Buenos Aires, Argentina: Aspire Academy student-athlete Owaab Barrow won the 110m hurdles while Mohamed Abdelaziz ran to glory in 200m as Qatar bagged two gold in the Youth Olympic Games in Buenos Aires on Tuesday.
After dominating stage 1 of the 110m hurdles event, Owaab managed to set a personal best of 13.33sec in stage 2 for a combined time of 26.50sec, which won him gold ahead of Kenny Fletcher of France and Lok Hei Addis Wong of Hong Kong.
In 200m, Abdelaziz clocked a personal best of 20.68 in the second stage to secure victory from Brazil’s Lucas Conceicao Vilar. Antonio Watson of Jamaica took the bronze.
While Abdelaziz said he was “delighted” with his “magical” win, Aspire Academy’s Owaab described it as great motivation in his preparation for upcoming international competitions, including the Doha 2019 IAAF World Championships.
“It’s been a really good season. I competed in the World Championships, where I reached the semifinals, and I won gold at the Youth Olympics, which is a big step,” said Owaab.
“Winning gold in the Youth Olympics was my biggest target for the season. Accomplishing that was pure happiness and that winning feeling helps me push myself harder,” he added.
“I owe Aspire academy a huge thank you because they helped me achieve my targets. Aspire has not just coached me, but also provided me with the best care and facilities I could have hoped for. Now I only have to go on and achieve more victories with the Academy! My advice to anyone else striving for the top is to never doubt yourself and never stop training.” Owaab concluded.
Ivan Bravo, the Director General of Aspire Academy, congratulated Owaab on his accomplishments, saying: “Owaab’s achievements are the result of the cooperation agreement between the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) and Aspire Academy. Now in its third year, this unifying vision improves athletes and gives them access to world-class experience, facilities and training at Aspire Academy.”
Lee Christopher, Sprints, Hurdles and Relay Coach at Aspire Academy and Owwab’s coach, said: “Owaab is very experienced in racing in different climates. He raced in East Asia and various places in Europe in the cold. He is ready and able to compete in any environment. This was a nice step forward for him and hopefully he can use it as a springboard onto even better things”.
Aspire Academy’s Head Coach for Athletics, Tom Crick, said: “I am looking forward to seeing Owaab compete for Qatar at Khalifa International Stadium next year. Over the past year, Aspire has been working closely with the QAF to develop a 4x100m relay programme that will give up-and-coming sprinters like Owaab an opportunity to compete.”