Ahmad Hazer, the best Hurdler in Lebanon who went to the World Championship in Berlin and is one of the most elected athletes to participate this year in Korea. This young and talented man detains 8 Lebanese records for now.
How did you get Started with track and field? Well, it was my brother who kept asking me to join him at training and I started to go with him and then I became addicted :)
We saw you in more than one event during your career.. How did you get involved into Hurdles? I started my career doing high jump then, at the end of 2006, I asked my coach if I can try the hurdles.. So I tried it and I was good at it from the first try, so I told him that I
liked it and that i wanted to train and focus on hurdles. And so we did. Beside hurdles I
was also doing others events…
What did you learn from the major championships that you attended? Humility :) and how to be modest! I never mock my friends and teammates if I win or beat them, it's a shame! There are some athletes who don't have the spirit of the track, it's all about vanity; they are egotistical.. I think they should behave and learn from the others.
Tell us about your experience in Senegal.. If you have the chance to go back again to Senegal you'll accept? Senegal.. when I hear this name I feel the success and how to improve myself. Senegal was my launching start into professionalism, its not easy to improve 0.5 seconds within a year of training over 110m Hurdles but Impossible is nothing, and I did. Everything is different there, I was in the HPTC (High Performance Training Center) of Dakar, and our life was based on training, resting, sleeping and competing just that and nothing more! We were athletes from different countries; some of my friends went into the final in the world championship in Berlin. It was really a good experience I was trained by Coach Tidiane Correa, I benefited a lot from this man and his experience; he taught me the perfect technique, he is a professional, he is a great coach, and I thank him for everything he did for me. Yeah sure I'm planning to go to Senegal again in the beginning of 2012 after I finish my University for another training camp and I hope it works.
What do the non-Lebanese coaches give you more than the Lebanese ones? The non-Lebanese coaches are closer to you in training, they follow every step you do in training, they stay next to you; for example when you do weight training they are always behind you and they follow up with you and they tell you your mistakes, and moreover they treat you better and they give everything from their heart like my Coach Tidiane I never saw a man like him, I remember when we were in France he didn't sleep for a whole week just to arrange everything for our accommodations, meetings and training. And when he came to Senegal in February 2009 his family were in France because they live there, and when we went to France (July 2009) his family (wife and two kids) were about 200km away from us and imagine that he haven’t see them for more than 5 month , and he didn’t go to visit them! He stayed with his athletes and later he saw them after the francophone games by the end of the season in October 2009 and. This is the real Coach !
What is your goal for this year? My first goal is to get close to my 110m hurdles national record 14.38s
and to break it if I could, also, to get a medal in one of the big
international championship for Lebanon.
No one have ever realized a successive double in the World Championships, do u expect to do it this year in Korea? I really hope to go to Korea but we all know that it's not easy and it was never easy to go to the world championship we know there is a big competition between the athletes for the unique ticket, but in the end the best athlete will go there and hopefully I will.
What is your ultimate long term goal? To raise the level of the Lebanese athletics. I mean why we are still weak in Lebanon? Why aren't we like the Europeans or like other Arab countries? There's no reason its all about the good coaching and the commitment of the athlete in training.
Is there anyone who helped you progress or who followed you up throughout your athletic career? Of course and they are many; my brother Ali Hazer, coach Imad Laymouni and Dr. Nour El-Dine El-Couch helped me.. and I can never forget Tidiane Correa.
What is the best experience you have ever had? In 2009, it was my best experience and everything was great, my long training camp in HPTC Dakar and the training camps in the different countries .
What is the most memorable Run of your career? Its the 300m when I ran 35.01s in 2008 and I broke both the junior and senior records I always remember the last 100m I took like 10m advantage of the 2nd I had extra power, its all about tactics you have to know how to run the 300m it’s a secret. My PB that year over the 200m was 22.63s and 400m 51.07s and it’s a bit weird for an athlete with those PB to run 35.01s over the 300m but I did it and it is still the fastest Lebanese 300m in history. What are your thoughts before, during and after a Run? Before the competition; first, I prefer not to talk to anyone just to focus on the race and even if I'm running with a World Champion, I always keep in mind that I'm better than him and I'll beat him. During a run, I don't feel anything and I don't think about anything and you can say I'm unconscious during a race. After: I always wish if I've done better.. and I learn from mistakes.
How do you prepare physically and mentally for a major championship? I always do my self while preparing for a major championship I do intensive training till 1 week before the competition and the last 7 days i do it easily. mentally while training I suffer a lot and I always say suffer now to do good in the next competition.
What do you think about adversity in Lebanon? Is it the major problem of progressing? It's not all about it in my opinion, the major problem of progressing in Lebanon is the commitment of the athlete with training. The non-compliance of the athlete with training is due of his work and studies and of course athletes doesn't have a full time athletics. Also, lack of encouragement from the people around them, some parents dislike their children to do athletics, they might be right because maybe they feel that their kids are wasting time and they are getting nothing with this sport.. we see in other countries that athletes have a full time athletics, we can say its about his future, unfortunately in Lebanon athletics has no future. People now are searching for their future and, I think we should get more caring from the government and the ministry of youth and sport not only for athletics but for all sports in general; once they are talking about a "Champions Sports Program" which is like a Society that will give all the sports champions after the retirement an amount of money which is their rights, because after all what they have done for their country, it should give them something in return, plus one word "thanks".
Did your country support you throughout your career? I always thank the federation because they are doing the best they can and they are making the most of what is available but the default is from the ministry of youth and sports. And If the federation has more to give they would do it for their athletes.
Any advice for young athletes venturing into track and field? If you're not number one it doesn't matter, someday you will be, just enjoy it and keep up the studies and sometimes less is more, never let go of your dreams and don't let anyone tell you that you won't become a professional one day, remember who sat in the car waiting for you to finish training.. always thank your parents.
Everyone gets injured like me its not the end of the world.. when you get injured make sure it heals well before you start again, don't be shy ask or contact a professional if you need any help.