DOHA: Kuwaiti runners Abdulaziz Al-Mendil and Yaqoub Al-Yoha bagged gold and silver medals respectively, in the 60-meter hurdles race of the 7th Asian Indoor Athletics’ Championships in Doha yesterday. Al-Mendil clinched first place with a time of 7.60 seconds, setting a new Asian record. Al-Yoha came in second with 7.65 seconds while Chinese Zheung Hong Lin came in third with 7.73 seconds.
In remarks to KUNA, coach of the Kuwait national team Bader Dashti said that the athletes, by virtue of their performance, have now qualified for the World Indoor Athletics Championships, to take place in the United States in March. Calling it a landmark accomplishment, Dashti noted that Al-Mendil and Al-Yoha put on repeat performances, having previously finished in the same placings in the 2014 edition of the championships in China.
Raising the Kuwaiti flag aloft is the incentive for participating in this tournament, Dashti added. Moreover, Al-Mendil told KUNA that having earned the first and second positions, Kuwait has proved that it could overcome the stiffest of challenges, pointing out that he had set two records in the championships, one of 7.66 seconds in the semi-finals and the other, 7.60 seconds in the finals.
After winning a silver medal, Al-Yoha said that the athletes had gone through intense preparations prior to the championships, which instilled in them the confidence needed to compete at such level. Al-Mendil and Al-Yoha, along with Majed Al-Zaid, Salah Al-Hadad, Youssef Karam and Ali Al-Sabagha, made up the Kuwaiti contingent at the championships.
The three-day sporting event, which kicked off on February 19, featured unprecedented international participation of around 400 athletes from 36 nations. -KUNA