Updated 15 December 2011
Amr Ibrahim Mostafa SEOUD, Egypt (100m-200m)
Born: 10 June 1986 in Dumyat (Damietta)
1.78m x 71kg
Club: Al Ahly
Coaches: Kevin Galbraith and Karim Abdel Wahab (University of Northern Colorado)
Manager: André Thomson
Second of four children (three brothers and one sister)
Older brother Mohamed was a member of the Egyptian Junior Football Team
Father a businessman (furniture)
An extremely talented and competitive athlete who has been improving steadily over the years, Amr Seoud raised his level of commitment in 2010 and finally found the right training environment to begin to fulfil his potential.
Before leaving Cairo in mid-February 2010 to train at the University of Northern Colorado, with Coach Kevin Galbraith and Assistant Coach and fellow Egyptian Karim Abdel Wahab, Amr had declared that he wanted to make the necessary changes to improve his athletics career, as he felt time was slipping away.
The combination of dedication, hard work and mutual trust allowed the young sprinter to reach new heights that year, culminating in a gold medal at the African Championships in Nairobi with a 200m national and Arab record of 20.36, which also propelled him in the Top 20 lists for the year.
In 2011, his training was severely hampered by the political events in Egypt, as he could only travel to his training base in Colorado for six weeks before the World Championships started in late August. An upper respiratory infection prevented him from giving his best in Daegu, but less than two weeks later, still debilitated by the disease, he took the All Africa Games title in Maputo over 100m, after improving his personal best to 10.13 in the Semi Finals.
Like many Egyptians, Amr Ibrahim Mostafa Seoud played football in his youth (he still enjoys a match with his friends) and came to athletics almost by chance.
At the beginning of 2003 he was competing in a national public school championship in track and ended up breaking the Egyptian School record for the 100 metres in 10.80 while running the distance for the first time and without spikes. He was immediately invited to join the national team and has been competing internationally ever since.
Just two months after taking up athletics, the young sprinter was sent to gain experience at the World Indoor Championships in Birmingham, where he ran a creditable 6.93 (NJR) over the 60 metres.
In July, Amr represented Egypt at the World Youth Championships in Sherbrooke, Canada, clocking 11.06 at 100m and 21.89 at 200m in his first race over the distance.
Three weeks later he earned his first international medal at the African Junior Championships in Garoua, Cameroon, although still a Youth, claiming silver at 200m (21.40w) and placing 4th in the 100m (10.66w after running 10.58w in the heats).
In February 2004, Amr earned a scholarship to Dekalb International Training Centre in Atlanta, where he was coached by World Championships 1987 400m silver medallist Innocent Egbunike.
During his stay in the USA, Amr improved to 10.53 in Atlanta on 15 May – a performance that ranked him 50th in the world in his age group that year.
Then, after over a year in which he had set national records at practically every race and taken part in major international competitions, his luck started to turn and injuries plagued most of the summer, forcing him to leave DITC before the end of his scholarship and keeping him out of the World Junior Championships in Grosseto.
Amr was able to return to the international scene in September, earning silver at 100m (10.49) and bronze at 200m (21.21) at the Arab Junior Championships in Damascus. His performance over the 100m was an Egyptian Senior and Junior record and earned him the 41st spot in the 2004 year-end World Junior Lists.
In 2005, Amr earned a scholarship to the IAAF High Performance Training Centre in Dakar, but another injury-plagued year lay ahead of him. After a promising 10.55 on 6 April in Bamako, he had to suspend his preparation for two weeks due to a hamstring injury. In June he travelled to Europe with the HPTC athletes to take part in a series of meetings (Torino, Lugano, Celle Ligure) before heading to Almeria for the Mediterranean Games, but in Spain he was again sidelined by injury just before the first round in the 100m and also missed out on the Arab Championships in Tunis-Radès.
In September, Amr returned to the HPTC Dakar to prepare for the Francophone Games in Niamey, Niger, in December. Finally injury-free, the young Egyptian won the first ever medal for his country in this competition, taking bronze at 100m in 10.55. He then clocked 21.29 in the heats of the 200m to easily qualify for the Final, but feeling unwell he decided to see the doctor after his race, and discovered he had malaria. The illness not only forced him to pull out of the 200m Final, but in the following weeks caused the sprinter to lose 13 kilos (which he mostly regained after complete recovery).
No longer training in Dakar, Amr competed mainly in national events in 2006, with the exception of a less than brilliant participation (21.83) in the Rabat Meeting on 17 June – in between 2 exams at the Physical Education Academy – and the lack of international competition took its toll. At the African Championships in Bambous, Mauritius, held in Commarmond Stadium’s characteristic blustering head winds, the sprinter placed 6th in the 100m Final in 10.81 (after running 10.70 and 10.72 in the earlier rounds, always into strong head winds) and reached the Semi Finals over 200m (21.32 after winning the previous round in 21.07).
