Posted on July 16, 2018

Aspire Academy’s 17-year-old student-athlete Bassem Hemeida, currently in Grade 11, has won the silver medal in the Men’s 400m hurdles at the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Championship in Finland.

In a competitive race, the top three runners all dipped under 50 seconds for just the fourth time at the championships. Aspire Academy’s Hemeida finished the race in 49.59s, a minute better than his previous best of 50.55, and only seconds behind winner Sokwakhana Zazini who bagged South Africa’s second-ever gold medal in the event after finishing the race in 49.42s.

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Speaking from the sidelines, Hemeida said: "This is my first time running sub-50 seconds and it came at the right time". "These championships have given me a lot of experience so hopefully you'll see me at the world senior championships in Doha next year." He added: “I’d like to thank Aspire Academy, because without it I wouldn’t be here, in addition to my coach, my mother and the Qatar Athletics Federation for their support.” Separately, Aspire Academy’s graduate Moaaz Ibrahim, discus thrower and defending champion, finished the 2018 IAAF World Under-20 Championship in fifth place with a throwing distance of 59.87 metres.

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The IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere, southern Finland, took place between 10 to 15 July at Ratina Stadium, and featured eight Aspire Academy student-athletes and graduates. In addition to Bassem Hemeida and Moaaz Mohamed Ibrahim, other student-athletes included Owaab Barrow and Jaber Hilal Al Mamari (110m hurdles and 4x100m relay races). They were joined by Aspire graduates Nuh Anuh (high jump), Soud Abdulaziz Al-Hudmaidi (discus throw), Khalil Bedoui (hammer throw) and Abdulaziz Mohammed Salem (200m and 400m races), who trains with the Qatar Athletics Federation programme.