Doha, Qatar: Abubaker Hayder Abdalla had to be content with a fourth-place finish in the 800m in the Doha Diamond League meeting at Khalifa International Stadium on Friday, but the youngster still had reasons to celebrate as he became the first Qatari athlete to qualify for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
Abdalla’s 1min44.82sec surpassed the qualifying time of 1:45.20 seconds set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) in March.
According to the qualifying standards announced by the IAAF, male athletes specialising in the 800m must clock 1:45.20 or better during the period between May 1, 2019 and June 29, 2020.
Abubaker had clocked 1:44.33 on way to the gold medal at the Asian Athletics Championships, but that was in April and hence not counted for Olympic qualification.
World high jump champion Mutaz Barshim, 400m hurdler Abderrehman Samba and 200m specialist Abdelelah Haroun are also in line for qualification for the Tokyo Games.