Lebanese Athletics: Interview with Sandy Karam

There are many athletes in Lebanon, competing and achieving great results at an international level, but are yet to receive any accreditation. That is why, we have decided to reveal one of those young champions, Sandy Karam, who is one of the best fast walking athletes in the Arabic countries. Here is the content of the interview with her, so that you get to know her better.

Sandy is an 18 year old, Champville student and athlete. She graduated this year, and is going to continue her academic career at NDU, with mechanical engineering the major she chose.

Now, going back to the time she started athleticism, it was 2010 and athletics was an activity she chose from the many her school’s club offered. But at first, it was just casual and simple. Later, her assistant coach saw in her a potential champion and discussed with her parents the matter of making training more regular with Sandy, which became so. It was 4 times a week at the beginning, then 5 and finally 6 for around 2 hours a day.

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Sandy Karam in action

Also, the young athlete stated that her time at the university syncs very well with her training time, so she won’t have to make any sacrifices. To add, she knows very well how to manage her time and is capable of handling many activities at once.

Later on, Sandy explained that her field in athletics isn’t very popular in Lebanon. Indeed, track and field is rare, and her specialization, which is fast walking has only 2 athletes practicing it, Sandy and her sister. That is why, the international participations are what matter most to her, since it is her only way to get more exposure, experience and see where she stands compared to others.

But, unfortunately, her international participations are limited to nearby Arabic countries, because the federation’s budget can’t afford sending her and the others to places like USA and Europe.

Nevertheless, Sandy did some pretty good results in her participations. Her first competition was the under 16 West Asian championship in Lebanon, back in 2011, in which she got the bronze medal. Then she went to the West Asian open ages championship, and was able to snitch 2nd place from people much more older than her. Her 3rd international competition was the Arabs youth championship, but she didn’t get any medals there, finishing 4th. Later, she got back to the podium in the youth West Asian tournament, with second place there. Her last tournament, was the Arab juniors championship, in which she got 2 bronze medals.

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Sandy Karam representing Lebanon at the West Asia Tournament.

During her time at school, she didn’t get much support from the establishment, who wanted to deny her participating in an international competition for academic reasons, but then ended up allowing her after intervention from the federation.

When asked about her future targets, Sandy was pretty clear. On the short run, participation in the Arab seniors championship is her main target, then in 2-3 years she wants to be in the world championship, and later on, make it to the Olympic games, most probably in Tokyo. With the determination and will she has, her chances are very high, especially that she knows how to turn pressure into a positive thing, that helps her over achieve.

At the end, Sandy wanted to highlight the fact, that even though there were many people trying to bring her down at the beginning of her career, she was never affected by their negativity and attempts, but instead, worked harder and got even better.

A bright future is awaiting Sandy Karam, and she is carving her way up to the top in the best way possible, to prove to everyone that she can and will make it.