Thursday 29 June 2017

Athletics: Benin land first-ever gold as Ahouanwanou wins hurdles

Athletics: Benin land first-ever gold as Ahouanwanou wins hurdles
(AFP (eng) 05/19/17)
Athletics: Benin land first-ever gold as Ahouanwanou wins hurdles

Odile Ahouanwanou landed Benin's first-ever gold medal in an Islamic Solidarity Games with victory in the women's 100-metre hurdles final on Thursday evening in Baku.

The 26-year-old got off to a slow start but powered clear in the final 30 metres to record a personal best time of 13.55 seconds and secure Benin's second athletics medal after Noelie Yarigo's bronze in the women's 800-metre final on Wednesday.

Benin had never previously won a medal at an Islamic Solidarity Games prior to the fourth edition in Baku, but they now have two in as many days in the athletics at the Olympic Stadium.

Turkey's Nevin Yanit Baltaci clocked 13.71s to take silver, 14 hundredths of a second ahead of Malaysia's Raja Nursheena Azhar, who clinched bronze for the second successive Games.

Twenty-year-old Moroccan Mostafa Smaili cruised to gold in the men's 800-metre final to win his maiden major title and his country's third athletics gold in Baku.

Smaili produced a flowery, classy performance as he streaked ahead on the home straight from Tunisia's Riadah Chninni who gained silver.

Algeria's Mohamed El Amin Belferar was two tenths of a second off silver as the Olympic semi-finalist had to settle for bronze.

It was Turkish delight in the men's hammer throw final as Esref Apak clinched gold by the tiniest of margins from compatriot Ozkan Baltaci to hand the Turks their second athletics gold of the day.

Apak fouled on his opening three efforts before he landed a monster season's best throw on his fourth attempt to win the title with 74.32 metres.

Baltaci was an agonising 19 centimetres short as he settled for silver in a Turkish one-two, while Qatar's Ahmed Elseify was third with 73.17m.

Azerbaijan recorded their eighth athletics gold medal with a one-two finish in the men's 100-metre T11 disability final.

In a tight race Nurlan Ibrahimov came out on top against compatriot Elchin Muradov with just four hundredths of a second separating them.

Ibrahimov won in 11.60s, while Iran's Arash Khosravi, who was the fastest qualifier, could only manage bronze in 11.66s.

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