Samba Rekindles Olympic Aspirations with Return at Stockholm Diamond League

Samba Rekindles Olympic Aspirations with Return at Stockholm Diamond League By Sruthi Nair - June 03, 2024
Abderrahman Samba

Abderrahman Samba

Abderrahman Samba's return to competition is rekindling Qatar’s medal hopes for the upcoming Paris Olympics. The 28-year-old 400m hurdler, recovering from an injury, participated in the Diamond League meet in Stockholm yesterday, marking his season debut. Samba clocked 49.69 seconds in the 400m hurdles, finishing well behind the leaders but indicating a positive step for Team Qatar, which aims to surpass their record of two gold medals and a bronze from the COVID-delayed Tokyo Games three years ago.

Samba has faced multiple injuries since his standout 2018 season, where he set the Asian record of 46.98 in Paris and secured a bronze at the 2019 World Championships in Doha. After missing the 2020 season, he managed to place fifth at the Tokyo Games in his limited 2021 appearances. A hamstring injury before the 2022 Doha Diamond League meet sidelined him for the remainder of that season. However, he made a strong comeback in October 2023, winning his second consecutive Asian Games gold in Hangzhou, China.

Although Samba intended to compete at the Doha Diamond League in May, an injury delayed his return after he began the 2024 season with a flat 400m in South Africa, clocking 45.55 seconds. Despite his cautious performance yesterday, his potential for podium finishes remains high if he can maintain his fitness. Samba narrowly edged out his teammate Bassem Hemeida, who finished with a time of 50.38 seconds.

“The 400m hurdles has evolved significantly in recent years, but if I stay healthy and train consistently, I’m confident I can contend for a medal in Paris,” Samba stated before the Doha meet.

In the same race, Brazil’s Alison Dos Santos, who recently set a world lead of 46.63 seconds in Oslo, won with a time of 47.01 seconds. He was followed by Kyron McMaster from the British Virgin Islands (48.05) and USA’s CJ Allen (48.12).

“It was a good race - 47.01. I think we are proving that we are in good shape. I am excited about these consecutive results and am eager to return to training,” Dos Santos said after his win. “I’m heading back to Florida to discuss with my coach what needs improvement. We have a strong group of athletes excelling in the 400m hurdles. I plan to compete in Monaco, Paris, or London to gauge my readiness before the Olympics,” he added.

 

Source: The Peninsula Qatar

By Sruthi Nair - June 03, 2024
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