Long distance runner Mohammed Abduh Bakhet yesterday struggled in the men’s marathon final as Qatar wound up its campaign at the 2012 London Olympic Games with an overall tally of two medals.
Bakhet finished in 68th spot out of 85 runners in the men’s marathon final which was won by Stephen Kiprotich who ended Uganda’s gold drought at the Games. The 42-km race, which was staged around London’s exotic tourists spots, was won by Kiprotich with a time of 2hrs 08mins 1sec.
Kenyan pair Abel Kirui and Wilson Kipsang bagged silver and bronze respectively. Kirui finished the race 26 seconds adrift of Kiprotich while Kipsang was 1:36 behind the winner’s time in bright and sunny conditions. Qatar’s Bakhet remained in the top clutch of runners for the first 10kms but dropped back thereafter as the experienced runners took over.
“I am disappointed that I couldn’t do better than this,” an exhausted-looking Bakhet said. “Obviously this is the Olympic Games and the runners here are very experienced. The level of competition is extremely tough,” the 25-year-old Qatari added.
“I hope I can take this experience with me and prepare for future races even better. I had good support from my team but I need to do better,” he added without elaborating. Bakhet finished 17mins 16secs behind gold medallist Kiprotich.
A group of 20 runners did not finish the race watched by thousands of fans who lined up some of London’s most notable landmarks including Big Ben. The race started and finished in the Mall near Buckingham Palace. It comprised one short and three longer circuits through the heart of London.
Despite Bakhe’s inability to bag a medal yesterday, Qatar savoured one of their finer moments in Olympics history a few days ago when high jumper Mutaz Essa Brashim won a bronze. On July 31, Qatari shooter Nasser Saleh Al Attiyah bagged a bronze in the men’s skeet final at the Royal Artillery Barracks (RAF). It was the first time that these two athletes had won a Games medal.
For Al Attiyah, his performance at RAF was a memorable one as the 41-year-old Qatari was in his fifth Olympics. The next edition of the Olympic Games will be held in Brazilian capital Rio de Janeiro in 2016.
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