In a remarkable display of athleticism, Kemi Adekoya of Bahrain demonstrated her prowess on the global stage by securing a historic achievement at the World Athletics Championships 2023 in Budapest. Although she narrowly missed a podium finish in the women’s 400 meters hurdles, Kemi Adekoya etched her name in the record books once again by setting a new Asian record for the third consecutive race.
Making her debut in a world final, Kemi Adekoya exhibited immense determination and sprinted down the home stretch to clinch a fourth-place finish in a fiercely contested race, clocking in at an impressive 53.09 seconds.
This exceptional performance marked the third instance of Kemi Adekoya smashing the Asian record during the ongoing world championships. She initially shattered the previous continental record that had stood for three decades by completing her first-round heats in 53.56 seconds. Demonstrating her consistent excellence, Kemi Adekoya outdid herself in the semi-finals with a remarkable time of 53.39 seconds.
Her remarkable journey reached a zenith as she bettered her own record last night, thereby also establishing a new Bahraini record and achieving a personal best.
The gold medal in the event was claimed by Femke Bol of the Netherlands, who completed the race in 51.70 seconds, while the silver was secured by Shamier Little of the US with a time of 52.80 seconds. Rushell Clayton of Jamaica clinched the bronze just ahead of Kemi Adekoya, finishing in 52.81 seconds.
Conversely, Bahrain’s Birhanu Balew’s pursuit for the men’s 5,000 meters final was cut short as he finished 15th in his heat during the preliminary round last night. Among the two heats, he needed to secure a place in the top eight to advance.
Balew began the race amidst the middle of the pack but surged to the fifth position, closely trailing the leaders, with five laps remaining. Despite a valiant effort, he found himself on the brink of qualification with three laps to go. However, his position within the top eight began to waver during the final lap, and he ultimately lost contention as he approached the final bend.
The clock stopped at 13 minutes and 41.00 seconds as Balew crossed the finish line. Spain’s Mohamed Katir led the pack with a time of 13:35.90, securing a place among the top eight qualifiers. The second heat was won by Luis Grijalva of Guatemala in a quicker time of 13:32.72.
Balew’s exit from the competition leaves only two more Bahraini athletes poised to compete at the prestigious Hungarian capital event.
In the upcoming schedule, Rose Chelimo, a former women’s marathon world champion, will strive for another gold medal as she participates in the women’s marathon at 8 am (Bahrain time). On Sunday, the spotlight will be on Winfred Yavi, aiming for her maiden world title in the women’s 3,000 meters steeplechase final scheduled for 10:05 pm (Bahrain time).
Kemi Adekoya‘s achievement serves as a testament to Bahrain’s strong presence in the global athletics arena. Her relentless pursuit of excellence and consistent breaking of records underscore her dedication to the sport and her commitment to elevating Bahrain’s stature on the international stage.