Qatar’s Balla, Haroun qualify to the finals


Portland, March 20, 2016-Qatar’s Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla will start as a favourite for the men’s 800m title at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, United States, after he cruised to the final setting the fastest time during the qualifying heats on Friday afternoon.

Balla coasted to victory in 1:47.61 seconds. In the men’s 800m, Balla is the only one of the competitors to have broken 1:46.00 this year – having run 1:45.93 in Stockholm last month – and he ran with the confidence of an athlete vastly superior to his rivals.

Meanwhile, Qatar’s 19-year-old sprinter Abdalelah Haroun also qualified for the 400M final on Friday. The second semi-final was expected to boil down to a head-to-head duel between reigning champion Pavel Maslak of Czech Republic and Haroun, and that’s exactly what happened as the pair tussled for the lead approaching the bell.

Mutaz Essa Barshim was also in action in High Jump final late last night. The Qatari Olympic bronze medallist is one of the favourites for the gold medal.


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