Qatar's rising star Abderrahman Samba opened his 2019 Diamond League season in style with a world-leading time of 47.27 seconds to set the men's 400-meter Hurdles meet record in Shanghai yesterday.
The 23-year-old, who won Diamond Prize with an unbeaten record last year, clocked 47.27s to smash the meet record of 48.63s set by Bershawn Jackson of the United States in 2017.
Rai Benjamin of United States finished second in 47.80s, followed by Irishman Thomas Barr in 49.41.
"It is a great feeling for the first Diamond League race of the season. It was a great race as Rai and I pushed each other to the line," said Samba, who sizzled 47.51 to win the gold medal at the Asian Championships last month.
"The main goal of the season for me is the World Championships in Doha. This year is a big year and I feel better this year," he added.
With this result, Samba became the second member of Qatar's Athletics Team to qualify for the Olympic Games in Tokyo 2020, after his teammate Abu Bakr Haydar, who finished fourth in the 800m race held in Doha last week.
Secretary-General of the Qatar Athletics Federation Mr. Mohammed Issa Al Fadalah expressed his happiness with the achievement made by Samba. "We dedicate this victory win to His Excellency Sheikh Joaan bin Hamad Al Thani, Chairman of the Qatar Olympic Committee and to the Qatari people," he said. (QNA)
Cover image credit: Doha Stadium Plus Qatar
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