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Nov 26 - Dec 8, 2019
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Heartbreak for Qatari athletes on day three

Abubaker Abdalla bows out in 800M semifinal, Mohammed exits in the first round of 200M.
Qatar's Abubaker Haydar Abdalla (right) Competes In The 800m Semifinal Of The World Championships
Qatar’s Abubaker Haydar Abdalla (right) competes in the 800M semifinal of the World Championships. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran

The third day of the IAAF World Championships at the Khalifa International Stadium was a mostly forgettable one for hosts Qatar.

The home challenge ended tamely after Abubaker Haydar Abdalla (men’s 800M semifinal) and Abdelaziz Mohammed (200M heats) crashed out.

A day earlier, Abdalla had qualified for the competition’s penultimate round with a second-place finish in the heats, but he could not repeat the feat in the first semifinal. He finished last in 1min 46.87sec.

Just as in the previous round, Abdalla pushed from the start and even led for the first 500M. Then Puerto Rico’s Wesley Vazquez (1:43.96) passed him and never again relinquished the lead. Abdalla acknowledged a tactical mistake had done him in.

“I ran the semifinal just the way I did the first round — by attacking from the start. But in a bid to finish in the top two, I began too fast and couldn’t sustain the speed. After the 500M mark, I failed to keep up and fell behind. Still, it was a tremendous experience, and I’ll learn from my mistakes,” Abdalla told Inside Qatar.

Abdelaziz Mohammed ran his season’s best time of 20.75 in the fifth heat of 200M, but it was only good enough for a sixth-place finish. The runner, who pulled a muscle, was taken out on a wheelchair.

Qatar Abdelaziz Mohammed In Action In The 200m Heats At The Iaaf World Athletics Championships In Doha
Qatar’s Abdelaziz Mohammed in action in the 200M heats at the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Doha. IQ Photo: Vinod Divakaran