Hurdler Machava wins first gold for Mozambique

19 May 2017

Creve Armando Machava won the men's 400-metre hurdles final on Friday to seal Mozambique's first-ever Islamic Solidarity Games gold medal.
The 21-year-old remained calm throughout a tight race at Baku's Olympic Stadium to edge to victory in a time of 50.73 seconds, ahead of Senegalese silver medallist Amadou Ndiaye by 0.21 seconds.Ndiaye came on strongly near the end to power past another Mozambique athlete Kurt Couto, who faded badly.

The 32-year-old Couto clung on in 50.97s to take bronze.

Moroccan middle-distance star Rababe Arafi successfully defended her women's 1500-metre title after pulling away from Turkey's Meryem Akdag to secure victory.

The 26-year-old finished ninth in the world championship final two years ago and also made the Olympic final, and she cruised to gold despite not troubling her personal best.

Arafi won in four minutes and 18.82 seconds, over a whole second clear of Akdag, who clinched silver in 4:19:91.

Algeria's Amina Bettiche (4:21:29) threw herself forward to snatch bronze on the line from Bahrain's Tigist Gashaw, who missed out on the podium by just 0.02s.

Arafi's gold is Morocco's fifth athletics title of the Games in Baku.

Azerbaijan clinched yet another track and field gold on Friday as Elena Chebanu clocked 24.69 seconds to win the women's 200-metre T12 disability final.

Chebanu won comfortably from Indonesia's Endang Sitorus, who sealed silver, while Morocco's Meryem En-Nourhi grabbed bronze.

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