After a gap of two days, Qatar added yet another medal to the tally as Ashraf Amgad Elseify won men’s hammer throw bronze medal at the Islamic Solidarity games in Baku yesterday.
The 22-year-old athlete, the 2012 Asian Junior Athletics Championships gold medallist, threw 73.17m to finish third.
It was a Turkish delight in the hammer throw final as Esref Apak clinched gold by the tiniest of margins from compatriot Ozkan Baltaci to hand the Turks their second athletics gold of the day.
Turkey lead the tally with 155 medals, while Qatar now have seven medals in all, including one gold, one silver and five bronze.
Apak fouled on his opening three efforts before he landed a season’s best 74.32m on his fourth attempt to win the gold. Baltaci was an agonising 19 centimetres short as he settled for silver in a Turkish one-two.
Another Qatari in the final, Ahmed Elseify, finished seventh with a 66.28m effort.
Qatar’s Li Ping surged forward to the semi-finals of the men’s singles table tennis event with a 4-1 win over Olajide Omotayo at the Sarhadchi Arena yesterday.
Li had little trouble taking the first game 11-5, but Omotayo bounced back with an 11-8 win in the second game. Thereafter Lee picked up three straight games 11-6, 11-8 and 11-9 to advance to the last four stage against Nima Alamian Daounkoalei of Iran.
The 24-year-old Iranian blanked Turkey’s Batuhan Ulucak 4-0 for his spot in the semifinals.
In the 3x3 basketball event, Qatar finished the first day with two wins from as many matches to top Group B with four points.
In the first match, Qatar defeated Indonesia 21-12, riding on a 9-point effort by Tanguy Ngombo, while Abdulrahman Saad and Saeed Erfan Ali added 6 and 4 respectively.
Qatar later thrashed Ivory Coast 15-7, with Ngombo adding 4 points, and Ali scoring five. Saad and Nedim Muslic added 3 points each.
Qatar will take on second-placed Mali and fifth-placed Jordan today.
Elsewhere, Odile Ahouanwanou landed Benin’s first-ever gold medal at the Games with victory in the women’s 100-metre hurdles final yesterday.
The 26-year-old got off to a slow start but powered clear in the final 30 metres to record a personal best time of 13.55 seconds and secure Benin’s second athletics medal after Noelie Yarigo’s bronze in the women’s 800-metre final on Wednesday.
Benin had never previously won a medal at the Games prior to the fourth edition, but now have two in as many days in athletics at the Olympic Stadium.
Turkey’s Nevin Yanit Baltaci clocked 13.71s to take silver, 14 hundredths of a second ahead of Malaysia’s Raja Nursheena Azhar, who clinched bronze for the second successive Games.
Twenty-year-old Moroccan Mostafa Smaili cruised to gold in the men’s 800-metre final to win his maiden major title and his country’s third athletics gold in Baku.
Smaili produced a flowery, classy performance as he streaked ahead on the home straight from Tunisia’s Riadah Chninni who gained silver.
Algeria’s Mohamed El Amin Belferar was two tenths of a second off silver as the Olympic semi-finalist had to settle for bronze.
Azerbaijan recorded their eighth athletics gold medal with a one-two finish in the men’s 100-metre T11 disability final.
In a tight race, Nurlan Ibrahimov came out on top against compatriot Elchin Muradov with just four hundredths of a second separating them. Ibrahimov won in 11.60s, while Iran’s Arash Khosravi, who was the fastest qualifier, could only manage bronze in 11.66s.
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