However, Amr’s perseverance did pay two weeks later at the Egyptian Championships, when he took the double sprint crown, winning the 100m in 10.48 (NR) and the 200m in 20.75. The latter mark, which would also have been a national record, was not ratified for lack of a wind reading.
Abandoning his studies in Physical Education to enter the first year of Business Administration at Canadian International College in Cairo limited his training possibilities, but in spite of the difficulties of combining high level studies and training, 2007 proved to be the most successful year that far in the talented Egyptian’s young career.
In fact, after running a windy 10.11 in the National Championships on 6 April, Amr beat a national record in each one of his major international events of the season.
The series started on 19 May in Amman at the Arab Championships, where Amr earned the silver medal in (10.45 NR) although running with a tight hamstring which prevented him from starting in the 200m.
The All Africa Games mid-July do not start in the best way. After scraping through in the first round (clocking 10.52 for sixth place and only qualifying with the second slowest time), he was eliminated in the Semi Finals after again clocking 10.52.
At 200m he looked a possible medalist, after running his Semi Final in convincing fashion in 20.83 for his second Egyptian record of the season, but in the Final placed 4th in a disappointing 21.07.
Less than a month later, at the World University Games in Bangkok, Amr demonstrated all his fighting spirit and determination. In fact, the sprinter is engaged in a double race against the clock, as in addition to aiming for the best performance in the competition he is trying to achieve the qualifying standard for the World Championships, in Osaka, before the deadline of 13 August 2007 (midnight Monaco time).
To be able to compete in Osaka starting 25 August, Amr needs to run 10.28 over 100m or 20.75 over 200m. There are thus no easy qualifying rounds for the young Egyptian, who pushes hard from the first round, raising his level steadily (10.58, 10.48 and 10.45 in the Semi Final, before placing 5th in the Final on 11 August in 10.40. This result is still far from the 10.28 required to enter the World Championships, but would have been a new record for the Egyptian had not the reaction time recorded by the winner been a surprising 0.099, below the valid reaction time of 0.1 seconds.
The 100m Final therefore has to be repeated, and as there is no rest day in the schedule between the two sprint races, Amr – who is the only one of the 100m finalists who takes on the double challenge – has to re-run the 100m Final on 12 August in between the first and second round of the 200m. In the valid Final, it is therefore not surprising that he drops to 7th place in 10.53, as the 200m are now his only hope to join the world’s elite in Japan.
On a very busy Sunday 12 August, Amr thus runs the first round of the 200m in 20.88, re-runs the 100m Final and only two hours later clocks 20.93, signing the fastest performance in the second round but still not enough to get him to Japan.
After a night’s rest Amr finally takes his foot off the accelerator, clocking 21.02 in the Semis and assuring himself a spot in the Final, to be run at 19:55 on 13 August Bangkok time (13:55 Monaco time, just 10 hours before the limit to set the qualifying standard for Osaka.)
And the Final marks a triple triumph for Amr, who takes first place in 20.74; another national record, the first ever gold medal for Egypt at the World University Games, but also the passport to compete at the World Championships in Osaka and next year’s Olympic Games in Beijing.
Two weeks later a little further east, Amr continues his success story. In the first round of the 200m at the World Championships he smashes the Egyptian record for the third time in 6 weeks, lowering it to 20.65 and qualifying for the second round, where he closes his east-Asian adventure in 20.72.
After demonstrating great form at the Egyptian Club Championships in October (where he ran a windy, hand-timed 10.1), Amr Ibrahim Mostafa Seoud was hoping to cap a very positive year with another great performance at the Pan Arab Games, held in November in his home town, Cairo.
After winning his heat in 10.49 against 10.62 for pre-race favourite Yahya Saed El Kahes of Saudi Arabia (10.28 PB, gold medalist at the World Youth Championships 2003), Amr went on to win the Final in 10.38, closing in on the Saudi around 75m after a sluggish start to set the fifth Egyptian record in as many international competitions that year, and claim the first sprint gold medal for Egypt in the Pan Arab Games since 1965.
Showing how motivated he was to do well in his home city, Amr ran an impressive 20.64 in the 200m heats the following morning, to set another national record, in spite of running without the slightest challenge as his friend and Cairo 400m gold medalist, Nagmeldin Ali Aboubakr of Sudan, was a very distant second in 21.24.
Amr then anchored the Egyptian sprint relay team to yet another national record (40.17) barely two hours later, closing a 15m gap to the top three but finishing just off the podium. He suffered from a tight hamstring in his effort, and in the 200m Final the following day could not further improve on his time, clocking 20.69 with a strong surge in the last 50m to defeat Jordan’s Khalil Hananeh.
