Great contests at Aspire Academy cross country race
November 28 2020 10:49 PM
aspire winners
Doha Athletics Club athletes sweeped the honours for the girls cadet race with Anna Sanchez (centre) winning the run ahead of second-placed Lily Schnurman (right) and third-placed Zoha Siddiqui (left) at Aspire Cross Country in Aspire Park on Friday.

By Sports Reporter/Doha

The picturesque Aspire Park and perfect weather for running provided the stage for the 4th Aspire Academy Cross Country race early morning on Friday. 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 early morning fitness enthusiasts who work out at 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 minutes 52 seconds to win the boys’ mini-cadet race. Aspire Academy student-athlete Ahmed Ibrahim finished second while Hassan Ibrahim of Qatar SC was third.
In the girls’ mini cadet race, all three podium places went to Doha Athletics Club runners with Gabriella Franklin’s time of 8 minutes 5 seconds min winning her gold. Vera Tramullas took silver and bronze went to Amelia Wichert.
The cadet race for girls was another all-Doha Athletics Club sweep. Anna Sanchez’s time of 14 minutes 14 seconds beat 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 mins 3 seconds. 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. Bronze went to Othman Dani of Al Ahli club. 
There was a home win when Aspire Academy student-athlete Housam Hrabi completed the 4km in 12 minutes 30 seconds 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, 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 cadet race was Anna, daughter of Qatar national football team head-coach Felix Sanchez.
After her win, 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.”
Sanchez senior himself was at the event 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,” coach McCarthy said.

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