x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Salfah misses bronze by a whisker

The UAE athlete finishes fourth in a tight photo finish in the 60m sprint final of Asian Indoor Championships.

The UAE's Omar Juma al Salfah finished fourth in the 60m sprint final during the Asian Indoor Championships in Hanoi, Vietnam today. Al Salfah, who had broken the national record in both his heat and semi-final, did it for the third time in the eight-man final, clocking 6.72seconds. But the 21-year-old 200m specialist narrowly missed out on a medal in a tight four-man photo finish. "We were hoping for a medal when he broke the record [in the heats and semi-final], but he was very unlucky," said Ahmed al Kamali, the UAE Athletics Federation president. "He will have to be happy with the record."

Elsewhere, Ali Obaid Shirook and Suod Abdul Kareem came through their 400m semi-final heats and will line-up in tomorrow's final. Shirook, 28, clocked 48.90seconds, while Kareem, 20 - the youngest member of the five-man squad at the regional indoors showcase - crossed the line in 49.24 seconds. "Only Saudi [Arabia] and ourselves have qualified two runners for the 400m final," said al Kamali. "It's a good result and even better because the guys went quite easy and didn't put in a maximum effort.

"They have saved energy for the finals and we've achieved our target [in the 400m] for the first day, but we'll have a different strategy going for medals." In the squad's other events tomorrow, Shirook, Kareem, al Salfah and Jasem Saeed team up for the 4x400m relay, while gold medal hope Mohammed Abas - tipped by al Kamali to qualify for the London Olympics in 2012 - will be in action in the triple jump.

emegson@thenational.ae