My life as an Athlete

my-life-as-an-athlete

BIOGRAPHY:

When I was 7 years old, I jumped 1.90m in the Standing Long Jump at my school, Colleges des Freres Maristes Champville in Dik El Mehdi. My teacher was Arda Kalpakian, the first Lebanese-Armenian woman to participate in the Olympic Games in Athletics in Munich 1972.

When Arda saw the mark, she grabbed my arm and took me to the basketball court, where she told the boys, who were playing basketball, to give me a ball, and ordered me to shoot. Obviously, I didn’t score, but she still took me to the head of sports of the school and told him to put me on the basketball team.

Arda motivated me along every step of the way since I was 7! She encouraged me also to start practising with my current coach Elie Saade. Today, I understand why Arda put me on the basketball team rather than the athletics one. She does not think we should start athletics early on, though she seemed to somehow know I would later only focus on it.

Elie saw me jumping at the Lebanese Championship back in 2006, where I was so close to breaking the Long Jump record for the 12-13 years category. I was only 11 back then. He gave me advice before my last jump, to which I listened carefully, followed, and set my first record.

In the summer of 2006, I officially started training with Elie. He helped me break tons of records, represent Lebanon in many international competitions and win lots of medals. He also convinced me to stop basketball and focus on track and field.

Today, I am 22, pursuing my dream of participating in the Olympic Games. I am still training in Champville, with Elie Saade (head coach) and Carine Bitchakjian (assistant coach). Carine was my teammate when I first started back in 2007, and helped and guided me a lot along the way.

After 7 years of training focusing on the Long Jump, I decided with my coach to focus more on the 100m Hurdles in 2014. I did some heptathlon throughout my career and fell in love with this event. One of the reasons why I started focusing on the 100m Hurdles is because it is the most important event in the heptathlon. In my opinion, a good heptathlete is a good hurdler. My target was to get the best out of me in both the hurdles and long jump before attacking the combined events.

At the end of 2016, I officially made the decision to start training for the heptathlon and focus on my weaker events: the shot put and the high jump.

My inspiration and idol in athletics is the World Heptathlon record holder, Jackie JOYNER-KERSEE, who was also a Long Jump champion. I live by the motto of “Having Fun Performing” which I took from her amazing quote:

“The medals don’t mean anything and the glory doesn’t last. It’s all about your happiness. The rewards are going to come, but my happiness is just loving the sport and having fun performing.”

LEBANESE RECORDS

OUTDOOR

Seniors (20+):

  • 100m Hurdles: 15.34 (0.1m/s) – Sports City on 29 Aug. 2016
  • Long Jump: 5:66m (-0.5m/s) – Jamhour on 27 Aug. 2013

Juniors (18-19):

  • 100m Hurdles: 15.44 (-0.1m/s) – Jamhour on 20 Aug. 2013
  • Long Jump: 5:66m (-0.5m/s) – Jamhour on 27 Aug. 2013
  • Triple Jump: 11:58m (+0.3m/s) – Jamhour on 29 Aug. 2013

Youth (16-17):

  • 100m Hurdles (0.76): 15.81 (+1.3m/s) – Jamhour on 02 Jun. 2012
  • 100m Hurdles (0.84): 17.97 (+0.3m/s) – Qatar on 15 Dec. 2011
  • Long Jump: 5.43m (+0.2m/s) – Jamhour on 28 Jul. 2011
  • Javelin Throw (500g): 29.45m – Champville on 03 Jun. 2012
  • Javelin Throw  (600g): 31.96 – Qatar on 16 Dec. 2011
  • Heptathlon (Hurdles 0.76): 4103 pts – Jamhour and Champville on 02-03 Jun. 2012
  • Heptathlon (Hurdles 0.84): 3708 pts – Qatar on 15-16 Dec. 2011
  • 4x100m Relay : 52.04 – Sports City on 02 Aug. 2010
  • Medley Relay : 2:26.65 – Singapore on 23 May 2010

Midget (14-15):

  • Triple Jump: 10.81m – Sports City on 20 Jun. 2009

Bantam (12-13):

  • Long Jump: 5.05m – Jamhour on 21 Apr. 2007

INDOOR

Seniors (20+):

  • 60m Hurdles: 9.37 –  Qatar on 19 Feb. 2016
  • High Jump: 1.51m –  China on 16 Feb. 2014
  • Long Jump: 5.33m – Teheran on 15 Feb. 2013
  • Shot Put: 8.43 –  China on 16 Feb. 2014
  • Pentathlon: 3129 pts  –  China on 16 Feb. 2014

Juniors (18-19):

  • 800m: 2:37.90 –  China on 16 Feb. 2014
  • 60m Hurdles: 9.39 –  China on 16 Feb. 2014
  • Long Jump: 5.33m – Teheran on 15 Feb. 2013
  • Shot Put: 8.43 –  China on 16 Feb. 2014
  • Pentathlon: 3129 pts  –  China on 16 Feb. 2014

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • 3rd in 100m Hurdles at the 2nd U23 Mediterranean Championship – Tunis 2016
  • 3rd in Pentathlon at the 21st Fajr international competition – Tehran 2013
  • 1st in 4x100m Relay at the 2nd West Asian Seniors Championship – Dubai 2012
  • 2nd in Long Jump at the 2nd West Asian Seniors Championship – Dubai 2012
  • 3rd in Triple Jump at the 2nd West Asian Seniors Championship – Dubai 2012
  • 3rd in Long Jump at the 15th Arab Juniors Championship – Amman 2012
  • 1st in Long Jump at the 1st Youth West Asian Championship – Beyrouth 2011
  • 1st in Heptathlon at the 1st Youth West Asian Championship – Beyrouth 2011
  • 1st in 4x100m Relay at the 1st Youth West Asian Championship – Beyrouth 2011
  • 13th (Q) in Long Jump at the 7th World Youth Championship – Lille Metropole 2011
  • 3rd in 4x100m Relay at the 18th Arab School Championship – Beyrouth 2010
  • 2nd in 4x100m Relay at the 1st West Asian Seniors Championship – Aleppo 2010
  • 2nd in Long Jump at the 1st West Asian Seniors Championship – Aleppo 2010
  • 3rd in Triple Jump at the 1st West Asian Seniors Championship – Aleppo 2010
  • 3rd in Long Jump at the Arab Club Championship – Amman 2009
  • 3rd in Triple Jump at the Arab Club Championship – Amman 2009

PERSONNAL BEST PERFORMANCES:

INDOOR

  • 60m Hurdles: 9.37s
  • 800m: 2:37:90
  • High Jump: 1.51m
  • Long Jump: 5.33
  • Shot Put: 8.43m
  • Pentathlon: 3129 pts

OUTDOOR

  • 60m : 7.95s
  • 100m : 12.74s
  • 200m: 26.76 (26.69 W)
  • 800m: 2:32.29
  • 100m Hurdles (76cm): 15.81
  • 100m Hurdles (84cm): 15.34 (15.32 +2.2m/s)
  • High Jump : 1.50m
  • Long Jump : 5.66m
  • Triple Jump: 11.58m
  • Shot Put: 8.98m (4kg)
  • Shot Put: 9.27 (3kg)
  • Javelin Throw : 31.96m (600g)
  • Javelin Throw: 29.45m (500g)
  • Discus Throw : 23.41m
  • Heptathlon youth (76cm-3kg-500g): 4103
  • Heptathlon youth (76cm-4kg-600g): 3565
  • Heptathlon: 4035 pts