07 Jul 2021
Doha. Qatar as a nation has won gold medals and set records at World U-20 Athletics Championships over the years. Back in 2012 Qatar hammer thrower , Ashraf Elsefiy was a student at world renowned Aspire Academy when he competed at the 14th World Junior Championships in Athletics held in Barcelona, Spain. The Aspire Academy student went on to set a new championship record with a throw of 85.57m and two years later , Ashraf would repeat the feat by winning gold again in the same event (men's hammer throw) at the 2014 World Junior Championships in Athletics a held in Eugene, Oregon, USA. . Aspire Academy student athlete would win for Qatar yet another gold medal at World U-20 Athletics Championships when Moaaz Mohamed Ibrahim an athlete, specializing in the Discus throw won gold medal with a new record throw of 63.63m at 2016 in World U-20 Championships that took place at Zdzislaw Krzyszkowiak Stadium in Bydgoszcz, Poland. In 2018 another Aspire Academy student-athlete, Bassem Hemeida brought home a silver medal from men's 400 metres hurdles at the World U-20 Championships held at Tampere Stadium in Tampere, Finland.
Fast forward to 2021 , the postponed 2020 World Athletics U-20 Championships is set to run in Nairobi, Kenya from 17 to 22 August at the Nyayo Sports Complex. Like in the past, Aspire Academy student- athletes and graduates will be in action for Qatar, aiming to continue the country’s impressive returns at the championships. This time round it is the turn of 800m runner Elhafez Mahadi, 110m hurdlers Hamad Al-Abdulla and Saeed Othman Zamzoun Al-Absi. These youngsters have secured qualification for the championships and are heading to Kenya and they could still be joined by Shot putter, Hamza Souissi whose only throw this year (17.50m) is slightly outside the standard of 18.30m. There is further medal prospects for Qatar from an athlete who was at Aspire Academy, Khalid Mahamat but trains with the Qatar Athletes Federation (QFA) with whom he has qualified for World Athletics U-20 Championships in for the 100m sprint.
Meanwhile Kenya bound ElHafez Mahadi is currently in Europe on a training camp and has run the World U-20 Championship qualifying standard of 1:50.80 three times in recent weeks. On July 1st at the Meeting De Bron in Lyon France he won the 800m “A” race in a new personal best time of 1:50.68. On July 4th at the Meeting D’Ambilly by Lake Geneva in another 800m race, ElHafez produced a huge breakthrough performance, running 1:48.41 to finish first and that winning time puts him in the number 1 ranking for U-20, 800m athletes in Asia. Also, on training camp in Europe is Aspire Academy student-athlete, Obeid Bashir O Mohammed who is running in competitions in France and Spain as part of his preparations for 2022 World U-20 Championships to be held in Colombia. Obeid Bashir O Mohammed ran an impressive lifetime best of 1:55.03 at the Meeting De Bron competition. Both athletes will now travel to Girona Spain for a training block and continue with preparations for the forthcoming World U-20 championships in Kenya.