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Haroun, Elseify and Tosin provide Qatar triple delight.

Samba wins semis, set for 400m hurdles final Vinay Nayudu Doha/Jakarta It was an electrifying night of 2018 Asian Games athletics at the Gelora Bung Karno (GBK) Main Stadium in Jakarta on Sunday and Qatar athletes Abdalelah Haroun, Ashraf Elseify, Tosin Ogunode and Abderrahman Samba emerged as the dazzling stars that they are collecting two gold medals, one silver and ensuring one more on the morrow. First, the 21-year-old Haroun set the tracks ablaze in the men's 400m to win in 44.89secs, then followed the 24-year-old Tosin's silver show in the men's 100m where he clocked an exact 10.00secs, and late towards the evening the 23-year-old Elseify stood like a giant in the hammer throw event with a superlative throw of 76.88m. In between, the mesmerising Samba one of the leading world athletes went about the men's 400m hurdles semi-final in a jiffy (49.34secs) and with relaxed ease to make the final. Having set the adrenalin rushing for a whole nation, Haroun summed up the feeling aptly."The feeling of winning is amazing! Before that comes all the preparations, the hard work and the ambitions to set goals to achieve. This victory is an outcome of the collective team work starting from the Qatar Olympic Committee, the Qatar Athletics Federation, my coach, the team admin/manager on ground. "I am dedicating the gold medal to HH the Emir Sheikh Tamimi bin Hamad al Thani, the QOC president HE Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad al Thani and to Dr Thani Abdulrahman al Kuwari (QOC vice-president)." Surely, Haroun has been outstanding but his success rubbed off on Tosin and Ashraf for sure. And when the Qatar flag was raised with the National anthem, Haroun sang from the podium in what was clearly an emotional moment both for him and the country. Tosin registered his season's best and how! With all the talk of his elder brother Femi Ogunode holding Asia's fastest man record and being one of the only three in the world to go sub-10, Tosin must have been weighed down by the comparison and expectations. But he rose to the occasion and his own conviction going off the blocks and matching the Chinese favourite Su Bingtian till the very end. It was a photo finish and a difference of .08secs for Tosin and between the silver and the gold. Tosin was no less and he did exceedingly well in stretching his neck over the line only to then beam with his hard found success. For Elseify, the transformation from being a world junior champion to winning his first Asian Games gold has been a story of his own belief and perseverance. From a failure in his first attempt to a modest throw of 70.12m on his second attempt, Ashraf changed gears like a man possessed. He soon sent the hammer rolling 75.61m letting out a cry after the throw. That was perhaps an indication of what is to come. His fourth attempt yielded a distance of 76.57m which made it clear that Ashraf had set his sights on nothing but the gold. Just to ensure that nothing stood between him and the top medal, Ashraf returned to the ring for his fifth attempt and a super throw of 76.88m! Subdued and softly smiling, he was soon a picture of a gentle giant being greeted by the crowd. Ashraf's brother Ahmed too was participating in the final alongside him and finished a creditable eighth with 65.33m. Expressing his delight soon after, Ashraf exclaimed,"Gold Medal!" "Thank God, I can't describe how happy I am. I was able to get this achievement only after hard work and persistence. Thanks for all the support from HH the Emir Sheikh Tamim (bin Hamad) al Thani, HE Sheikh Joaan (bin Hamad) al Thani, Dr Thani (Abdulrahman) al Kuwari, our team manager Mr. Khalifa Abdul-Malik and everyone in the athletics federation. My brother Ahmed was also competing with me, it felt special and I'm happy for what he achieved here," he went on to add. Team Qatar which had won a bronze (Hamad al Marri in shooting on Thursday) and a silver (Fares Ibrahim in weightlifting on Saturday), has now bagged a total of five medals but you can expect a few more golds besides silver and bronze for sure! Medals Tally Rank Nation GSBT 1China785937174 2Japan403448122 3Korea27303794 4Iran14141240 5Indonesia12132550 6DPR Korea115723 7Thailand993149 8Chinese Taipei8111433 9India7101936 10Uzbekistan6111128 11Kazakhstan582841 12Bahrain4329 13Hong Kong371525 14UAE36312 15Mongolia32510 16Philippines301013 17Kyrgyzstan25916 18Malaysia25512 19Singapore22913 20Qatar2215 21Jordan21710 22Cambodia2013 23Kuwait2002 24Vietnam171220 25Macau1214 26Lebanon1124 27Iraq1102 28Korea UNITED1012 29Lao PDR0123 29Turkmenistan0123 31Saudi Arabia 0112 32Tajikistan0101 33Myanmar0022 33Pakistan0022 35Afghanistan0011

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:7QATA
Date:Aug 27, 2018
Words:784
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