14 JUL 2001 General News

Men 800 metre final

Men 800 metres final

The race started at true sprint pace for the first 200 metres, with the pack tightly bunched into the back straight and then things slowed down considerably as the heat and a drop of common sense had the better of the field. Chinese Taipei’s Fu-Pin Liao went through the bell in a respectable 56.83 a couple of metres ahead of the other leaders.

But the race really developed as the leaders came out of the final curve and came into the home straight. Salem Amer Al-Badri of Qatar, towering over the rest of the field accelerated into the lead, as the diminutive Kenya Cosmas Rono kicked on the outside from three back in a last ditch attempt to catch him. But Rono had left it too late and was outclassed by the giant Qatari to the line, with Al-Badri finishing in 1:50.15 to Rono’s 1:50.35. Liao took bronze in 1:51.35.

Al-Badri said that he had found the race tough: "It was very difficult race, even though the first lap was very slow. At the end though, everybody had a little bit left in them, which they all gave in a sprint for the line. Fortunately I had more left in me, that is why I could win.

Al-Badri summed up the excellent results achieved by Qatar in this Championships: "I was confident in my victory and the success of my team. We train very hard and give all our hearts at every competition."

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