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USA WORLD ATHLETICS CHAMPIONS TRAIN AT ASPIRE

10 May 2016, General

Doha, 10 May 2016: Aries Merritt, world record-holder in the 110m hurdles and reigning Olympic champion, and compatriot Jesse Williams, 2011 World champion in the High Jump, recently visited Aspire Academy to train and prepare for forthcoming competitions they are participating in, including the Diamond League Athletics meeting in China in May and the USA Olympic trials scheduled for July.

Merritt, who is returning to competition after major surgery last September, said he regards the Aspire Academy facilities as being among the best in the world, stating: “Aspire Academy is one of my favourite training venues in the world and the warm conditions are favourable for my kind of training. I have always had great memories here in Doha and l cherish the opportunity to meet and spend time on the track with Aspire Academy student-athletes.” Like his compatriot, Jesse Williams is also making a comeback from a serious ankle injury that saw him miss two athletics seasons.

During their time at the Academy, the athletes also held a coaching clinic with Aspire Academy student-athletes at Aspire Dome, where they shared technical training tips as well as competition advice. During the session, both athletes indicated that they at one point felt like they were at the end of their athletic careers due to injury but determination to continue propelled them to persevere and return to competition.  Williams went on to say: “I couldn’t have wished to prepare at a better place than here at Aspire Academy, in the home country of my friend and fellow high jump competitor Mutaz Barshim, who l know is well-loved here. To be able to train here and get a chance to impart tips and advice to the Aspire Academy students is simply awesome and l am grateful to be here”.

Aries Merritt is the World record-holder for 110m hurdles (12.80 sec), which he set at the Diamond League in Brussels, Belgium on 7 September 2012. Jesse Williams won gold at the 13th IAAF World Athletics Champions held in Daegu, South Korea in 2011 with a jump of 2.35m.

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