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XXXII Olympiad Azemia performs below usual high standard in 400m hurdles |31 July 2021

XXXII Olympiad     Azemia performs below usual high standard in 400m hurdles

Azemia clearing a hurdle during yesterday’s race

Local track & field athlete Ned Azemia performed well below his usual standards yesterday, clocking 51.67 seconds in the 400m hurdles at the ongoing re-scheduled XXXII Olympiad in Tokyo, Japan.

Running in lane number three next to Jamaican Jaheel Hyde inside the Olympic Stadium, Azemia was last in eight athletes in heat number two which proved to be the second fastest of the five heats. The winner of heat number two was Jamaican Hyde in 48.54 seconds, followed in second place by American Kenneth Selmon in 48.61 seconds and third was Japanese Hiromu Yamauchi in 49.21 seconds.

Azemia’s time of 51.57 seconds, placed him 36th and last overall.

The fastest qualifier was Abderrahma Samba of Qatar in 48.38 seconds while Brazilian Alison Dos Santos clocked the second fastest time of 48.42 seconds. Both competed against each other in heat number one.

This was Azemia’s second appearance at the Olympics after making his debut in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 when he clocked 50.74 seconds in the same event on August 15, 2016 for a Seychelles record. He dipped below the 50-second barrier, bringing the new Seychelles record to 49.82 seconds and that was during the NJCAA Division I Men's Outdoor Track & Field Championships at the BG Products Veterans Sports Complex El Dorado, Kansas, USA in May 2018.

Meanwhile, in the men’s one person dinghy – Laser sailing, Rodney Govinden has finished in 33rd position out of 35 sailors.

Govinden registered his best finish ‒ 28th place ‒ in race number nine yesterday and was placed 33rd in the 10th one in light and fluky winds in the Enoshima Yacht Harbour.

He finished with 312 points (net 278) after his worst finish ‒ 34th position in race number four ‒ was discarded.

Govinden was the only Seychellois athlete to earn qualification for the biggest multi-sports event after clinching the Laser gold medal at the 2019 African Championship RSX and Laser, in Algiers, Algeria.

This was the second time in succession he had qualified for the Olympics. He made his first appearance in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in 2016 and finished 45th overall.

In men’s Laser sailing in Tokyo, Matt Wearn wrapped up the gold medal, making him the third consecutive Australian to have achieved the feat.

With an insurmountable 22-point advantage after the final two races of the 10-race qualifying series ended yesterday, tomorrow’s medal race will be a formality for Wearn. He only needs to start and finish the race involving the top 10 sailors to take the crown.


Gerard Govinden

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