Qatar’s Balla sizzles; Haroun and Barshim make world indoors final

Qatar’s Musaeb Abdulrahman Balla underlined his status as favourite for the men’s 800m title when coasting to victory in 1:47.61 during the qualifying heats on Friday afternoon at the World Indoor Athletics Championships in Portland, United States on Friday.

Also excelling for Qatar in the 400m semi-finals was the 19-year old Abdalelah Haroun, who set a world indoor best at 500m this winter, posted the fastest time with his 46.16 win in the fourth heat. Maslak dominated the fifth heat easily with 46.58 as did Taplin in the third heat with 46.24.

Qatar’s star high-jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim, meanwhile made it to the final start list and will be competing in the wee hours of Sunday (04:22 local time).

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All medal favourites advanced to the 400m semifinals including Czech Republic’s defending champion Pavel Maslak and world leader Bralon Taplin of Grenada.