Yesterday he was racing against youngsters his own age, but today 17-year-old Abdulla Attiya is competing in the IPIC World Triathlon Abu Dhabi alongside some of the best triathletes in the world.
– #Quiz360: WIN Dhs250 Legends Sports Bar voucher
The teenager won the U-18 Super Sprint distance in the Aquathlon on Friday, the debut junior event that saw over 250 youngsters make a splash on the Abu Dhabi Corniche.
The main event, the IPIC World Triathlon Abu Dhabi – featuring the likes of Javier Gomez, Jonathan Brownlee and Gwen Jorgensen –kicks off today.
The Aquathlon was raced in three formats – Tiny Triathlete for the U-8s where participants completed a 50m swim and a 100m run.
The Junior distance was a 200m swim and a 1.5km run for youngsters aged eight-15 and the Super Sprint featured a 375m swim and a 2.5km run aimed at 11-17 year olds.
Attiya, from AMA International School in Bahrain, was delighted to have completed it in just 14mins 14secs.
He said: “The race was a fight at the end and then on the run it was crazy.
"Toby, who was close behind, is a really amazing runner; I gave everything I got to beat him, it was not easy.”
Attiya has flown in with the Bahrain national team to compete in both the Aquathlon and today’s star-studded season opener of the ITU World Triathlon Series.
He added: “Now that I am done with (yesterday’s) race my focus is on performing just as well in (today’s) Sprint race,” he added.
The top performing female from yesterday’s Aquathlon was 13-year-old Jasmin Gray, from the British School Al Khubairat, Abu Dhabi.
“It was a great feeling racing on the same course that the world’s best triathletes will be racing on,” she said.
Local Organising Director, Iain Banner said: “We are glad we could offer UAE’s youth the chance to compete right here in Abu Dhabi.
"We hope to continue supporting the growth of the sport at a grassroots level.”
The race will be broadcast live on Abu Dhabi Sports TV and a live web stream on www.triathlonlive.tv.
Know more about Sport360 Application