(MENAFN - Gulf Times) Abubaker Ali Kamal provided hosts Qatar their sixth gold in athletics by winning the 5,000m race with a personal best time of 13:45.60 here at the Khalifa Stadium yesterday.
Soufian Bouqantar of Morocco won silver with a time of 13:45.82, while the bronze was clinched by Ali Hasan Mahboob of Bahrain clocking 13 : 45.81.
At the end of the 12th day's proceedings Qatar completed a century of medals - 32 gold, 32 silver and 36 bronze and stay on the third spot. Egypt continue to top the medals tally with 80 gold, 67 silver and 59 bronze. While Tunisia, boosted with medals haul by their star swimmer Oussama Mellouli (11 gold) have a 10 gold lead over hosts Qatar are currently in the second spot.
"I realised from the first kilometre that the pace was very slow, so I said to myself, 'this is your race'. I stayed behind the Bahrainis for the whole race and I kicked at the last 400m," said an elated Kamal, who had earlier won gold for Qatar in the 3,000m steeplechase as well.
Kamal was also keen on considering a future in the 5,000m race. "I am a steeplechase runner and I am good in the 1,500m, but I also like the 5,000m. I have already qualified for the Olympic Games in steeplechase so I will try to qualify at 5,000m as well. I have already won the Arab Championships and today the Arab Games, so I guess I am good at it," revealed Kamal.
Silver medallist Soufian Bouqantar said: "I performed well. Losing to my Qatari opponent means only that me and him have kept the same level of performance since the Arab Cup in the United Arab Emirates."
Bouqantar is also keen on competing in the World Junior Championships next year in Barcelona, Spain. "I will compete as a junior and hope to obtain a better result there. I am going to train hard and be ready for the World Championships next year."
Earlier in the day, Qatari shooters lead by none other than their ace rally driver Nasser Saleh al-Attiyah went on to clinch gold for Qatar in a keenly contested men's skeet shooting team event. Al-Attiyah teaming up with Masoud Hamad and Saleh Rashid Hamad went on to put a total of 358 points from the four rounds each to clinch gold. UAE and Kuwait finished second and third respectively.
"I'm extremely pleased to have won gold after missing out on a medal in the individual event. Last few years we have always won the team event be it the Asian Games or at the Arab competition so it was great to finish once again with the gold on the podium.
"I was disappointed that we couldn't do well yesterday. However, today, especially in the team event, everything went as per plan," said the 40-yr-old ace rally driver, who is keen to make a fifth Olympics appearance at the London Games next year.
"It is my dream to compete in a fifth Olympic Games. Qualification for the Olympics will be in January but at the same time I have the 2012 Dakar Rally. This will be very difficult because I must defend my title in the car," said al-Attiyah, who will be heading to Argentina on 27th to take part in the Dakar Rally.
"I'm flying down in a week's time and this win is a big boost heading for the rally. A win is a win and it can do a world of good to your morale. Hopefully I shall do well there," said a confident al-Attiyah.
The third gold for Qatar came in the gymnastics women's individual trampoline. Qatari women, after a close contest, finished one-two with Fatima Abdulla edging out Nadden Wohdan by just 0.14 of a point for gold at the Aspire Dome yesterday.
The pair were so closely matched that in their routines both had the same difficulty rating: 6.1. The third place went to Ahrakat Ismail of Egypt, 6.85 points off Wohdan's score.
"It went very well and I thank God. I knew I would get a medal but did not expect the gold, I was very scared at the beginning of the competition," said an overjoyed Abdulla.
Silver medallist Wohdan was disappointed that she lost out on the gold by a whisker. "I am so sad. It was so easy to get the gold medal but I failed in the beginning of my routine," revealed Wohdan.
Abdullah Fayrouz provided Qatar with a silver in the men's individual trampoline with a total of 46.345 behind Tewfik Chikhi (49.970) of Algeria. Fayrouz's countrymate Faraj al-Hamad claimed bronze with a total of 40.970.
In Men's 470 Race 1 sailing, Qatar Jassim RM and Mohamed al-Muhanandi bagged silver. The gold was bagged by Bahrain's Ebrahim Abdulla Sadiq and Ahmed Abdulla Sadiq. The bronze went to Saoud al-Masoud and Salem Qaly of Kuwait.
Later in the evening, Qatar's Hamza Driouch won silver in the men's 1,500m final with a personal best timing of 3:34.43.
Ayanleh Hassan won the first gold for his country Dijbouti with a season's best time of 3:34.32, while the bronze was bagged by Mohamed al-Garni of Qatar with a time of 3:34.61.
Egypt and Qatar booked their semifinal berth in the men's basketball tournament yesterday, joining Jordan and Tunisia in the chase for the gold medal at the 2011 Arab Games.
Egypt breezed to a 79-63 win over Kuwait in their last second-round game, while Qatar followed with a 67-56 triumph over Algeria. Jordan and Egypt finished tied on four points, while Tunisia and Qatar followed with three apiece. Algeria and Kuwait had two points each. In the semifinals today Qatar will take on Egypt and Jordan will meet Tunisia.