkey pipped to the post by 0.01secs.

Turkey's Guliev missed out on a sprint treble after winning 100m and 200m gold, while Cote d'Ivoire gained bronze in 39.82secs ahead of a strong Gambian team.

Iran sprinted to gold in the men's 4x100m disability relay (T11/T12/T13) after Azerbaijan wrecked their chances with a botched handover in the second change zone.

The Iranian quartet of Arash Khosravi, Amir Khosravani, Vahid Alinajimi and Hossein Saeidi won in 45.24secs ahead of Turkey in the three-team final.

Bronze was not awarded after the Azeris failed to finish.

Creve Armando Machava won the men's 400m hurdles to seal Mozambique's first-ever Islamic Solidarity Games gold medal.

The 21-year-old edged to victory in 50.73secs ahead of Senegal's Amadou Ndiaye and compatriot Kurt Couto.

Friday was a day of firsts as Jessica Da Silva Inchude won Guinea-Bissau's first-ever medal at these Games with a title-winning effort of 50.23m in the women's discus.

Bahrain's shot put bronze medallist Noora Salem Jasim fell 0.11m short and took silver, with Morocco's Amina Moudden completing the podium.

Moroccan middle-distance star Rababe Arafi successfully defended her women's 1500m title after pulling away from Turkey's Meryem Akdag.

The 26-year-old, who finished ninth in the world championship final two years ago, cruised to gold in four minutes and 18.82secs, over a second clear of Akdag.

Algeria's Amina Bettiche threw herself forward to snatch bronze on the line from Bahrain's Tigist Gashaw, who missed out on the podium by just 0.02secs.

Yahya Berrabah hurled himself to men's long jump glory as he sealed Morocco's second gold of the day and sixth in athletics with an effort of 8.07m.

That was well ahead of the rest, with Suriname's Miguel Van Assen leaping 7.63m for silver and another Moroccan, Mouhcine Khoua, just a centimetre further back in bronze.

Qatar's Ahmed Bader Magour hammered the rest of the field as he threw 83.45m for men's javelin gold.

Elsewhere, Syria won their first athletics medal in Baku after Majd Eddin Ghazal sneaked men's high jump gold.

Silver medallist four years ago, Ghazal went one better after he posted 2.28m, which edged him past Qatar's Mahamat Allamine Hamdi and Iran's reigning champion Keyvan Ghanbar Zadeh.

Azerbaijan clinched their ninth athletics gold as Elena Chebanu clocked 24.69secs to win the women's 200m T12 disability final.

Chebanu won comfortably from Indonesia's Endang Sitorus while Morocco's Meryem En-Nourhi earned bronze.

© AFP Services

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