Muscat: Moroccan runners dominated the 2016 Al Amerat Challenge taking the top honours both in the men’s and women’s categories after a stiff competition on Saturday.
Excellence Performance successfully organised another edition of Al Amerat Challenge, the only Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (AIMS) sanctioned event, with participation of a total 588 runners in three different categories.
In the men’s section, which attracted 416 runners from across the world, Sameer Al Jawareh of Morocco pushed the defending champion Abdullah Al Joud of Saudi Arabia to the second place to the title.
Sameer covered the 9km race in 30 minutes and 37 seconds (30:37) to finish just ahead of Abdullah Al Joub, who timed 31.08.
Sameer’s compatriots Abdulrazaq Ar Ar and Mohammed Al Hadad finished in third and fourth places respectively. Abdulrazaq clocked 33:58 while Mohammed finished in 34:28.
In the women’s category, also a 9km affair which saw participation of 22 runners, it was Ameena Maheeh who raised the Moroccan flag finishing ahead of her competitors in 40:29.
Asta Parker of Iceland settled for second place in 42:07. Anna Christe (50:06) of USA and Maggie Muller (50:06) South Africa finished in third and fourth places respectively.
Meanwhile, in the 1.8km fun race, around 150 runners of various nationalities took part.
The organisers, despite facing shortage of sponsors, presented the winners in both categories with $1,000 and a medal each. The second and third placed runners were handed medals as well as $800 and $500 respectively. Fourth place winners got $250 each.
The first 100 finishers in the fun race were presented with medals.
Oman Cables Industry were the Gold Sponsors of the event while the list of Silver Sponsors included Zubair Automobile Company, Tanuf, Oman Riders and Al Safa Company.
Enjoyed the outing
Excellence Performance chief Rashid Al Kindi said: “The event went technically very well. I want to thank all the marshals, officials and the individuals who contributed to the success of this year’s Al Amerat Challenge.”
Expressing delight at the response to the Challenge from the runners, he said: “This year we had a good number of international and national athletes competing in the two categories. Those who took part in the Fun Race too showed a lot of enthusiasm and enjoyed their outing.”
Speaking about the plans for the next edition, he said: “We are planning from today to get more sponsorship for the event... The more sponsors we rope in the more international runners we will be able accommodate.”
“We also want to bring more kids and families in Fun Race next year,” he added.
Men: 1. Sameer Al Jawareh, Morroco, 30:37; 2. Abdullah Al Joud, KSA, 31.08; 3. Abdulrazaq Ar Ar, Morroco, 33.58; 4. Mohammed Al Hadad, Morroco, 34.28.
Women: 1. Ameena Maheeh, Morroco, 40:29; 2. Asta Parker, Iceland, 42:07; 3. Anna Christe, USA, 50:06; 4. Maggie Muller, South Africa, 50:06.