MUSCAT, Oman, Ace sprinter, Barakat al Harthi, became the first-ever Omani, to break the ten-second barrier, when the 30-year-old clocked a time of 9.97 seconds, to claim gold in the 100m, at the third West Asian Athletics Championships in Amman, Jordan.

Bahrain’s Jamaica-born Andrew Fisher, took silver in 10.24s, while another Bahrain’s sprinter, Saeed al Khaldi, bagged bronze in a time of 10.49s.

The record timing set by Barakat, also broke his existing Oman record of 10.05s, set in the Bulgarian town of Stara Zagaro in Jun, 2016. Barakat now joins an exclusive club of Asian athletes, who have shattered the ten-second barrier, often considered a benchmark for top-class sprinter.

Barakat is only the third athlete from the region to have achieved the record and only the sixth Asian to have done it. Qatar’s Samuel Francis was the first Asian to have accomplished it in July, 2007, with a time of 9.99s.

Seven years later, another Qatari sprinter, Femi Ogunode, clocked 9.93s, followed by 9.91s in 2015.

China’s Su Bingtain (9.91s) and Xie Zhenye (9.97s), Japan’s Yoshihide Kiryu (9.98s) are the other athletes to have gone below ten-second. Fisher, who became a Bahraini citizen in 2015, had achieved his personal best of 9.94s while representing Jamaica.

A total of 133 athletes from across the globe have achieved the mark (timed electronically), first achieved by American Jim Hines in Oct, 1968, with a time of 9.95s.

In his remarks from Amman, Barakat said, I am very happy to have achieved the record. I thank God, my family, friends and national association for helping me achieve it. I had a very good start and an equally good finish. To break the ten-second barrier has been a long dream for me and I am relieved to have accomplished it. My preparations for this championship was very good over the past few months. I had a long training camp in Turkey under coach Ozkan Kaya. I was focused for this event and even skipped Eid celebrations at home.

The Ibra native said, he believed in himself to go below the ten-second mark and is confident of a good show at the forthcoming Asian Games in Jakarta.

Source: Nam News Network