Posted on July 15, 2018

Eight Aspire Academy student-athletes have showcased exceptional performances at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, running from 10 to 15 July at Ratina Stadium.

These include current student-athletes Owaab Barrow and Jaber Hilal Al Mamari (110m hurdles and 4x100m relay races), joined by graduates Nuh Anuh (high jump), Soud Abdulaziz Al-Hudmaidi and Bassem Hemeida (400m hurdles and 4x100m relay), Moaaz Mohamed Ibrahim (discus throw), Khalil Bedoui (hammer throw) and Abdulaziz Mohammed Salem (200m and 400m races), who trains with the Qatar Athletics Federation programme.

Graduate Saoud Al-Humaidi and student-athlete Owaab Barrow shone in the qualifying rounds in the 110m hurdles, demonstrating a remarkable performance that thrust them to the tournament’s semi-finals. After a tough start in the first two races, Al-Hudmaidi’s speed quickly recovered to finish in third place in the following race. Meanwhile, Owaab Barrow, a recent Gold medal winner at the Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers 2018 for the Under-20, came in third place, setting a new record for Qatar’s Under-20 athletes. With these results, Qatar was among only eight countries to have two athletes qualify to the semi-final out of 35 participating countries in the 100m hurdles. In the semi-finals, Saoud Al-Humaidi finished in eighth place, and Owaab Barrow finished in sixth place.

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In the preliminary round of the men’s Hammer Throw (6kg), Aspire’s graduate Khalil Bedoui came into the competition with a personal best of 68.32m. At the tournament, Bedoui achieved a distance throw of 63.67m to finish 12th in the race and achieve a ranking of 25 overall, a great jump from his 36th World Ranking upon entering the Championships. In the 400m hurdles race, Aspire Academy’s student-athlete and silver medallist at the Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers 2018, Bassem Hemeida finished the race in second place with a time of 52.35 sec and qualified for the semi-finals, which is due to be held on Friday, 13 July. Aspire Academy’s graduate, who also won silver at the Asian Youth Olympic Games Qualifiers 2018, Nuh Andu is also due to begin his quest to qualify for Friday’s High Jump final.

Four of the athletes taking part; Soud Abdulaziz Al-Hudmaidi, Bassem Hemeida, Moaaz Mohamed and Khalil Bedoui, comprised some of this year’s Aspire Academy graduates, who missed last month’s ceremony to prepare for the tournament. Aspire Academy celebrated the graduation of its biggest batch of student-athletes to date this year, who specialised in athletics, gymnastics, football, football refereeing, fencing, squash, shooting and table tennis, wrapping up 11 years of commitment to support Qatar’s significant developments in the sports field. With this year’s class of graduates, the total number of Aspire Academy graduates reached 362.

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The Aspire Academy Athletics programme develops talented athletes, selected in partnership with the Qatar Athletic Federation and through the Aspire Academy Talent Identification programme. Upon joining the Aspire Academy, the student-athletes are introduced to the full spectrum of athletic disciplines. As they mature and develop through the programme the student-athletes begin to specialize in the event group for which they were chosen and/or show the greatest potential. The focus of the Athletics programme is to develop strong, fit and technically proficient athletes, who upon graduation will pursue their athletic talent as part of the Qatar Athletics Federation Junior and Senior National Teams.