EIGHT Bahraini athletes have been named to the Asia-Pacific team that will be competing in the IAAF Continental Cup in Ostrava, Czech Republic, this Saturday and Sunday.
The two-day meeting is a quadrennial competition organised by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), featuring squads representing entire continents rather than individual countries. It is being held for the third time in its current format.
From the eight Bahrainis, five were gold-medallists at the recently concluded 18th Asian Games in Indonesia. They include sprinters Edidiong Odiong, Salwa Eid Naser and Hajar Alkhaldi, and long-distance specialists Winfred Yavi and Birhanu Balew.
The three other athletes are hurdler Aminat Yusuf Jamal, steeplechaser John Koech and shot putter Noora Jasim.
Edidiong will be running in the women’s 200 metres, while Salwa will be competing for Asia-Pacific in the women’s 400m. Hajar will be competing in the women’s 100m, while Winfred will appear in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase and Balew in the men’s 3,000m.
Aminat will contest the women’s 400m hurdles, Koech the men’s 3,000m steeplechase and Noora the women’s shot put.
Only Koech is making a return to this year’s team from the 2014 squad that also included eight Bahraini athletes.
In the Continental Cup, athletes will be aiming to collect team points, individual cash prizes and a piece of the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 trophy.
Athletes are ranked according to their finishing positions in their events and are given individual points (eight to one) accordingly. A team ranking is then determined by adding the individual points of each athlete in each team. Team points are awarded according to the team ranking. The first team scores eight points, the second scores six points, the third scores four points and the fourth scores two points.
“The IAAF Continental Cup is the only athletics competition in which athletes represent entire continents,” says IAAF president Sebastian Coe. “The event has evolved over the years and the 2018 edition will bring with it some exciting changes to the competition format.
“And with no senior outdoor global championships taking place this year, the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 will be one of the highlights of the athletics calendar.”
For the first time in the history of this competition, each member of the winning team will be awarded with his or her own trophy.
Meanwhile, the prize money to be claimed by each winning athlete will be paid by the IAAF as follows: first place will get $30,000 (BD11,280), second $15,000 (BD5,640), third $10,000 (BD3,760), fourth $7,000 (BD2,632), fifth $5,000 (BD1,880), sixth $3,000 (BD1,128), seventh $2,000 (BD752) and eighth $1,000 (BD376).