BAHRAIN’S Salwa Eid Naser powered to an impressive victory yesterday representing the Asia-Pacific Team in the women’s 400 metres at the IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava 2018 in the Czech Republic.
Salwa clocked 49.32 seconds, the third fastest time of the year. Her time was also not far from her personal best of 49.08s, which is also the current Asian Record.
Salwa, who three gold and a silver in the recently concluded Asian Games in Jakarta, was followed by Africa Team’s Caster Semenya from South Africa in 49.62s while Americas Team’s Jamaican sprinter Stephanie Ann McPherson finished third in 50.82s.
Salwa’s Asia-Pacific teammate Anneliese Rubie from Australia finished eighth with a time of 52.50s.
With the result, Salwa and Rubie were able to win a total of nine points, eight from Salwa, for Asia-Pacific Team.
Meanwhile, Bahrain’s Hajar Alkhaldi finished seventh in the 100m final.
Hajar had a good start but was outsprinted by her rivals in the end. She posted a time of 11.52s, almost matching her Asia-Pacific teammate Yongli Wei of China who was sixth, just a hundredth-of-a-second ahead of her.
Africa Team’s Marie-Josee Ta Lou of Ivory Coast won in 11.14s. Europe’s Dina Asher-Smith from the UK was the runner-up in 11.16s while Americas Team’s Jenna Prandini from the US was third in 11.21s.
Hajar and Yongli earned five points, two from Hajar, to the Asia-Pacific Team.
Bahrain’s John Koech representing Asia-Pacific in the men’s 3,000m steeplechase did not finish the race.
Conseslus Kiproto of Kenya won for Africa Team in eight minutes 22.55 seconds. Canadian Matthew Hughes of Americas Team followed in 8:29.70, while Yohanes Chiappinelli of Italy running for Europe was third in 8:32.89.
Despite not finishing, Koech won three points for Asia-Pacific, while teammate Kosei Yamaguchi of Japan, who also had a DNF, claimed four points.
The competition continues today with five other Bahrainis set to feature.
Edidiong Odiong will be running in the women’s 200m final at 4.48pm, Bahrain time. Winfred Yavi will then compete in the women’s 3,000m steeplechase at 5.10pm and Aminat Yusuf Jamal in the women’s 400m hurdles at 5.30pm.
Noora Jasim takes part in the women’s shot put final at 5.57pm and Birhanu Balew competes in the men’s 3,000m for Asia-Pacific Team at 6.15pm.
Meanwhile, Colombian triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen and Jamaican discus thrower Fedrick Dacres handed team Americas a lead after day one.
The Americas have 135 points from 19 events in the two-day team competition, ahead of defending champions Europe with 123. Asia-Pacific are on 89 and Africa 74.
Americas capitalised on a smart move from coach Mike Powell, the long jump world record holder, who played so-called jokers on Ibarguen and Dacres, doubling their points from wins in their events.
Reigning Olympic champion Ibarguen jumped 14.76 metres for her win, while Dacres took the honours after throwing 67.97 metres.
Another contributor to Americas’ lead, Panama’s Alonso Edward defended his 200m win from the last edition in Marrakesh in 2014, clocking 20.19sec and beating reigning world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey.
Americas also got a boost from the 4x100m relays, winning both the men’s and women’s races.