28 Nov 2020
Doha. The picturesque Aspire Park and perfect weather for running provided the stage for the 4th Aspire Academy Cross country race on Friday 27 November early morning. A field of around 60 male and female youth runners from local Clubs, Al Ahli, Qatar SC, Doha Athletics Club and Sherborne School joined Aspire Academy student-athletes aged from 12 years to 18 for the competition.
It was a good display of some of the fine running talent in Qatar with strong races that delighted the sizeable watching crowd and the early fitness enthusiast who work-out in Aspire Park. Athletes lined up to run 2km for mini cadet, 3km for cadet and 4km for youth and junior races. Ahmed Alharbi from Qatar Sports Club clocked 6.52 min to win the boys’ mini-cadet race with Aspire Academy student-athlete, Ahmed Ibrahim in second place and Hassan Ibrahim of Qatar SC in third place.
In the girls’ mini cadet race, all three podium places went to Doha Athletics Club runners with Gabriella Franklin’s time of 8.05 min giving her gold, Vera Tramullas took silver and bronze went to Amelia Wichert. The Cadet race for girls was another All- Doha Athletics Club victory. Anna Sanchez’s time of 14.14 min beating Lily Schnurman and Zoha Siddiqui into second and third respectively.
Ashraf Hyder of Al Ahli club won the 3km boys Cadet races with a time of 10.03 min. He was followed by the Aspire student-athlete duo of Abdulsalam Alawi and Ibrahim Abdalla. Amelia Bennet was the only female runner in the female youth section. In the boys’ youth race, Qatar Sports club locked the front two places with Mohamed El Alami winning gold and his club mate Moatasem Al Raei taking silver and bronze going to Othman Dani of Al Ahli club.
There was a home win when Aspire Academy student-athlete Housam Hrabi completed the 4km in 12.30 mins to win the Junior race. Suber Jama of Qatar Sports Club took silver and another Aspire Academy student-athlete Omer Elfadi claimed bronze. Speaking after the race, Housam Hrabi said, “It was really good to come out and run after months of training without competition. I enjoyed running against a strong group of athletes and very happy to win gold”
Running in the 2km mini-cadet race was Qatar National Football team head-coach, Felix Sanchez’s daughter, Anna. After coming first, she said, “I am happy to win this morning and found the run a good challenge and enjoyable. I am happy to be running in an Aspire event which feels like home with my dad having been with Aspire Academy for many years and l have grown up around Aspire.” Meanwhile Felix Sanchez himself was at Aspire Academy Cross Country race cheering on his daughter and said, “It’s wonderful to see this colourful crowd outside doing sports, something that has been difficult lately due to the pandemic. Aspire Academy does these kind of sporting events so well and it’s lovely to be able to join in at this cross country this morning”.
Aspire Academy, Athletics Coach, David Mccarthy expressed his satisfaction with the morning’s performance and efforts of all the participants, “Athletes train for competition and look forward to applying learnt tactics in races and battle it out with other athletes. Today they got that opportunity and met that challenge and l am pleased with the way they ran in the cross -country races and we managed to get some podium places too which all bodes well for the work Aspire coaches, staff and athletes have put in training. There were some strong runners in today’s event, and they gave our boys a good contest and something to think about ahead of forthcoming National Cross-Country competition, said coach Mccarthy.
About Aspire Academy:
Since opening its doors in 2004, Aspire Academy for Sports Excellence has become one of the foremost national sports academies in the world. Working as part of the Aspire Zone Foundation – an international sport destination – Aspire Academy is at the heart of a sporting revolution currently taking place in Qatar and around the region. The Academy is conceiving, promoting and implementing game-changing excellence in sports training and elite athlete development that is enabling an entire generation of talented, disciplined and committed Qatari athletes to pursue their sporting dreams. Together with the other members of the Aspire Zone Foundation (Aspire Logistics and ASPETAR Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital), Aspire Academy is developing sports champions, promoting healthy lifestyles and galvanizing the sports economy of today, and the future.