BIRMINGHAM: Pakistan’s Shajar Abbas advanced to the semifinal of the 200m sprint in the Commonwealth Games after winning his heat in Birmingham.
He covered the distance in 21.12s to finish first.
He was followed by Nigeria’s Udodi Onwuzuruike, who moved to the next round with a time of 21.18s.
Earlier, Shajar put up an impressive show in 100m race but missed out on the next round by a mere 0.01 seconds.
For the 200m, the top two in each of the eight heats were to qualify for the semi-finals along with the next eight fastest sprinters and Shajar was one of eight winners on Thursday.
At the 100m mark, Shajar trailed Nigerian Udodi Chudi Onwuzurike — the World Under-20 champion — and Abdul Rasheed Saminu of Ghana.
But then he put on his afterburners, pulling level with Saminu by the 150m mark and then overhauling Onwuzurike in the last 25 meters, beating the Nigerian by 0.06 seconds at the finish line. Saminu was third in 21.32.
Overall, Shajar — who holds a national record of 20.87 in the 200m — was 12th among the 57 sprinters who finished and he will be up against a top field in the semis.