Updated 21 November 2007
Nagmeldin Ali ABUBAKR, Sudan (400m)
Born 15 August 1986, Darfour
Coach: Jama Aden
Born in Darfour, like other Sudanese champions Ahmed Ismail and Adam El Nour, Nagmeldin Ali Abubakr moved to the capital Khartoum at the age of 6, as his parents were looking for a better life for themselves and their six children.
The youngster who has rapidly grown into world class, winning the 400m at the 2003 World Youth championships two years after taking to the sport, and taking the silver at the World Juniors the following year, started as a football player. One day in 2001, he took part in the school championships in the long jump - and 4.60m was enough for coach Mahmoud Keino to spot him and take him to Khartoum’s national training centre where the best Sudanese sportsmen are gathered.
Nagmeldin was first introduced to the short sprints. After a few months, he managed to clock 10.8 and 22.0 on 100m and 200m. Following the intervention of expert Mahjoub Said, he switched to the 400m and started working with Jama Aden. At the end of 2002, he managed to run a time of 47.81 for the full lap.
The following year, Nagmeldin clinched the gold medal at the World Youth Championships, in Sherbrooke, breaking the championships record in 46.10. He was welcomed back to Khartoum as a hero. He completed his season with a silver medal in a new PB (45.22) at the All Africa Games in Abuja (Nigeria), and another second place in 45.44 at the Afro-Asian Games in Hyderabad (India). All his family is proud of their only child doing sports and they come to the stadium to cheer him each time he is on the track in Khartoum.
Nagmeldin made a good debut in 2004, but after meets in Rabat (45.76) and Alger (45.6), he sustained a hamstring injury. Forced to adjust his programme, he was underprepared for Grosseto and had to settle for the silver medal at the World Junior Championships.
Upset, but not so disappointed, he spent a lot of time watching the races of his idol, Michael Johnson. Dreaming of following his path, he joined the Dakar High Performance Training Centre in December 2004, a move that was quickly rewarded with a PB and African junior record of 44.93 at the Islamic Solidarity Games. in April 2005, in Mekkah. He then recorded victories in Doha (45.52), Villeneuve d’Ascq (45.47), Strasbourg (45.61) and second places in Stockholm (45.87) and Torino (45.52).
But he could do no better than 6th (46.67) in his semi-final at the 2005 World Championships in Helsinki. Back in the age categories, he brought home three golds from the African Junior Championships in Tunis (200m: 20.95 – 400m: 46.09 – 4 x 400) before winning the Pan-Arab Championship, again in Tunis, in 45.66.
In 2006, following two victories in Abidjan (45.84) and Dakar (46.14), a knee injury slowed down his preparation in the beginning of May. Upon his return he won meets in Brazzaville (45.52), Khartoum (46.8), Tunis (45.93) and placed second in Algiers (45.90). However those second category events were not up to his ambitions, so he decided to cut short his season to take time to treat his knee and better prepare for 2007.
His integration in Dakar has proven difficult because of his shyness and language difficulties. In 2005 he could rely on Egyptian sprinter Amr Ibrahim Mostafa Seoud to translate for him in Arabic but that has no longer been the case since 2006.
He did, however, go back to Senegal for the winter training. After a 4th place at the Dakar meet in 47.48 on 28 April he went back to Sudan prior to the Arab Championships in Amman where he finished only 3rd (46.81) before carrying on with two wins in the Pan-African Khartoum meeting on 23 May (20.92/46.26) and the East Africa Championships in Kampala (21.12/45.90)
After that he didn’t return to Dakar HPTC but decided instead to join coach Jama Aden and the Sudanese elite at a training camp in Morocco which was crowned by a promising 45.61 victory at Morocco’s national championships in Meknès, three weeks before the All Africa Games.
In the Algerian capital, Nagmeldin achieved the leading time in the semi-finals (45.25) but was unable to continue his success in the Final finishing only 6th in 46.29.
Going into the World Championships in Osaka, Nagmeldin’s aim was to reach the Final, but he was to suffer another disappointment. After a good start in his first round heat he felt a sharp pain in his right hamstring and abandoned half-way through the race.
The Sudanese quarter miler bounced back on 15 October to take the World Military Games titles in Hyderabad in 46.00.
Nagmeldin Ali Aboubakr – who has been training in Egypt for the past two weeks - now hopes to end the year with another success at the Pan Arab Games in Cairo, where he will be competing over both 200m and 400m.
2002 – 47.81; 2003 – 20.93 / 45.22; 2004 – 21.11 / 45.76; 2005 - 20.95 / 44.93 ; 2006 – 20.9 / 45.52 ; 2007 – 20.92 / 45.25
200m: 20.92 (2007)
400m: 44.93 (2005)
2007 1st World Military Games (46.00)
2007 6th All Africa Games (46.29)
2007 1st East African Championships (45.90, 21.12)
2007 3rd Arab Championships (46.81)
2005 1st African Junior Championships (46.09, 20.95)
2005 1st Arab Championships (45.66)
2005 1st Islamic Solidarity Games (44.93)
2004 2nd World Junior Championships (45.97)
2004 2nd Pan Arab Games (45.84)
2004 1st Arab Junior Championships (46.92)
2003 1st World Youth Championships (46.10)
2003 2nd All Africa Games (45.22)
2003 2nd Afro-Asian Games (45.44)
2002 2nd Arab Junior Championships (47.81)
Prepared by Taoufik Gacem for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. © IAAF 2007.