The Pan Arab Games sprint double closed a brilliant season for Amr Seoud, who set 6 Egyptian records at 100m and/or 200m in each of the 5 major international competitions in which he took part.
In 2008, Amr returned to compete in the World Indoor Championships after 5 years, and continued his streak of national records in the Heats and Semi Finals (6.78 and 6.69).
Just a week later, in the course of the national university championships, he ran the Final in 9.8, but the mark was not ratified.
At the African Championships in Addis Ababa, Amr hoped to win his first senior continental medal.
After recording a new national record with the fastest time in the 100m Heats (10.35) he was third in the Semi Final in 10.40, qualifying for the Final on 1 May. However, injury sustained in the early rounds meant he did not start in 100m Final and could not contest his best event, the 200m.
In the summer, Amr joined the Sudanese athletes in their training base in Sweden, achieving his best results – both national records – with 10.33 in the Stockholm Grand Prix (22 July) and 20.62 in Karlstadt (28 July).
In his first participation in the Olympic Games, in Beijing, Amr advanced to Quarter Finals and set yet another national record with 20.55, ending his season on a high note.
2009 was to be a year of mixed fortunes. Within the space a fortnight, from 30 June to 10 July, Amr was a finalist at 100m and a gold medallist at 200m (20.78) at the Mediterranean Games, then won two silver medals at the World University Games, clocking 10.31 in the 100m Final (after a 10.30 NR in the Semi Final) and 20.52, another national record, at 200m.
2 days after the World University Games 200m Amr went to the Tangiers meet to honour a commitment there, then travelled to Abuja six days later to chase the qualifying standard for the Berlin World Championships on 100m, but injured his right quadriceps.
Still injured in Berlin, he pulled up in the Heats, and did not recover fully for the rest of the season.
In October he was a disappointing 6th in the 100 at Francophone Games, and again not up to standard in the Arab Championships 200m, placing 4th.
The negative second part of the season however had a positive side, persuading Amr that a change was needed in his level of focus and in his environment. After looking at several options, he moved to the University of North Colorado in mid-February 2010.
The new training regime under coaches Kevin Galbraith and Karim Abdel Wahab soon started to pay dividends. On 17 April he set a national record at 100m in 10.22 with regular wind and ran a windy (+3.0m/s) 20.50 at Mt. Sac Relays.
After the end of the US college season he returned to his training base in Germany to participate in competitions in Europe and Africa. In Brazzaville (30 May) he is 3rd at 100m (10.32) and 2nd at 200m (10.69). A week later he felt a strain in his left abductor at the Rabat meeting on 6 June and pulled up as he felt his muscle tightening to avoid worse injury.
In July he returned to compete in three meets in the Netherlands and Germany, with the best result in Rhede (10.28 on 4 July)
Feeling the strain in his left abductor again in the Bottrop 200m on 9 July, Amr went home for a week’s rest, then physiotherapy, hoping to recover in time for the African Championships, in Nairobi, at the end of the month.
In the Kenyan capital he was accompanied not only by Coach Karim, but also the UNC physio, Erik Philips, to continue treatment. The presence of his team proved fundamental in the cold Nairobi weather, where as well as undergoing physiotherapy Amr warmed up for up to 2 hours before races to avoid injury.
Placed in the best possible conditions, Amr paid back the Egyptian Federation and his team for their support with a sterling performance. In the 100m Final he placed fourth, after a slow start, with 10.18 – a national record. Three days later, in his favourite 200m – with the best start in the field – he took the African title in 20.36 – an Egyptian and Arab record, finally erasing the 20.41 mark set by Qatar’s Talal Mansour back in October 1994, and breaking into the Top 20 of the year.
Having earned his selection in Nairobi to the Africa Team for the Continental Cup, Amr – a competitor and a fighter, who had always given the best when it mattered most, had an uncharacteristically bad performance in Split, sluggish from the start and unable to place his usual strong surge in the final phase of the race, he ended a disappointing sixth in 20.94.
In 2011, Egypt was rocked by a three-week revolution that killed over 840 people before long-time ruler Hosni Mubarak left power. The events affected all athletes, as funding was unavailable for training and travel.
Amr finally started his competitive season on the IAAF World Challenge meetings, winning in Kawasaki (8 May) in 20.65 before placing sixth in Rabat (5 June) in 20.71. On 12 June, he won both the 100m (10.27) and the 200m (20.68) in Brazzaville, defeating all the top African sprinters.
Funding to travel to Colorado for training finally became available at the beginning of July, and Amr worked hard under Coach Karim. In Daegu, he impressed commentators with a gutsy heat, placing second in 20.44 to one of the medal favorites Walter Dix, but ahead of multi-medallist Kim Collins to record the third best time of the whole round (first was Usain Bolt), but minutes later in the Mixed Zone he collapsed and was escorted to the medical tent.
