The blazing-fast sprinter set a new league record in the men’s seniors 100 metres, crossing the finish line in a blistering 10.54 seconds at Dubai Sports City on Thursday.
It was Khalfan’s first league appearance since his lone showing in the second meet back in November, when he paced the field with a 10.60s run.
“I’m happy. I came in and tried my best, but I’m hoping to surprise you guys in the other races coming up,” Khalfan said.
Even though his time improved, Khalfan was in a competitive race and acknowledged the improvement of the other runners as the season has gone on.
“All the runners have really improved, got better and better,” he said. “So it really motivates me. That’s what’s good about this. I say they’re part of my team.”
Khalfan, however, has yet to reach his ceiling in the league.
He’s capable of shaving even more time off, as he proved the weekend before at the Dubai Corporate Games, where he revealed he hit 10.18s.
Due to regular training every Thursday, he’s yet to be fully fresh when hitting the track in the Ultimate Racenight League.
“I’ve been having really heavy training on Thursdays. When I end up doing races, it’s really different,” he said.
“After training, I come straight away to the race. That’s when you waste half your energy, so when you come you cannot expect to do what you want.”
That didn’t stop him from also competing in the 200m, which he claimed with a time of 21.91s.
While Khalfan was a favourite, another runner, Khayre Ali, came out of nowhere to claim the men’s seniors 800m.
The 18-year-old participated in his first and only meet in the league, bringing his spikes from the US to Dubai while on spring break to finish in 2:04.5, ahead of Germany’s Tom Bork.
“I’m on spring break so I just decided to do one race before my outdoor season starts,” said Ali, who attends boarding school in Philadelphia.
“I run the mile usually. My mile time is 4:31, so that’s a 4:29 conversion to the 1600m. I wanted to get a fast 800m time and break two minutes today, but I guess it doesn’t help being on spring break.”
Ali will return to the US next week and is hoping to also do athletics at a university there.
Even though the Ultimate Racenight League has seen the last of Ali, at least for this season, he’ll go out on top.
He said: “I’ll be undefeated I guess.”
Hannah McLaughlin had her best finish in the U15 girls 400m, crossing in a personal-best 01:03.1.
“I was hoping for a personal best and was happy I got it,” she said.
In U13 girls, Emily Sinclair picked up where she left off after missing the last meet by widening her lead at the top of the table with wins in four of the age group’s six events.
She claimed the 80m in 11.13s, the 150m in 20.02s, the 300m in 46.47s and the high jump with a leap of 1.31 metres.
Two meets remain of the Ultimate Racenight League, with the next event scheduled for April 21.