Suleimani achieves personal best at IAAF U18 worlds
Oman's Mohammed al Suleimani, the sultanate's only representative at the IAAF World U18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya, came up with a impressive performance in the 2,000m steeplechase event on Sunday. Suleimani qualified for the final of the event after achieving his personal best time during his fifth-place finish in the heat when he clocked five minutes 58.89 seconds. The time was enough to get him a spot in the final that comprised 15 runners. In the final, Suleimani timed 5m:59.72s to finish tenth. Kenya's Leonard Bett won the gold medal, charging to victory in a time of 5m:32.52s. Locked in a battle against compatriot Cleophas Meyan all the way to the line, Bett won a sprint finish, much to the delight of the large crowd which turned out on the last day of ac- tion at the five-day showpiece. Meyan took the silver medal in 5m:33.07s, chopping nearly three seconds off his personal best, and Ethiopia's Alemu Kitessa came through for bronze in 5m:42.10s. It was Kenya's eighth victory in the boys' steeplechase at ten editions of the U18 championships. Suleimani had attended a three-week camp in Kenya to get acclimatised to the conditions there and was accompanied by his Algerian coach Laid Toutache. Oman Athletics Association (OAA) general secretary, Jahad al Sheikh, congratulated Suleimani on his performance and said, “The youngster has the potential to make it big in the years to come.” Suleimani, who won Oman’s cross-country title in February before settling for bronze at Asian Youth Athletics Championships in May in Thailand, is expected to compete in 2018 Youth Olympics in Argentina.
Oman’s Mohammed al Suleimani (left) and his coach Laid Toutache after the completion of 2,000m steeplechase event in Nairobi, Kenya on Sunday