Hussein Taher AL SABEE

Athlete Profile

  • COUNTRY
    Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
  • DATE OF BIRTH
    14 NOV 1979
    ATHLETE'S IAAF CODE
    139864
Al-Sabee long jumping at the Paris World championships (Gatty Images)

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
Long Jump 8.35 +0.7 Modesto, CA (USA) 08 MAY 2004
Long Jump 8.41 * +2.6 Carson (USA) 22 MAY 2004
Triple Jump 15.98 Catania (ITA) 08 DEC 2003

Legend

* Not legal.

Indoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
Long Jump 7.93 Macao (MAC) 31 OCT 2007

Legend

* Not legal.

Latest Active Season: 2015

Outdoor

Discipline Performance Wind Place Date Records
Long Jump 7.60 +1.4 Qatif (KSA) 23 OCT 2015

Outdoor

Long Jump

Performance Wind Place Date
2015 7.60 +1.4 Qatif (KSA) 23 OCT 2015
2014 7.48 +1.9 Riyadh (KSA) 16 MAY 2014
2013 7.65 +1.7 Riyadh (KSA) 17 APR 2013
2012 7.83 +1.1 Bottrop (GER) 07 JUL 2012
2011 7.72 0.0 Rio de Janeiro (BRA) 22 JUL 2011
2010 7.96 -0.8 Guangzhou (CHN) 24 NOV 2010
2009 8.20 +1.3 Madrid (ESP) 04 JUL 2009
2008 8.35 +0.3 Zürich (SUI) 29 AUG 2008
2007 8.10 Cairo (EGY) 21 NOV 2007
2006 8.25 +1.3 Qatif (KSA) 22 NOV 2006
2005 7.86 +1.8 Makkah (KSA) 24 MAR 2005
2004 8.35 +0.7 Modesto, CA (USA) 08 MAY 2004
2003 8.30 +0.4 Monaco (MON) 13 SEP 2003
2002 8.14 +0.7 Busan (KOR) 12 OCT 2002
2001 8.31 +0.6 Doha (QAT) 18 MAY 2001
2000 8.33 +0.8 Jakarta (INA) 31 AUG 2000
1999 8.06 -0.7 Sevilla (ESP) 26 AUG 1999
1998 7.70 0.0 Dammam (KSA) 11 MAR 1998

Outdoor

Triple Jump

Performance Wind Place Date
2006 15.43 0.0 Riyadh (KSA) 07 APR 2006
2003 15.98 Catania (ITA) 08 DEC 2003

Indoor

Long Jump

Performance Place Date
2009/10 7.68 Hanoi (VIE) 01 NOV 2009
2007/08 7.93 Macao (MAC) 31 OCT 2007
2000/01 7.90 Sindelfingen (GER) 04 MAR 2001

Honours - World Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
5. Long Jump 8.10 0.0 Paris (FRA) 29 AUG 2003

Honours - World (Continental) Cup

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
4. Long Jump 7.92 +1.1 Madrid (ESP) 20 SEP 2002

Honours - Asian Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Long Jump 8.23 +0.5 Manila (PHI) 23 SEP 2003
1. Long Jump 8.09 +1.4 Colombo (SRI) 12 AUG 2002
1. Long Jump 8.33 +0.8 Jakarta (INA) 31 AUG 2000
2. Long Jump 7.96 +0.6 Guangzhou (CHN) 12 NOV 2009

Honours - Asian Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Long Jump 8.02 +0.7 Doha (QAT) 09 DEC 2006
1. Long Jump 8.14 +0.7 Busan (KOR) 12 OCT 2002
3. Long Jump 7.96 -0.8 Guangzhou (CHN) 24 NOV 2010

Honours - World Athletics Final

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
2. Long Jump 8.13 +1.0 Stuttgart (GER) 14 SEP 2008
2. Long Jump 8.30 +0.4 Monaco (MON) 13 SEP 2003

Honours - Golden League

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Long Jump 8.35 +0.3 Zürich (SUI) 29 AUG 2008
1. Long Jump 8.19 +1.1 Oslo (NOR) 06 JUN 2008
1. Long Jump 8.21 +0.6 Berlin (GER) 01 JUN 2008

Honours - Asian Indoor Championships

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
3. Long Jump 7.72 Doha (QAT) 16 FEB 2008

Honours - Pan-Arab Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Long Jump 7.93 +0.2 Irbid (JOR) 13 AUG 1999

Honours - World Military Games

Place Discipline Mark Wind Place Date
1. Long Jump 8.04 Hyderabad (IND) 18 OCT 2007
Results in:

Long Jump

Date Competition Cnt. Cat Race Pl. Result Wind
23 OCT 2015 Qatif GCC Games KSAKSA E F 1. 7.60 +1.4


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Updated 29 July 2009

Hussein Tahar AL SABEE, Saudi Arabia (Long Jump)

Born 14 November 1979, Al Dahran, Eastern Province
Residence:  Saihat
1.87m/85kg
The 9th of 10 children (4 brothers and 5 sisters); his father married two wives; employed by the Army.
Coach: Sahil Hamid

Hussein Tahar Al Sabee comes from a sporting family. His father and a brother played football while two other brothers are keen on athletics. With little surprise he started with football, a sport he still likes very much, but making the team was hard and he spent far too much time on the bench for his liking.

