KHARTOUM (Sudanow) - The Sudanese Athletics Federation says striving to qualify for the upcoming Tokyo (2020) and Paris (2024) Olympic games.
Federation Secretary Siddiq Ahmad Ibrahim said while Sudan’s champions in the mother of all games had several times won gold for the country, sometimes breaking records and excelling their peers from major countries, yet the games need due official attention.
Dr. Ibrahim had been in the federation for long years during which the Sudanese athletics (males and females) collected gold at regional and international levels. He was recently elected Federation Secretary.
In this interview Dr. Ibrahim sheds light on the Federation’s programs and the impediments it faces.
Q: How did you find the Federation after you were elected?
A: Since our election five months ago, things have been proceeding according to the emergency plan and the 2018 plan. We have held two meetings for the board of directors during which policies were worked out for the upcoming stage. During those few months we organized the Republic Cross-Country Championship in the City of Atbara, Nahr el-Neel State. We have also organized races and championships and trainer and referees courses in a number of the country’s states. In November we organized an Olympic course for trainers in cooperation and coordination with the Sudanese Olympic Association, which was conducted by Egyptian-International Expert, Dr. Hamdi Abdelraheem. The course was attended by 26 athletes from around the country, who scored good results, in fact the best in the Sudan and the Arab World.
Q: What about external participations?
A: We are having a number of external competitions ahead, foremost the Africa Cross-Country Race on the first of March, the World indoor championship in England, the Arab cross-country championship in Tunisia, the African Adults Championship in Nigeria, the Khartoum International Championship, the Djibouti International Championship in April and several other contests.
Q: When will the Second Khartoum Half Marathon For Peace be held?
A: This Race will be held on 6 January and it will be the first for our players. In this contest our players will compete with athletes from 8-10 countries, including from Ethiopia, Kenya and Tanzania. The event is organized at an initiative from the Kenyan Embassy here and under the sponsorship of Kenana Sugar Company, Cofftea Company and a number of other businesses.
Q: Tell us about the number of players you are targeting for the 2020 Tokyo Olympiad.
A: We are targeting10 players for external camps, in addition to a good number of kids and youths who will enroll in domestic and external camps and who will have the opportunity to take part in regional contests to raise their standards and to prepare them in the best way for the future. We plan to prepare these players for the Doha Seniors Championship, 2019, in addition, of course to the 2020 Tokyo Olympiad and the 2024 Paris Olympiad.
Q: Can you give us names of the most targeted players?
A: At the moment we have more than 10 players in external camps. We have Ahmad Ali in the U.S, Saddam Sulieman in London, Mohammad Younis in Germany, four players (two-males and two female) Abdelmoneom yhaya, Hannoyah, Amna Dolaar, Kabbashi Abdeljaleel in Kenya, in addition to a number of kids enrolled in domestic camps in Khartoum. These camps are within the Federation’s preparations for the upcoming stage which will see a lot of regional and international championships.
Q: What are the hurdles you are facing?
A: The major difficulty we are facing is finance. That is because our understanding about sports marketing is still very poor. Still, we are seeking sponsorship from businesses and we hope to attain it in the coming stage, in addition to the procurement of external marketing that needs a lot of effort, external championships and big stars. All this cannot be attained without external and domestic sponsorship that, in turn, help the Federation implement its plans and programs.
Q: Where is Sprinter Kaki who won a number of international gold medals and who was the youngest winner of the 800 meters race in 2008? The public is asking about him.
A: Kaki is continuing with his drills and will leave Khartoum for Amman during the next two days to start training with his former trainer, trainer of the Qatari team Jame’ Aden, as part of the Federation’s program for the coming external contests. His colleague, Olympic Champion Ismael Ahmad has become a trainer and attended local and international courses. He is one of the outstanding kids’ trainers, devoting all his expertise to the new generations, like what big players usually do when they retire.
Q: What about the foreign trainer’s dossier?
A: The Sports Minister has promised to provide the necessary fund for a foreign trainer. On our part we have addressed a number of bodies. We are planning to hire two highly qualified trainers in the mother of all games, the first to look after the senior players and the second to discover and qualify talents for the future.
Q: What about the sponsorship presented to the Federation by Zain telecom provider?
A: Zain’s sponsorship was not regular. There was no contract. But we endeavor to persuade them and the other telecom companies such as MTN and Sudani to sponsor our activity. At the end we will sign a contract with the best bidder.
Q: One last word.
A: First, I would like to thank the media in general and Sudanow in particular for their care for athletics and their effort to inform both foreign and local bodies about our achievements. I must also appreciate the strong bonds between the Federation Chairman, Brigadier Mustafa Abbadi, and the sports media. It is our hope to work with the sports media to market and obtain sponsors for the mother of all games, in order to attain our aspired goals. The Federation and its champions are coming for the international championships and it is our hope that through the Doha championship, we can go forward for the Tokyo 2020 and Paris 2024 Olympic games.
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