Botswana’s Bernard Olesite destroyed the field on his way to claim the Boys 400m gold on the second day of Athletics competition at the 17th edition of Gymnasiade in Marrakech on Saturday.
Olesite powered off from the start, taking control of the race with 150m to go and just kept increasing the gap to win comfortably in 47.54 secs.
Sheng Luo of China was second in 48.96 secs while home favourite Mehdi Sefrani took the bronze medal for Morocco.
The 17-year-old was quick to pay homage to his fellow countryman and reigning Commonwealth Games 400m champion Isaac Makwala by treating the crowd at the Grand Stade de Marrakech with the ‘Makwala Challenge’ at the finish line.
Natalia Dyshliuk of Ukraine won the Girls 400m gold medal in a time of 54.60 secs.
Jui-Hsuan Yang of Chinese Taipei claimed the silver ahead of China’s Yijia Fu, who settled for the bronze, with both athletes timed at 55.60 secs.
He Li of China won the Girls 100m gold medal in 11.75 secs ahead of Marie Ange Rimlinger of France (12.01) and Yeva Podhorodetska of Ukraine (12.04).
Ioannis Granitsiotis of Greece was in a class of his own, clocking 10.57 secs to take the Boys 100m gold in style. Tai An of China took the silver in 10.71 secs while Yu-Sian Lin of Chinese Taipei claimed the bronze medal in 10.75 secs.
Morocco distance dominance goes on
Meanwhile, Moroccan athletes continue to amass gold medals in the middle and long distance events at Gymnasiade 2018.
Yassmine Bidkane led the gold rush for the host team with victory in the Girls 1500m. Bidkane clocked 4:36.16 to take gold ahead of Konstantina Chantzou of Greece, who was second in 4:38.14.
Ines Borba of Portugal completed the podium, clocking 4:38.60 to take the bronze medal.
Fouad Messoudi won the Boys 1500m gold for the host country in 3:51.64 ahead of Algeria’s Hamdani Benahmed (3:52.94) and Tarik Demir of Turkey (3:53.64).
Oussama Slimani of Tunisia was fourth in 3:55.28 while another Moroccan Othmane Lghrissi finished fifth in 3:57.56.
Morocco’s Chaimae Arrouf picked the Girls 800m gold medal in 2:11.15 ahead of Ukraine’s Svitlana Zhulzhyk (2:11.56) and Ioanna Panopoulou of Greece (2:13.45).
Mehmet Celik of Turkey upsets the Moroccan clean sweep of the middle distance titles by winning the Boys 800m gold medal in 1:50.68.
Mohammed Aboutahiry edged out his Moroccan compatriot Charaf Zahir to claim the silver medal in 1:51.08 to 1:51.13. Algeria’s Mohammed Ali Gouaned finished fourth in 1:53.76.
(AthleticsAfrica is a media partner of the ISF Sports Gymnasiade 2018 in Marrakech, Morocco)