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Zahir wins silver in Asian Indoor Athletics


Published : 19 Feb 2024 08:42 PM

Sprinter Zahir Rayhan won the silver medal in the 400m event of the 11th Asian Indoor Athletics Championships by clocking 48.10 seconds in the final in Tehran, Iran tonight.

Zahir, who stood first in the Heat with a timing of 48.84 seconds, improved his timing in the final event but it was not good enough as Iranian Sajad Aghaei grabbed the gold medal by clocking 47.95 seconds.

Starting at lane 6, the 22-year-old sprinter from Bangladesh was on par with six other sprinters but went behind from the start of the second lap. He recovered well in the last 100m and looked to be competing with Iraqi Yasir Ali for the first position before Sajad suddenly accelerated to finish 00.15 seconds ahead of Rayhan.

However, Rayhan may be happy to claim a medal despite clocking slower than how he did in the recently concluded National Athletics Championships in Bangladesh. He clocked 47.76 seconds to win a 400m gold medal in Bangladesh.  

Meanwhile, defending champion Imranur Rahman, also the fastest man of Bangladesh, qualified for the final as he came second in Heat-1 of the semifinals with a timing of 6.60. He had qualified for the semifinals of the 60m sprint after becoming second in his Heat-3, with a timing of 6.62 seconds, and finishing overall fourth among 25 sprinters.

Imranur finished third overall in two Heats while Shuhei Tada of Japan (6.53 seconds) and Anwar Ali of Oman (6.50 seconds) were first and second, respectively. 

Imranur won the gold medal in the same event in 2023, clocking 6.59 seconds.  

However, another Bangladeshi sprinter -- Rakibul Hasan -- failed to get past the Heat after becoming fourth out of eight sprinters in Heat-4. He finished 18th among 25 competitors by clocking 6.87 seconds. Bangladesh's fastest woman Shirin Akter became 13th out of 17 sprinters in the women's 60m event by clocking 7.86 seconds.