Turkish runner earns a place in 3000m final
LONDON - Hürriyet Daily NewsTurkey’s middle-distance runner Tarık Langat Akdağ made it to the 3000-meter steeplechase final in the Olympic Games in London scheduled for Aug. 5.
Langat Akdağ, who is one of three Kenyan-born athletes to represent Turkey in the Olympics, finished his series in fourth place.
The 24-year-old finished the course in 8 minutes, 17.85 seconds to set the new Turkish record in the event. The previous record was Halil Akkaş’s 8.18.43, set in 2007.
Mahiedine Mekhissi-Benabbad of France finished the race first in 8.16.23. A total of 21 athletes qualified for the final, which will be held on Aug. 5.
Meanwhile, Pınar Saka finished her heat in the women’s 400 meter in 52.28, but that was not enough for a spot in the semifinals.
Saka will also race as a part of Turkey’s 4x400 women’s relay team. Four Turkish athletes will compete in track and field events Aug. 4.
European champion Gülcan Mıngır will lead Turkey’s hopes, while Binnaz Uslu and Özlem Kaya will also run in the women’s 3000-meter steeplechase qualification round.
Polat Kemboi Arıkan will participate in the 10,000 meter qualification race. The Kenyan-born athlete won the gold medal at that event during the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki earlier this summer.