Aziza Sbeity, a Lebanese sprinter born in 1991, a new revelation in track and field Lebanon. At the Open Team Championship in August 2009, Aziza was the fist to cross the line and she clocked 12.92(0.0m/s) for the CSJ (club sportif jamhour). At the same meet, she runs 200m in 26.70s. And it was just the beginning! Sbeity had to run the 200m at the Francophonie Games in Beyrouth September 2009. She set a new SB with a 25.97s. 5days later, she went to Syria to the Arab Championship Open, where she ran 12.59s in the semi finals and went to the final where she scored 12.46s a new SB in 100m straight. In 2010, she went to Qatar for the International Junior Challenge to run 60m indoor, where she was DQ due to the implementation of the new IAAF rule, and then she went to Egypt for the Arab championship where she set a new PB of 12.29 and took the 2nd place. Now Sbeity’s preparing for the 13th IAAF World Junior Championships in July to improve her performance and why not break the 12s barrier.
How did you get started with Track n Field? I was in 6th grade when my school's (International School of Choueifat) head coach Mr. Kamel Zaa'rour discovered my talent and encouraged me to pursue it. During my school years I attended 6 of my school's regional tournaments which took place in it's branches in Egypt, Jordan, Dubai and other countries. I was the reigning champion in all of the tournaments and that was all done without proper training. I thank Coach Kamel with all my heart because he was one of the main people that played a role in jump starting my career, and he was the one who put me in touch with my coach Alice Keyrouz.
What else do you or did you do other than track? I played basketball before track. That was my thing! There was a time where I loved basketball far more than track. Track to me was more like a "burden". I felt that it was only because I was biologically fast I guess that I had to run, unlike basketball. Basketball is a sport that I chose for myself a sport where teamwork takes place, something which I love and loved more because of my amazing team (the MVTZ of ISC) and my amazing coach (Rania Atwe) who ALWAYS showed me nothing but support in both running and basketball.
What is your typical daily life routine like? Sometimes I feel that I have no life other than track since it's taking most of my time.
But other than that I'm the type of person who enjoys quiet outings with my closest friends.
What about your family... Any support or help from them?
My family is the most supporting family ever! My mother Mervat is another one of those supportive people who pushed me to pursue this hobby at the time where I thought of it as a burden. If I weren't so hard headed I might have joined Jamhour at a much earlier stage. Coach Kamel spoke with my mom and told her about CSJ and about Alice, so my mom would tell me day in and day out to remind him to talk to Alice about the issue but i kept neglecting that idea and kept procrastinating the whole issue! I feel bad looking back at that issue now. My dad is also one of MAIN supporters!! If it weren't for him I probably would NOT have gone to the Junior Championship in Egypt since all the members of the federation were too busy to go with me. I love you daddy! My biological mom shows me nothing but encouragement about running too! She's trying to make it to Canada to cheer me on in the Worlds Junior Championship.
What is your Ultimate long term goal? Breaking the Lebanese record and competing in the Olympic games in London.
Goal for this year? Break at least ONE record! How do you prepare before a meet? I seriously don't have a ritual yet! I might need to get one soon. Your thoughts before, during and after a run? Before a race : I try my best to stay positive and concentrate only on myself and on my inner self because at during the race I'm just putting to work all that I have learned UNCONSCIOUSLY so all that I have to do is keep my brain conscious. During: I never seem to remember my thoughts. I'm just so engulfed in the race.. I hear no sound (ONLY Alice's voice!!! That's soo weird!!!) All of my energy is poured in the race and crossing that finish line FIRST. After: That depends on the race and whether I feel like I put all my heart and soul in the race or not.
During training, per week what is your routine like? For example per day how many time & how many hours, etc? Usually I have 5 days of training per week and 2 hours per day. But for the time being it's 6 days a week.
Do you do most of your training alone or as part of a group or does it vary by discipline? It's all in the most amazing GROUP! Do you feel that your country provides sufficient support for athletes? Not at all. Many athletes are being neglected when it comes to overseas competitions! And in my opinion those competitions are the most important ones because they make an athlete push harder and give his/her best on the track field.. I can't even describe how disappointed I am in our country’s very poor level of support for athletes because talent is seriously being wasted and not put to the test.
Any injury plaguing you before? No serious injuries. I just have a chronic case of shin splint that seems to love me very much! Do you take care of your nutrition? I try, but I suck at it!!!
Who is your idol...? Any athlete you look up to? I don't know about the whole idol thing. I haven't quite found a person who's life-style and beliefs are close to mine. But on the athletic level I just adore people who are committed and respectful and dedicated to the game, people who move mountains in order to give the best results.
Tell us about some of your experiences along the way: The Francophonie was by far one of the best experiences ever. The camp we had prior to and during the games was a beneficial place where not only did the athletes train but also we all got to KNOW each other more than we could have in 10 years! Who are you main opponents/rivals this year? Well it's known that I'm competing for the 100m record, so my main competitor is the Lebanese 100m record holder Gretta Taslakian.
Any advice for young athlete venturing into track and field? Practice hard and Love what you do because that's the only way to succeed. Dedication and Commitment!
Aziza Sbeity (left, 2nd position) and Azam Sbeity (Aziza's Dad, down right)