Sunday, 26 September 2021 03:33 GMT

World champion Barshim eyes Olympic glory


(MENAFN- The Peninsula) The Peninsula / Agencies

Tokyo: Qatar’s two-time world champion Mutaz Barshim will have his sights set on the Tokyo Olympics gold medal when he participates in the high jump final to be staged today.

The 30-year-old qualified to the title showdown after clearing 2.28m in the qualifications held on Friday.

Barshim will face Lovett of Canada, Kerr of New Zealand, McEwen of the US, Tamberi of Italy, Ivanyuk of Russia and Gale of Britain.

The other Qatari medal contender Abderrahman Samba will participate in the men’s 400m hurdles semi-finals today.

Brazil’s Alison dos Santos, USA’s Kenneth Selmon and Italy’s Alessandro Siblio will likely be his most formidable opponents.

In the men’s 800m, Abubaker Hayder Abdallah crashed out after finishing sixth (1:47.45) in his heats.

Beach volleyball duo of Cherif Younousse and Tijan Ahmed will return to action today. They will take on USA’s Philip Dalhausser and Nicholas Lucena in a Round of 16 match.

On the other hand, Femi Seun Ogunode progressed to the men’s 100M semi-finals with a 10.02 sec run yesterday.

Trayvon Bromell, the fastest in the world this year and favourite to win the men's 100 metres gold, sneaked through the first-round heats as a fastest loser yesterday, pouring even more intrigue into today's final.

The American posted 9.77 seconds last month and, in the absence of banned world champion Christian Coleman, arrived as the man most likely to regain the blue riband title for the United States for the first time since 2004.

But he got a terrible start in the second heat and was labouring to make ground behind winner Enoch Adegoke of Nigeria (9.98 seconds). Bromell finished a ragged fourth in 10.05 seconds - with only the first three progressing automatically.

He faced an anxious wait through the remaining five heats but went through safely as the quickest of the three fastest losers.

With the retirement of triple champion Usain Bolt, the US are desperate to regain the most prestigious title of the Olympics, having last triumphed via Justin Gatlin in Athens.

Ronnie Baker, who posted 10.03 in the opening heat, and Fred Kerley, 9.97, both looked good, while Canada's Andre de Grasse, bronze medallist in 2016, was the fastest qualifier with 9.91 seconds.

Jamaica's slim-looking hopes of continuing their streak are now resting on former world champion Yohan Blake (10.06) and Oblique Seville, who ran an equal personal best of 10.04, after trials winner Tyquendo Tracey did not make the start line.

Lamont Marcel Jacobs had an explosive start en route to an Italian record of 9.94 while Australian Rohan Browning ran a personal best to win the final heat in 10.01.

Kenya's Mark Otieno was pulled from the heats hours before the start after a positive doping test. That left Ferdinand Omanyala as the lone contender for Kenya - he also served a 14 month doping ban from 2017 - and he advanced by tying his own national record of 10.01.

The semi-finals and finals both take place this evening, local time, in Tokyo.

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