So Al Sabee decided to give athletics a go when his brother, Tawfik, invited him to try it at the local Nadi Al-Khaleej club at the age of 13. He first tried the 400m, the High Jump and the 110m Hurdles. His potential was noticed by the new head coach from Algeria, Messaoud “Mahfoud” Bouhouche, who directed him towards combined events. After a few years, he was asked by the club president, Prince Nawef, to do the Long Jump, as the club did not have a representative in the event.

In 1996, Al Sabee broke the first in a long series of records, when he landed at 7.25, a new Saudi junior record. He was sent to training camp in Taif to prepare for the Pan Arab Junior Championships, in Syria, but family problems recalled him home, preventing him from taking part in the event.

Under the guidance of Bouhouche, Al Sabee improved by half a metre the following year and started reaping his first international laurels. After jumping a legal 7.73 in the qualifying rounds of the Pan Arab Championships, in September 1997, in Taif, he landed at 8.01 (wind-aided) to clinch gold. The following month, he placed 2nd at the Gulf Junior Championships in Dubai (7.76w).

At the end of high school, Al Sabee wanted to train to become a sports teacher, but his grades were not good enough for a place at the appropriate college. He then registered at King Saud University, Riyadh, but stayed only a week. It was far from home (400km) and he did not like it. Medical college did not work out either, so he eventually joined the Air Force, which he saw as the only choice left to him.

In April 1998, Al Sabee won a bronze medal at the Gulf Championships in Muscat (7.56). He was then supposed to take part to the World Junior Championships, in Annecy, France, but his passport got lost in the federation office and he could not make the trip. At the end of the year, he fell while playing football with friends and sustained a calf injury that required surgery, leaving him out of athletics for four months.

In 1999 Al Sabee had his first legal 8m jump at the Doha meeting (6th with 8.00). He then won the Pan Arab Games, in Irbid, Jordan, at the beginning of August (7.93) before managing to make his way to the Final of the World Championships, in Sevilla, with 8.06. It was a performance that he was unable to reproduce in the Final and he finished 12th with 7.62. “Sevilla was too big a competition for me,” Al Sabee reflected. “I didn’t have enough experience.” He continued until the end of the season, winning the silver medal at the Pan Arab Championships, in October, in Beirut (7.81).

Disagreements between the athlete and his coach led Bouhouche and Al Sabee to part company. Romanian coach Bedros Bedrosian, a former international triple jumper (17.27 in 1984) was hired by the Saudi federation to take over in February 2000. After a training camp in South Africa in March, Al Sabee set a new PB at the Gulf Championships in Kuwait in April (1st with 8.15). One month before the Sydney Olympic Games, he created a big surprise by jumping 8.33 for victory at the Asian Championships, in Jakarta. This performance marked the beginning of an unchallenged domination on the continental scene (3 Asian Championships and 1 Asian Games gold from 2000 to 2003). But it would not translate on the global stage.

Coming to Sydney with the No.8 ranking on the IAAF Top Lists, Al Sabee was troubled by sciatica caused by recent long flights from Frankfurt to Djakarta and to Sydney. Two weeks were lost in treatment and easy training. On 25 September he could not break 8m and ended up 18th in the qualifying rounds (7.94).

In 2001, Al Sabee took part in indoor competition for the first time. One week after a 7.90 performance in Sindelfingen, Germany, on 4 March, he could do no better than 7.53 for 11th at the World Indoor Championships in Lisbon. An 8.31 jump in Doha propelled him to 4th best performer in the world that year. Three other results above 8m followed (8.08 in Athens, 8.10 in Paris/Saint-Denis, and 8.04 in Oslo).

Just before the 2001 World Championships, in Edmonton, Al Sabee was left training on his own in Canada as his coach had visa problems and arrived only the day before the qualifying round. He managed to advance to the Final (7.83) but could not raise his level and finished only 10th with 7.90. In September, a trip to Australia followed, for the Goodwill Games, where he placed 3rd (7.97). Al Saba then stopped training and took part in the Pan Arab Games with little preparation on 2 October, in Damascus (7.86 for 3rd).

In 2002 Al Sabee was left without a coach after Bedrosian went home for a vacation but did not come back. For a while Al Sabee joined the group of sprinters trained by American coach Darrell Smith. In his early outings, he was 2nd at the Gulf Championships in March (7.90w against 8.18 for countryman Mohamed Al Khuwailidi) and 3rd at the West Asian Games, in Kuwait, in April (7.55).

In June, Al Sabee travelled to Romania for a one-month training camp but he sustained a knee injury and was out for three weeks. He managed to be back on track for the second part of the season, successfully defending his title at the Asian Championships, in Colombo, on 12 August (8.09), before placing 4th at the World Cup, in Madrid, one month later (7.92) and closing with a season’s best and victory at the Asian Games, in Busan, on 12 October (8.14).

