9/9/2018 1:29:49 AM

Qatar's Samba powers to victory at Continental Cup


Ostrava, Czech Republic: Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba powered to yet another victory in 400m hurdles, his ninth of the season in as many races, at the Continental Cup in the eastern Czech steel hub of Ostrava on Saturday.

Samba’s time of 47.37 not only beat the closest contender by over a second, it also equalled the World/ Continental Cup record set by Edwin Moses in Rome 37 years ago.

Samba's race completes his remarkable series this season, in which he broke 48 seconds in every final he has run, scored victories in six IAAF Diamond League races and took gold at the Asian Games.

"This is a great season for me, I'm so happy. I don't want the season to end," Samba told the public Czech Television.

Annsert Whyte of Jamaica finished second in 48.46, a season's best, while  Karsten Warholm of Norway came third in 48.56. 

Meanwhile, Colombian triple jumper Caterine Ibarguen and Jamaican discus thrower Fedrick Dacres handed team Americas the lead after day one.

The Americas have 135 points from 19 events in the two-day team competition, ahead of defending champions Europe with 123. Asia-Pacific are on 89 and Africa have 74.

Americas capitalised on a smart move from coach Mike Powell, the long jump world record holder, who played so-called jokers on Ibarguen and Dacres, doubling their points from wins in their events.

Reigning Olympic champion Ibarguen jumped 14.76 metres for her win, while Dacres took the honours after throwing 67.97 metres.

"It was demanding but I wanted to do my best for Team America," Ibarguen told the IAAF website, while Dacres hailed the Cup with its specific rules as "an incredibly interesting competition".

Another contributor to Americas' lead, Panama's Alonso Edward defended his 200m win from the last edition in Marrakesh in 2014, clocking 20.19sec and beating reigning world champion Ramil Guliyev of Turkey.

Americas also got a boost from the 4x100m relays, winning both the men's and women's races.

Emmanuel Kipkurui Korir of Kenya held off his rivals on the final straight to win the 800m in 1min 46.50sec.

Reigning Olympic and world champion Conseslus Kipruto of Kenya cruised to a win in the 3,000m steeplechase in 8min 22.55sec.

'Getting points for the team' 

Donald Thomas of Jamaica, world champion from 2007, won the men's high jump with 2.30 metres, while South Africa's Ruswahl Samaai grabbed the long jump win for 8.16 metres.

"At the end of the day it's all about getting points for the team," Samaai told Czech TV.

"I told myself, this is my time, this is my Continental Cup and I want to be the champion... today I'm the champion and I'm proud of that."

Brazil's Darlan Romani won the shot put contest ahead of world champion Tomas Walsh of New Zealand.

Ivory Coast sprinter Marie-Josee Ta Lou, runner-up over 100m and 200m at the 2017 world championships in London, clocked 11.14sec to win the women's 100 metres.

In the women's 400 metres, Bahrain's Salwa Eid Naser took the win clocking 49.32sec, 0.3sec ahead of South Africa's Caster Semenya, the two-time Olympic and three-time world champion in the 800m.

Kenya's Winny Chebet took the honours over 1,500m in 4min 16.01sec and Sifan Hassan of the Netherlands pleased Europe captain Colin Jackson by winning the 3,000m in a championship record of 8min 27.50sec.

Jamaica's Danielle Williams, the world champion from Beijing 2015, won the 100m hurdles in 12.49sec, beating world record holder Kendra Harrison of the United States.

"To be honest I didn't expect to finish first but I was ready to fight and it was funny to try myself once more in strong company," said Williams.

Russian Anzhelika Sidorova cleared 4.85 metres just like another two competitors to win the women's pole vault, and Cuba's Yaime Perez stunned two-time Olympic and world champion Sandra Perkovic to win the discus.

This year's US champion DeAnna Price won the women's hammer throw with 75.46 metres, beating reigning Olympic, world and European champion Anita Wlodarczyk.

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