Manama : Bahrain’s Salem Eid Yaqoob won his men’s 400 metres first round heat and Benson Seurei came seventh in his men’s 1,500 metres first round heat yesterday to advance to their respective semi-finals to keep the kingdom’s medal hopes alive at the Rio Olympics in Brazil.
The 20-year old Yaqoob was an impressive heat three winner in the 200 metres as he won through in a time of 20.19 seconds, which was a personal best and knocking 0.15 seconds off his previous best time and also a new national record for the distance.
After starting in lane 4, Yaqoob going in to the straight from the bend held first place, but was briefly overtaken by Ramil Guliyev (20.23 seconds) who ended up second as Yaqoob restored his lead before crossing the finishing line in first.
Finishing in third was Canada’s Aaron Brown (20.23) who also qualified along with Guliyev and Yaqoob for tomorrow’s semi-finals starting 4am Bahrain time.
In the 1,500 men’s first round, 32-year old Seurei finished seventh in heat 1, clocking 3 minutes 38.82 seconds but was the best of the fastest loser and was seventh overall of the 43 runners spread over three heats.
Seurei was the fastest of the three heats and ran a good race despite being in first position into the final straight before being overtaken by six other runners.