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Shitaye clinches 10,000m gold

BAHRAIN picked up another five medals last night on the penultimate day of the 18th Arab Athletics Championships in Doha, reports PATRICK SALOMON.

The national team's medal haul included one gold medal, one silver and three bronze medals.

Shitaye Mubarak Eshete captured the evening's lone gold, winning the women's 10,000 metres final. Ruth Chibeyt won the day's silver, while Kareema Saleh Jassim, Mohammed Yousif and the men's 4x100m relay team clinched a bronze apiece.

The Bahrainis' impressive showing on the third day of competition brought their overall tally to 14 medals heading into today's final day of events. The total includes three gold medals, five silver and six bronze.

Kareema won one of last night's three bronze medals after finishing behind Shitaye in the 10,000m.

Shitaye completed the long-distance race in 34 minutes 25.82 seconds in first, while Kareema was not far behind in 35:13.86.

The night's lone silver was clinched by Ruth, competing in the women's 3,000m steeplechase. The national team newcomer completed the race in 9:52.47, just about five seconds from first place.

Bahraini jumper Yousif was also on the podium yesterday. He captured a bronze medal in the men's triple jump, registering a fine mark of 16.17 metres. His best was not far from the distance set by the gold-medallist, which was 17.01m.

In the men's 4x100m relay final, the Bahrainis did well to climb the podium. Comprising young but talented sprinters Ali Omar, Ahmed Mattar, Salman Dawood and Mohammed Jassim, the nationals stormed to third place behind winners Oman and runners-up Iraq.

Following yesterday's achievements, Supreme Council for Youth and Sports first deputy chairman and Bahrain Athletics Association president Shaikh Khalid bin Hamad Al Khalifa congratulated the national team on their success.

Shitaye's gold medal added to the ones already won by countrymen Genzeb Shumi in the women's 800m, and Alemu Bekele in the men's 10,000m. Bahrain continued to display their strength in the middle and long-distance races of the championships.

The meeting concludes today and Bahrain will be looking to make good of their last chances to win more medals.

The Bahrainis are one of 17 Arab delegations competing in the four-day event. More than 350 athletes, some of whom are leading contenders at the international elite level, are taking part.

The Bahrainis are using the competition as part of their preparations for a pair of bigger meetings later this year, including the Asian Athletics Championships in India this July and then the World Championships in Russia in August.



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