He explained upon coming out after some 15 minutes that he had had fever for five days. In fact, Coach Karim later clarified that in Daegu Amr had also been coughing and had difficulties breathing, as well as being unable to digest his food for days before the race, vomiting every time he ate. The athlete was so unwell, that his coach advised him to pull out after the heats, but Amr refused. In the Semi Finals a few hours later, a short nap was not enough to overcome days of debilitating illness, and Amr was understandably unable to repeat the strong showing of the morning, finishing last in his heat.
Nine days later, still with a lingering fever, he was in Maputo for the All Africa Games. Initially unwilling to go due to his weakened physical condition, he was finally persuaded to compete in the 100m, where he again showed his competitiveness at major events, with a new national record in the Semi Finals (10.13) and a gold medal over the top Africans.
Amr returned to his training base in Colorado from the end of October till the first week of December, before heading to Doha via Egypt to defend his double Arab Games sprint crown.
A slight pull in his left hamstring, suffered in training during a jumps session a week before leaving the US, hampered his final preparation for Doha. Amr, his left thigh heavily bandaged, was visibly limping after the heats, contested in the morning of 15 December, where he placed second to Qatar’s Femi Ogunode (entered over 100m and 200m, but not the 400m, where he was a finalist in Daegu) and admitted in the Mixed Zone he was not feeling good. Will fighting spirit prevail over injury?
60m 6.69 NR (World Indoor Championships Valencia 2008)
100m 10.13 NR (All Africa Games 2011)
200m 20.36A NR (African Championships 2010)
300m 32.77 NR (Sollentuna 2008)
400m 47.48A (Fort Collins, 2010)
2003: 6.93i / 10.58w / 21.89 (21.40w); 2004: - / 10.49 /21.21; 2005: - / 10.55 / 21.29; 2006: - / 10.48 / 21.07 (20.75w); 2007: - / 10.38 NR (10.11w) / 20.64 NR; 2008: 6.69i NR / 10.33 NR / 20.55 NR; 2009: - / 10.30 NR / 20.52 NR; 2010: - / 10.18A / 20.36A; 2011: - / 10.13 NR / 20.44
2003 2nd African Junior Championships 200m (21.40w 3.6)
4th African Junior Championships 100m (10.66w 3.7)
2004 2nd Pan Arab Junior Championships 100m (10.49 NR, NJR -0.8)
3rd Pan Arab Junior Championships 200m (21.21 0.2)
2005 3rd Francophone Games 100m (10.55 0.4)
2006 6th African Championships 100m (10.81 -1.9)
1st Egyptian Championships 100m (10.48 NR )
1st Egyptian Championships 200m (20.75w ??)
2007 2nd Arab Championships 100m (10.45 NR -1.1)
2007 4th All Africa Games 200m (21.07 0.7)
(20.83 NR in SF3 1.2)
2007 7th World University Games 100m (10.53 -0.9)
(10.45 in SF1 -2.0)
2007 1st World University Games 200m (20.74 NR 0.2)
2007 6th QF World Championships 200m (20.72 0.3)
(20.65 NR in H9 R1 -0.1)
2007 1st Pan Arab Games Cairo 100m (10.38 NR 0.7)
2007 1st Pan Arab Games Cairo 200m (20.69 2.0)
(20.64 NR in H2 1.0)
2008 4th SF World Indoors 60m (6.69)
2008 3rd SF African Championships 100m (10.40A 0.5)
(10.35A NR in H3 -1.4)
2008 6th Q Olympic Games 200m (20.55 NR 0.1)
2009 7th Mediterranean Games 100m (10.45 1.0)
(10.38 in H1 2.2)
2009 1st Mediterranean Games 200m (20.78 -0.4)
2009 2nd World University Games 100m (10.31 -0.7)
(10.30 NR in SF1 0.1)
2009 2nd World University Games 200m (20.52 NR 0.1)
2009 6th Francophone Games 100m (10.42 4.6)
2009 4th Arab Championships 200m (21.08 -0.3)
2010 4th African Championships 100m (10.18A NR 1.9)
2010 1st African Championships 200m (20.36A NR, Arab R 1.3)
2010 6th Continental Cup 200m (20.94 0.2)
2011 3rd Q World Championships 200m (20.44 0.3)
2011 8th SF World Championships 200m (21.15 0.3)
2011 1st Q All Africa Games 100m (10.2 0.3)
2011 1st SF All Africa Games 100m (10.13 NR 1.8)
2011 1st F All Africa Games 100m (10.20 -0.4)
Prepared by Anna Legnani for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. © IAAF 2007-2011