Tokyo, 2 August 2021 - Qatar’s Abderrahman Samba qualified for his first Olympic Games final at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan, on Sunday.
The World bronze medallist ran a 47.47 seconds in the men’s 400m hurdles semi-final, to secure his place in Tuesday's final. In the heat, the second semi-final, Samba finished behind Alison dos Santos, who ran a 47.31.
Samba was only the second man to dip under 47 seconds in history behind the then world record holder Kevin Young (46.78) when he ran a 46.98 in Paris in June 2018. However, an injury he suffered in London while running a 400m flat upset his momentum. Samba managed a bronze at the World Championships at home in 2019, finishing behind Norwegian Karsten Warholm and American Rai Benjamin.
Yesterday, the two other members of the sub-47 quartet, Warholm and Benjamin, too rolled through their semi-final, setting up an eagerly awaited final showdown.
Two-time world champion and world record holder Warholm ran 47.30, while Benjamin 47.37.
Warholm last month broke Kevin Young’s 29-year-old world record at the Oslo Diamond League meet, running 46.70.