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MENAFN - Muscat Daily - 24/12/2012

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(MENAFN - Muscat Daily) Despite winning gold in the 100m race at the recent West Asian Athletics Championship in Dubai, the UAE, Oman's star athlete Barakat al Harthy is not happy with his performance and wants to improve his timing further as the new season unfolds.Running in his first competitive race since the 2012 London Olympics where he finished seventh in the heats in 10.41 seconds, Barakat bagged gold in 10.39s during the recent three-day meet. Speaking to Muscat Daily upon his return, Barakat said, ''Frankly, I am not happy with my timing despite winning the gold. I started the new season on a winning note, but it is a long season and I need to improve further.''Coached by Vychaslav Pozdnyakou of Ukraine, the 24 year old sprinter from Ibra has a career-best timing of 10.17s, which he had achieved last year to qualify for the 2012 Games. The Asian Games bronze medallist said, ''After London, it was a long break from training and I returned to the tracks only a month before this championship.''In Dubai, Barakat edged out eventual runner-up Reza Ghasemi (10.43s) of Iran and the UAE's Hussain Rustam (10.50s). The defending 100m champion is now aiming for an improved show at the 2013 GCC Athletics Championship, to be held in Doha, Qatar, from March 30-April 6. ''After the GCC event, Moscow will host an IAAF World Championship. I want to participate in that meet. But I need to run at least 10.21s to qualify for that tournament,'' Barakat said.Oman had won two other golds in Dubai. Buthaina al Yaqoubi won the women's 100m hurdles race and Qais al Mahrouqi won the 5,000m contest. Buthaina clocked 15.21s to set a new national record and beat Iran's Elnaz Kompani (15.67s) and Zeenah Arkan (20.12s). Mahrouqi won gold in 16m5.57s and his compatriot Issa al Azizi (16m6.42s) finished second.The UAE's Ali al Washi won bronze in 16m10.42s. Buthaina said, ''I trained hard for two months and I am happy I was able to win a gold. It wasn't easy for me to train on a regular basis as I had to attend college as well. My Hungarian coach, Klara Woth, helped me a lot.'' A total of 22 athletes from Oman participated in the meet in Dubai where Oman finished sixth among 12 nations. It won three gold, four silver and four bronze medals.


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