Who are the Lebanese Athletics Champions of 2016?

17 Jul 2016 – Track and Field athletes prepare a full year for one moment of glory, for one important meet or title. For some, all the hard work, the sacrifices and the efforts pay off at major events, some end their season with regret but surely with more determination to start preparing for the next season.

Our life as athletes is not easy, especially in a country like Lebanon, but we should stop complaining and be grateful because the previous generation who lived the endless war had no chance to train and no chance to compete and shine like we do now.

I was wondering how I can describe the Lebanese Individual Championship. Well, I can say it was successful, I can also say that it was challenging with the tough competition that we noticed in some events, but I can also say it was empty.

Why empty? Because it is the individual championship and we expected to see more people competing. Only in few events the level was high, in others it was below the average and in some, we had only two or three athletes.

What can we do? Inspire in order to aspire. Inspire the new generation and start working with kids. It is everyone’s job, not only the federation, not only the government, but also our job as athletes who love their sport and want to see it growing!

To make it short and give every Lebanese Champion his well deserved title:

Men:

– Nour HADID (Lebanese Army): The Flash: Unbeatable this year over the 100 and 200 meters!

– Hassan MANSOUR (Lebanese Army): Running sub 49 seconds on 400m, will the record be broken soon?

– Mohamad HANNOUF (Champions): the GREAT come back! Lebanese champion in 800 and 1500 meters!

– Hussein KAYS, Osmat GRAYZI and Mohamad KDOUH (Lebanese Army): No place for civilians on the podium of the 3000m steeplechase

– Nader JABER (Inter-Lebanon): the king of the long distance! Lebanese champion on 5000 and 10,000 meters who’s the only one to be able to defeat the Army squad! Respect for his attitude!

– Ali HAZER (Champions): 110m Hurdles champion, don’t forget that the record on this distance was his before Ahmad HAZER (his brother) showed up to break it!

– Daniel BASSOUS (CSJ): Lebanese champion in 400m Hurdles! Amazing improvement in one season! 54 seconds soon?

– Abed BERJAWI (Inter-Lebanon): Always ready to defend his title in the High Jump!

– Rafaat MATTAR (Lebanese Army): Triple Jump Champion, the only men over 13m in the championship.

– Ayman AKKACH (Lebanese Army): rising star under the guidance of Naji HAMMOUD in the throwing events! Lebanese Champion in the Shot Put

– Georges HACHEM (Lebanese Army): No one can stand in his way! There is no such thing as veterans! Discus throw champion

– Majed ABOU OMAR (Lebanese Army): Overcoming Georges HACHEM in the Hammer Throw to win the title!

– Abed AL RAHMAN AL HALANI (Lebanese Army): Javelin throw machine! Lebanese Champion with several throws beyond 50 meters! Best score: 53.35m!

To sum it up with the men: 8 Lebanese Army Champions, 2 from Inter-Lebanon, 2 from Champions and 1 from CSJ.

Women:

– Aziza SBEITY (CSJ): 100m queen with a sub 12 seconds this year! She defends her title with strong lead!

– Gretta TASLAKIAN (Inter-Lebanon): the major come back! She regained her titles on the 200 and 400 meters after the break! Always impressive on these distances!

– Sara Joe KORTBAWI (Champville): Undefeated in the 800 and 1500 meters! Missing the adversity with Saria TRABOULSI who we really miss on the track!

– Diana FAKHRAN (Ansar): 3000m Steeplechase is her territory! Youngsters on top of the Podium!

– Sonia HANNA (Inter-Lebanon): The example of a strong mother! Lebanese champion over 5000m!

– Nadine KALOT (Inter-Lebanon): Long Distance queen! Determination is key! Lebanese Champion in the 10,000m

– Sandy KARAM (Champville): New record on the 3000m while doing the 5000m! Her 5th title in a row!

– Diala EL KHAZEN (Inter-Lebanon): Come back in the Long Jump and champion of the 400m Hurdles! A champion and a great talent that should not stay away from track!

– Mayssa MOUAWAD (CSJ): Literally the Rising Star! Lebanese Champion in the High Jump! Remember her name!

– Joy ABOUSLEIMAN (CSJ): A great spirit in and off the track! A strong mind that allowed her to win the Triple Jump without focusing on this event!

– Nathalie BEJJANI (CSJ): The fast and strong arm of a teenager! Lebanese Champion in the Shot Put and Discus Throw! Keep her in mind!

– Mira IBRAHIM (Champville): Looks like the kids has taken over the throwing events! Over 23m in the Hammer Throw (4kg) to win the title of a Lebanese Champion!

To sum it up: 4 Inter-Lebanon Champions, 4 CSJ Champions, 4 Champville Champions and one from Ansar! 

A New Rule was implemented: an athlete can compete in a maximum of 3 events + relays. My only comment on this is when to add a combined event meeting for those who wait for this event to compete in 7 or 10 different events.

Finally, I would like to mention that we have a new Youth record holder, Munir KABBARA (Elite), when everyone was expecting Peter KHOURY (Champville) to break the 1500m record, a youth runner coming from the States came to smash the long standing record.

Khoder ABDO, the previous record holder, who was watching the race and who is now a Lebanese Federation referee, was so happy to see a young man breaking his record! He ran to the podium to take a picture with the rising talent who ran the distance in 4:05.00!

The previous record was 4:05.40! Peter was also close to the record with 4:05.88!

So in one word, I can say it was a great championship despite everything, because at the end of the day, we have winners, we have athletes who repost each other and who are here to give the best of them!

Congrats to the Lebanese champions!

Krystel Saneh