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The Beginning of the 2011 Season
2011…. On a personal note, this is my favorite number; it brings such optimism and energy to me. I wish all my fellow athletes the best in this New Year and new season. I am sure that with the right amount of dedication and effort, wonders will be made. As our fellow Lebanese hero Maxim Chaya said : "When you aim for the top, you don’t count the steps.”
The running season started a few weeks ago in a meeting at AUB on the 24th of March with a cold, rainy weather. The next meeting was a Nike meeting also held at AUB, and finally a meeting organized by the Inter-Lebanon club that took place on the 16th of April at the Cite Sportive.
Despite the bad weather on the 24th, Daniel Bassous (CSJ) ran an incredible 400m starting his season with a 52.3; his PB and SB of 2010 was 52.44s. Another athlete who started the season on an amazing note is Ansar’s Maha Al-Mouallem who was seen running and hitting hard in every meet. Maha clocked 12.5s at the AUB meeting, 12.3s at the Nike meeting, and an amazing 12.0s at the Inter-Lebanon meeting. Gretta has a new opponent this season, other than Aziza Sbeity who didn’t show up frequently this season yet, but will do soon. Gretta clocked an 11.8s at the Inter-Lebanon meeting, her best manual time for now.
A new guest showed up on the block, Alina Popescu (Romania), who was once the World Youth Champion in triple jump with 13.91m. Alina ran 100m and did long jump at the Nike and Inter-Lebanon meetings. Mohammad Hannouf who started his indoor season setting an indoor record in 800m, smashed the 1000m Junior record by 1 second. Hannouf clocked 2:35:5 while the previous record by Rami Carlos (Ansar) was 2:36:34.
The meeting held on the 16th of April was expected to be a venue where athletes were to break records. For example Sarah-Joe Kortbawi, a 12 year-old, was very close to breaking Saria Traboulsi’s record that has been set since 2000. Sarah-Joe ran the 1000m in 3:17.0 and had run the 1500m at the Nike meeting in 5:16. Ali Saleh who started his season with a 6.59m jump at the Nike meeting wasn’t as lucky at the Inter-Lebanon meet where he managed to jump 6.24m. The same goes to Krystel Saneh who was expected to break the Youth and Junior records after having jumped 5.36m on the 9th but was only able to reach 5.18m on the 16th. On the other hand her 100m improved from 12.6s to 12.3 on the 16th. Diala El Khazen, who wasn’t able to reach 5m at the Nike meet, improved on the 16th with a 5.01m jump.
Our shot put throwers Layla Korhani and Fatme Dandan also started a great season throwing 10.69m and 10.12m respectively.
We saw him participate and shine in many disciplines that weren’t his specialty, he won, and he stood on podiums. Ahmad Hazer, the 110m Hurdler, who may be the first to achieve what no one did and that is participating in two consecutive World Championships, ran the 100m in 10.8s, and the long jump with 6.51m.
Mohammad Siraj Tamim who was banned from running for over a year, is now finally released and running for his new club Inter-Lebanon. He started his season with a prime 400m run at the Inter-Lebanon meeting where he clocked a 51.1.
2011. We’re expecting a lot more surprises from our athletes, the ones mentioned and the ones who will be mentioned soon. Our season has just started; this is just the beginning to a year full of greatness.

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