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Ali storms to 100m final in World Athletics U20

Oman sprinter clocks third best time of 10.27 in semis

Oman sprinter Ali bin Anwar al Balushi progressed into final of the men's 100 metres in the 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships in Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Wednesday.

The 19-year-old clocked a third-best timing of 10.27 seconds in the semifinal heats to make it to the final. The timing was also a national U20 record for Ali with only a wind assistance of +0.4.

Letsile Tebogo of Botswana set the new national U20 record of 10.11 seconds (+0.4 wind assist) to top the semifinal. Godson Oke Oghenebrume of Nigeria was second with 10.22 seconds (+0.8 wind assist).

The men's 100m finals are set for 6.50 pm (Oman Time) on Thursday.

Ali finished fourth in the preliminary heat six with a time of 10.59 sec at the Moi International Sports Centre, Kasarani in Nairobi, Kenya. Jamaica’s Bryan Levell claimed the first place of heat six with a time of 10.43 sec while Hungarian’s Dominik Illovszky finished second in 10.51 second. Ali’s reaction time was 0.158 sec.

Following the conclusion of all the six heats, Letsile Tebogo (BOT) was the fastest as he finished the distance within 10.22 sec. Ali's timing positioned him in 18th place out of 47 competitors.

As many as 1,000 athletes representing more than 110 countries are taking part in the 2021 World Athletics U20 Championships in Nairobi.

On the other hand, the Sultanate’s runner Hussain al Farsi will take part in the men's 800 metres race on Thursday and Ali will represent the Sultanate in 200 metres.

Ali al Balushi, who trained under national head coach Fahad al Mashiekhy, managed to earn direct ticket to the World Athletics after he had clocked 10.53 seconds in a tournament during his camp in Turkey. He claimed the gold medal and broke his own national U20 record of 10.64 seconds.

Ali had won the gold medal in the 200 metres for Oman at the West Asian Junior Athletics Championships in Beirut, Lebanon in August 2019. He had completed 200 metres within 21.97 seconds.

Al Balushi holds the national youth record in both 100 and 200 metres. He was able to set 100 metres record of 10.69 seconds at the Asian Youth Athletics Championship in Hong Kong in March 2019.

The best personal record for Ali was registered at the Junior Olympic Games held in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in October 2018. Ali clocked his best timing of 21.36 seconds in 200 metres. He had won a bronze medal at the Morocco 2018 Gymnasiade School Summer Games in 200 metres.

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