Ultimate Racenight’s 60 metre dash to test which type of athlete would reign supreme in the short sprint was won by footballer Amandio Costa, but a fall and injury suffered by Nicolas St Maurice cleared the way for the Portuguese to cross the finish line first.
The experiment, held at Dubai Sports City this past Thursday, brought together nine elite athletes from various sports, including rugby, football, athletics, basketball, kickboxing and powerlifting.
Costa edged powerlifter Wesley Depass and third-placed rugby player Morgan Ward, with a razor-thin gap of 0.5 seconds separating the top five.
“It was good. I prepared myself so this is the prize,” said Costa, who played indoor football for the Portuguese Air Force for five years.
“Like I said before, I’m really happy and humbled to race against these guys, but I’m really happy to win. It’s really good for me.”
It was St Maurice, however, who appeared to be the quickest and on his way to winning, before pulling his hamstring around the 40m mark.
The Montreal native not only ran track at Canada’s McGuill University, but played for the Dubai Barracudas in the Emirates American Football League for two years, making him a well-rounded athlete.
“I really enjoyed running my first sprint in more than 10 years. I had missed this feeling so much and it did not disappoint,” he said.
“Of course I’m disappointed with the final result, but I’m really happy with what I feel we’ve accomplished for athletics in Dubai. The main goal was to promote the sport and show how exciting it is, and I feel like we did a great job for a first time at the Dubai Ultimate Racenight.”
The 60m sprint was in addition to the usual events held throughout the Racenight series, which included standout performances from athletes of all ages in the season’s penultimate edition on Thursday.
Another record was broken courtesy of Nina Waddick, who topped her own mark by 15 centimetres with an impressive high jump of 1.20m in the U-9 age category.
For the senior women, Amal Al Roumi from Kuwait-based Spark Performance Team captured the 1,500m with a time of 5:04.50.
Familiar face Megan Dingle continued to shine as the Ultimate Athletics athlete claimed the U-13 800m in 2:25.68, coming close to the record of 2:22.51 set by Hannah Mclaughlin in Racenight 2.
The coveted 100m, meanwhile, was won by 20-year-old Neil Sabin, who trains with Al Wasl Club, in 10.82 seconds.
While this Racenight was the final opportunity to earn league points, competitors can still take part in the season’s concluding event on May 18. The sixth Racenight will include a men’s Open 60m for ages 25 and above as athletes can challenge for Costa’s throne.