The curtain came down on the 2018/19 Ultimate Athletics season with an event, which saw dramatic races in the Ultimate 60m finals and the trophy presentations for the overall league winners.
A packed crowd at the Dubai Sports City athletics track watched as gold medals were handed out to the Men’s Masters overall league winner Jason Castillo, for the third year in a row, and Emma Jordan who finished top of the Ladies Masters League. In the Senior Men’s league competition first place went to Sadiq Bagudu running out of Middlesex University. Nikita Manian won the highly competitive Under 17 girls league ahead of friend and close rival Megan Dingle. In the Under 15 Boys League, Jean-Christopher Reymond, who trains out of Abu Dhabi Club took the top spot and will be competing in Gothenburg later this year.
Beijing high jump Olympian Martyn Bernard was in attendance to hand out medals to the athletes, who will be taking a break until the first event of the new season, which kicks off in October. He said: “Knowing that you’re going to be competing against a lot of nationalities, it opens up kids’ mind-sets. What I took when I was younger, growing up in a small town, was when I got to the International stage I was able to travel the world and talk to people from all sorts of backgrounds, which opens your perspective on life – which is what events like these do.”
Also on hand to offer words of advice was three-time British Long Jump Champion JJ Jegede who had this to say to the young athletes: “If you want to make it, it’s all about the mental side, there’s a lot of setbacks, you might not always win. You’ve got to keep going and when your body changes you’ll develop physically and mentally, so keep setting goals and keep striving for more. Enjoy the process.”
As well as individual honours there were awards for the clubs and schools with Best Secondary School being awarded to Dubai College. Best Primary School was picked up by King’s Dubai who collected the most points over the season and Best Club was won by Desert Club.
Ultimate Athletics, sponsored by New Balance, also educates young athletics with theory workshops with sports science-qualified coaches, nutritionists and physiotherapists.
Photo Credit: melissalearphotography.com
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