The penultimate night of the Ultimate Athletics season came to a dramatic conclusion at Dubai Sports City, as the much-anticipated under-15 100 metre race ended in a tie.
Fans gathered to watch the athletes competing for a spot in next month’s finals with fourteen-year-old Emily Davidson, from Dubai College and Nikita Bianca (15), representing GEMS Metropole continuing what has become a closely contested rivalry.
The pair, who are friends off the track, can barely be separated in this season’s competition, with Bianca topping the U15 league table and Davidson holding the 100m and 200m records with times of 12.73 seconds and 26.70 seconds respectively.
On the night itself, the eagerly awaited 100 metres was deemed a draw as the two couldn’t be separated on the finish line, both recording a time of 12:83.
Speaking afterwards Davidson said, “It’s not the first time we’ve tied actually, but it’s really good we have each other to push each other to win at these events, we enjoy running against each other”. Bianca added, “I’m glad we have each other to race against because you need someone to aim to beat. I’m hoping to one day represent India in the Olympics and before that I’m looking to study sports management, so these events help get an understanding of the sport”. The duo was also one and two over the finish line in the 200 metres with Davidson coming out on top.
In senior competition, Umar Hameed, 29, won the 100 metres and 200 metres, and works with athletes in schools – who bring Team GB athletes to the UAE as inspiration for the next generation. “These events are great for the region because there’s no one else doing anything else like it. They’re also great for the youngsters and we’re looking to bring certified officials over so the events can go on the national rankings. There should be more events like this”, he said.
There was also a win for Suhail Youseph, 37, who took first in his 60-metre heat. He told Sport 360, “I just heard about Ultimate Athletics a few months ago and it’s been great to be involved. I’ve trimmed down a lot since competing so I’m really enjoying it”.
Winners now go on to compete in the Ultimate Athletics finals, held on May 10, bringing the season to a close. The event, sponsored by New Balance, has been has been running in Dubai since 2015 and educates athletics with theory workshops as well as access to sports science-qualified coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists.
Professional athletes including Northern Ireland’s Leon Reid stopped in Dubai en route to the Commonwealth Games in Australia to show his support for the event with aims to inspire the next generation of Olympic hopefuls.
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