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UAE’s Desalegn does Doha double at Asian indoor championships

By Tajuddin
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Feb 21st, 2016
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UAE's Bethlem Desalegn celebrates winning the 3000m Women's final during the seventh Asian Indoor Athletics Championships at the Aspire Academy of Sports in the Qatari capital, Doha, on February 20, 2016.   UAE's Bethlem Desalegn, who took first place in the women's 1500m, with a time of 4.21.65 / AFP / Karim JAAFAR

UAE’s Bethlem Desalegn celebrates winning the 3000m Women’s final during the seventh Asian Indoor Athletics Championships at the Aspire Academy of Sports in the Qatari capital, Doha, on February 20, 2016.
UAE’s Bethlem Desalegn, who took first place in the women’s 1500m, with a time of 4.21.65 / AFP / Karim JAAFAR

Doha, Qatar ( AFP + DIPLOMAT.SO) – Betlhem Desalegn of the UAE completed a middle-distance double at the Asian Indoor Athletics Championships in Doha on Saturday, taking gold in the 3,000m to go alongside the 1500m title she won the previous evening.

Ethiopian-born Desalgen, 24, won in a time of 8min 44.59 sec, almost three seconds ahead of Bahrain’s Ruth Jebet, who finished second.

Despite her success however, Desalgen revealed afterwards that she was not fully fit.

“I needed to push hard, to meet qualification standards for Portland (world indoor championships),” she said.

“I had suffered many setbacks over the last three years due to a problem with my Achilles.

“I’m still not one hundred percent fit, but I’ll fight for a medal at the Worlds.”

The world indoors take place next month in the United States.

There was also further home country success on Saturday, with Qatari athletes securing gold in the men’s 400 and 1500m.

Abdelalelah Haroun set a championship record of 45.88 secs to win gold in the 400m.

“I gave all I had left in the tank, but I certainly can go faster,” said the teenage star.

“My target here was to win the race, nothing more. For me, the next stop is Portland.”

Last week, the 19-year-old became the first man to run 500m in less than a minute, clocking a time of 59.83secs at a meeting in Stockholm.

Another home winner on Saturday was Mohamad Al-Garni, who regained his title at 1500m.

Their success follows gold for Qatari high jumper Mutaz Etta Barshim on Friday.

The final day of events at the Asian indoor championships takes place on Sunday.

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