28 APR 2014 Feature Asella, Ethiopia

Work, rest and play – Mohammed Aman

800m winner Mohammed Aman at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (Getty Images)800m winner Mohammed Aman at the 2014 IAAF World Indoor Championships in Sopot (Getty Images) © Copyright

Mohammed Aman, still only 20, won the 2013 IAAF World Championships 800m gold medal and has won over the same distance at the past two IAAF World Indoor Championships.

The Ethiopian offers an insight into his personality by answering our work, rest and play questions.


MOHAMMED AT WORK


What is your favourite training session and why?

Mohammed Aman: Doing more relaxing exercise the week or so before a big competition.


What is your least favourite training session?

MA: After a period of recovery, the beginning of the first training session back.


What are your three favourite things about being an athlete?

MA: Firstly, the challenge of athletics. Secondly, the happiness and satisfaction I experience when I win and thirdly, the opportunity to see different countries around the world.


Where is your favourite training venue?

MA: The Addis Ababa stadium in Ethiopia.


What is the worst thing about being an athlete?

MA: In my opinion, injury is the worst thing about being an athlete.


MOHAMMED AT REST


Describe your perfect day without training.

MA: When I am not training, I usually take a rest in the morning and I’ll meet all of my family; that makes me very happy.


What is your favourite stress reliever?

MA: If I feel any discomfort, listening to the Holy Koran gives me relief.


Where is your favourite place to relax?

MA: My home town of Asella is a nice place for me to relax.


What TV shows do you like to relax to?

MA: I like watching action movies on MBC and MBC2 (these are movie database networks on which Mohammed accesses films on his TV at home).


Describe your perfect meal.

MA: My favourite meal is a traditional food known as ‘chiko’ in Amharic and ‘michirra’ in the Oromo language. It is the same barley laden dish seasoned with a distinct Ethiopian butter that is very rich, with a lot of native Ethiopian spices. It is only really a dish that Ethiopians can enjoy, because it is so distinct.


MOHAMMED AT PLAY


When and why did you develop a passion for football?

MA: It developed from when I was a kid. There was a field in front of my home and that really motivated me to play.


What position were you on the football field, and what standard did you reach?

MA: I played as a striker and in most games I managed to score a goal.


How do you feel your background in football helped your athletics?

MA: When I played football I used run all over the pitch in an effort to score a goal; that helped develop my speed, which I now use in athletics.


Do you follow a particular football team and, if so, why do you follow them?

MA: I’m a big fan of both Arsenal and Barcelona. In my opinion, they play very well and they build their teams with younger players.


Steve Landells for the IAAF