27 May 2021

Doha, Aspire Academy Athletics endurance group took student athletes with potential to attain the World U-20 championships qualifying standard in 2022 to a training camp in Turkey. In an environment and period during which preparation and athletic training has been hampered band limited by the global coronavirus pandemic the need for  more competition experience and challenging conditions became even more necessary and Aspire Academy , Head Endurance coach , Steve Macklin along with fellow staffers, Ahmed Mubarak (Operations0 and  Bernard Pingol (Physio)   assembled students, Omar Elfadl, Mohamed Samir Alyfaee and ElHafez Mahadi ,  for endurance training camp to Antalya Turkey from the April 29th-May 21st  2021. The training camp location was at Gloria Sports Resort a popular European training camp destination.

The Turkish training camp for Aspire Academy athletics' students' athletes started with the first delegation that included throw and sprint students' athletes from April 12th to 26th. The group consisted of student athletes: Said Othman Al Absi, Nayef Mubarak Al-Rashidi in the sprint event, Hamza Souissi, Mohammed Ashoush, Ammar Al Absi and Khaled Saeed Al Haj in throw event.

According to Aspire Academy , Head Endurance coach , Steve Macklin, “ We selected the camp mainly to prepare the 3 target senior endurance student athletes for a key block of training prior to some critical competitions coming up in June & July. ElHafez Mahadi is just 0.45 seconds off the World U-20 championships qualifying standard for August 2021 and Omar ElFadl and Mohamed Alyfaee are our top two target athletes for the 2022 World U-20 championships.  May is a difficult time to ensure a high quality of endurance training with rising temperatures & humidity and In Turkey the boys were able to train in favourable weather conditions and free to train outdoors at any time during the day.  General a change of training environment provides a different stimulus for athletes and our boys got that from our training camp in Turkey and came back boosted in morale and after some hard work we would like to think that this will  help improve their race performances in June & July.”

During their time at Gloria Sports Resort , Aspire Academy student-athletes were fortunate to rub shoulders with elite athletes using the camp site for preparations for Tokyo Olympic games and they included , Aspire graduate and reigning World high jump champion, Mutaz Essa Barsham. Student-athlete Omar ElFadl  who is tracking towards the World U-20 championships qualifying marks over 1500m and 3000m in 2022 clocked a personal best in his time trial effort over 1200m was at 3:52 1500m pace with the World U-20 qualifying mark at 3:48.Omar worked his socks off and covered a distance of 265km during the camp and  achieved an average sleep efficiency of 88% through the camp, with an average sleep duration of 7 hours and 29 mins.

Training load was increased for the two younger student-athletes Hafez and Mohammed Alyafaee based on external load metrics collected on the camp and prior to departure. While on this camp the team was able to  collect more insightful information around training, use of HR chest straps to supply a better post-camp picture on training load & overall volume and stress. The boys handled the increase well with no major issues  injuries or illness experienced during the camp. Mohamed Alyafaee manged  camp distance of  154 km  while  Hafez Mahadi   recorded  camp distance of 156 km.

In summing up the merits of the camp in Turkey, Head Endurance coach , Steve Macklin said, “Going to Turkey provided an opportunity for the Endurance Coach to spend some critical one on one time with the key target athletes and fine tune their preparations for key summer competitions and championships. As for the student-athletes to experience the culture of a European training camp and  observe, learn and  train with other world class endurance athletes in the training centre was of immense benefit .  It was clear that motivation to train was higher for the boys in a new environment with athletes recovering better and tolerating a higher load of training. This was certainly a worthy training camp, concluded  , Steve Macklin


Time Trials:

Individual Time Trials (No pacemakers, just the athlete against the clock) were added on day 19 of the training camp. Weather conditions were a little warm with some wind. The results were as follows:

600m: Hafez 1:19.90 (PB)

600m: Mohamed 1:22.95

1200m: Omar 3:06.55 (PB)



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