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THROWING TEAM BENEFITS FROM ELITE ATHLETE’S VISIT

12 Jan 2016, General

Doha, 12 January 2016. Croatian discus thrower and shot putter Filip Mihaljević is the latest renowned athlete to visit Aspire Academy and participate in a training camp. The 21-year-old, who won a gold medal in the shot put at the 2015 European Athletics U23 Championships and a silver medal at the 2013 European Athletics Junior Championships also in the shot put, is training with Aspire Academy coach Ivica Jakeljic and student-athletes at the IAAF-accredited Training Centre from 4 – 17 January.

Describing his experience so far, the Croatian said: “I have been to many places in the US and Europe, but I have never seen anything like it. Having everything together in one place is just perfect.”

His time at Aspire Academy has provided him with the opportunity to train alongside some of Qatar’s most promising talents in the discus throw. Describing the experience he said: “They are still really young and have so much opportunity to learn and develop. I’m really impressed with the focus they’ve shown in every training session. And that’s very important, especially when it comes to making the jump to senior level because that requires you to be one hundred per cent focused and give your best every day and in every training session.”

As well as continuing to combine his athletics career with studying at the University of Virginia (USA), selection for the Croatian team for the 2016 Olympics in Rio is one of Mihaljevic’s big goals this year. “I’m pleased with my progress so far and my results are already better than last year. If I continue as I am and stay focused, I‘m confident of being able to secure my spot on the plane to Rio.”

Such visits by elite athletes to share their experiences are an important part of the way in which Aspire Academy supports the development of its student-athletes. Describing the positive impact it has, Aspire Academy coach Jakeljic said:  “The biggest benefit is that our boys start to understand what it takes to reach the highest level in their sport, as these athletes have.”

Describing meeting the Croatian star, student-athlete Moaz Mohamed Saber said: “It’s great to be able to train with such an experienced athlete like Filip and motivating to work with someone who has achieved such good results. I will definitely make the most of this opportunity to learn from him.”

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