Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

“I sacrificed everything, left my flat and job”: Hurdler Alex Al-Ameen on his quest for athletics glory.

Posted on 14 June 2018 by Tomas Meehan

As London 2012 loomed, talented 110m hurdler Alex Al-Ameen dreamed of competing for Team GB in his home city.

Finishing fifth at the British Championships that year, Al-Ameen narrowly missed out on Olympic qualification. Then in 2014, Al-Ameen’s former coach Rana Reider encouraged him to run for Nigeria as he had a Nigerian passport.

2014 proved to be a breakthrough year for Al-Ameen as he climbed into the top 3 for the first time after coming fifth in 2013 for the second year running.

However with no World Championships or Olympics that year, Al-Ameen set his sights on representing England at the Commonwealth Games.

Recalling the moment which led to his most successful season Al-Ameen says: “I wanted to make my first national team. I moved up to Leicester. I sacrificed everything, left my flat I had, left my job.”

Having narrowly missed out on Commonwealth selection for England, Al-Ameen decided he head to Nigeria to run the national trials.

He was rewarded finishing second in a time of 13.56 seconds, 2 hundredths off his personal best and reaching the final of the Commonwealth Games for Nigeria.

Now 29, Al-Ameen’s 2014 personal best stands to this day, but he still remains hungry to make his first World Championships and Olympic Games.

Featured photo: Tomas Meehan.