BAHRAIN’S Salwa Eid Naser cruised to an impressive victory last night in the women’s 400 metres race at the Gyulai Istvan Memorial 2019 meeting in Szekesfehervar, Hungary.
Salwa was in a class of her own as she dominated the sprint and won with nearly a 20-metre gap.
Also competing in the meet were Bahrainis Aminat Yusuf Jamal and Abbas Abubaker. Both also had strong performances, with Aminat posting a season’s best while taking third place in the women’s 400m hurdles and Abubaker clinching fourth in a hotly contested men’s 400m.
Yesterday’s meeting was part of the International Association of Athletics Federations Hammer Throw Challenge, and it was also under the umbrella of European Athletics.
In the women’s 400m, Salwa was back on the race track just four days after winning her 400m race in Lausanne, Switzerland, and she masterfully lived up to her tag as pre-event favourite.
Salwa had a strong start and on the final bend had built a clear lead from the rest of the field.
She did well to not only hold on to her advantage but also widened the gap as she powered down the home straight.
She crossed the finish line with nearly 20 metres ahead of her closest challenger in a winning time of 50.13 seconds.
Her mark wasn’t as quick as the 49.17s she had clocked a few days ago, but Salwa appeared just as imposing with her powerful yet graceful stride.
American Phyllis Francis was the runner-up more than a second behind in 51.24s, while Stephanie Ann McPherson of Jamaica came third in 51.76s.
In the women’s 400m hurdles, Aminat had an excellent start and was among the leaders midway through. She had dropped behind towards the end but had a fine finish as she cleared the final two hurdles, doing just enough to take third place overall.
She completed her race in 56.21s, which was her season’s best.
Ashley Spencer of the US won in 55.36s, while Janieve Russell of Jamaica came second in 55.65s.
In the men’s 400m, Abubaker was impressive in the run and should have finished in second place.
Heading down the home straight, he was marginally ahead of Americans Tyrell Richard and Vernon Norwood, but nearing the end, the Bahraini had slightly slowed down, allowing his rivals to go ahead of him. Only seven-tenths of a second separated the trio. Abubaker finished in 45.66s, Richard was second in 45.59s while Norwood claimed third in 45.62s.
Steven Gardiner of the Bahamas won in 44.45s.
Salwa, Aminat and Abubaker were the only three Bahrainis competing in last night’s Gyulai Istvan Memorial 2019.