Kathmandu, Nepal, December 3, 2019: A final burst in the last 20 metres gave Hassan Saaid and the Maldives a first-ever gold medal in the history of the South Asian Games – winning the plum track event in athletics, the men’s 100m dash. Having had to settle for a silver medal at the last edition in Guhawati, India, in 2016, Saaid was not to be denied at the Dashrath Stadium on Tuesday as he digged deep to find an extra gear over the last few metres and overcome pre-race favourite Himasha Eshan of Sri Lanka. “I’m so happy to win and give my country its first gold medal at the South Asian Games. It is a proud moment for me,” said an overjoyed Saaid after his heroic effort. The Rio Olympian won gold in a time of 10.49 seconds. Eshan took silver with 10.50 while Pakistan’s Samiullah grabbed the bronze in 10.66 seconds. After a false start – a technical error resulting in no one being disqualified – it was Sri Lanka’s Eshan who got off to a flier from the blocks and led easily at the halfway mark. Eshan, the defending gold medallist, seemingly had the race in the bag and looked as if he lowered his guard allowing Hassan, running alongside in lane four, to inch ahead and dip his head at the line to register a momentous victory for the Maldives. “I thought I had done enough to win the race. But he (Saaid) did well. I’m disappointed that I could not repeat but well done to him,” said Eshan, the first person to congratulate Hassan. Both runners celebrated at the end but, after a lengthy pause, the timings proved Maldives had created history. In 2016, Maldives could only manage winning three medals, two silvers and a bronze. Saaid’s historic gold has already made it their best-ever South Asian Games.