In 2003, Al Sabee was still training by himself and the Saudi federation decided to send him for four months to the United States to prepare with Mike Powell. On 1 June, in Carson, he achieved a promising 8.23 but, for his debut in Europe, in Madrid on 19 July, he suffered injury on his first attempt and rushed to Valencia, where his team was based, to see the physio for treatment. Even though he finished 5th (8.10) at the World Championships, in Paris, five weeks later, his best ranking so far in a global championships, his performance left him deeply disappointed. He had lost a few precious days due to injury and felt he would have been fine had the championships taken place two weeks later.

Just one week later, he started an impressive series, winning the Arab Championships, in Amman, on 6 September (8.30w), placing second at the World Athletics Final, in Monaco, on 13 September (8.30), before claiming gold at the Asian Championships, in Manila, on 23 September (8.23) and at the Gulf Championships, in Kuwait City, on 8 October.

2004 began as another great year. In his first meet, in Modesto, California, on 8 May, Al Sabee established a national record of 8.35 before jumping a wind-aided 8.41 and legal 8.22 in Carson two weeks later. He also competed in Lausanne, in July, (8.19) and Linz in early August (8.13).

The second best performer of the year behind Dwight Phillips, of the United States, he was expected to be a major contender for the Athens Olympics. But he did not appear in Athens, and was not to be seen for many more months, having been withdrawn from the team and suspended for allegedly failing a drug test at the end of 2003. However, it transpired that sanctions were not sought after by the IAAF because of technical irregularities in the sample analysis. But only late in 2005 did Al Sabee become aware that he was cleared to compete.

Al Sabee started the 2006 season training by himself in Saudi Arabia, where he recorded a couple of 8m jumps (8.00 at the Army Championships on 18 March and 8.02 in Riyadh on 5 April). He then joined Mike Powell in June but his preparation was affected by hamstring problems. However, Al Sabee managed to produce his best effort when it mattered, during the Saudi trials for the Asian Games, with an 8.25 win that left countryman and new Asian record holder, Al Khuwailidi, out of the team. On 9 December, in Doha, he managed to defend his Asian Games crown for his return to international competition (8.02).

In 2007 Al Sabee was again sent by his federation to the US in June, which deprived him of competition opportunities before the World Championships, in Osaka. His argument was that he was sent to California too late in the season. The major meets of the West Coast (Modesto, Carson, and Eugene) had already taken place. June appears to him more like a time to compete on the European circuit, which he could not do because of the training camp in California.

For his first outing, at the World Championships in Osaka, he could do no better than 7.84 for 11th, after qualifying for the Final with 8.01. However, he later came back as a medal provider for Saudi Arabia, with his subsequent titles at the World Military Championships, in Hyderabad, on 17 October (8.04) and at the Asian Indoor Games, in Macau, on 31 October. At the Pan Arab Games, in Cairo on 21 November, he picked up the silver (8.10) after losing gold to Al Khuwailidi (8.19) on the last attempt.

During the winter, Al Sabee started working with a new coach, Algerian Sahil Hamid (2.14 in High Jump in 1978). While there won’t be much to remember about the Saudi’s indoor season – he finished 3rd at the Asian Indoor Championships with 7.72 and was eliminated in the qualifying rounds of the World Indoor Championships, in Valencia, where Al Khuwailidi clinched a bronze medal – Al Saba then made a strong return to become one of the major attractions of the 2008 summer.

He opened his season just five centimetres short of his lifetime best, landing at 8.31 at the Saudi Club Championships mid-April, but the performance was slightly overshadowed by Al Khuwailidi’s 8.37 at the same meeting. He then made a name for himself on the European circuit when, taking advantage of Irving Saladino’s injury, he claimed a last-round victory (8.21) in the first leg of the Golden League in Berlin. He carried on with a second victory the following weekend in Oslo (8.19).

Although his quest for the jackpot ended mid-July in Rome (third with 8.08), Al Sabee’s newly gained consistency around 8.20 (four times at 8.19 above) made him a serious contender for a medal in Beijing. But in China, pressure proved too much for Al Sabee who had his worst showing of the year, finishing 11th with a poor 7.80m. The shape was good indeed as just 10 days later, he won the Zurich Weltklasse with a 8.35m season’s best before taking second place at the World Athletics Final in Monaco (8.13).

The winter break was a bit longer than usual as Al Sabee got married in December 2008, but this didn’t prevent him from being ready for the season’s early start as he took another Gulf Championships title with an 8.15m best effort in Qatif on 29 April, followed by another gold at the Arab Police Championships in Riyadh on 11 May. After the local season reached its end, Saba carried on with two training camps to prepare for the World Championships in Berlin: one in Saarbrucken (Germany) and then another in the Czech Republic. His best outing so far was an 8.26w/8.20m in Madrid on 4th July, but Al Sabee is not yet back to his 2008 level.


Personal Best
8.35 (2004)

Yearly Progression
1997: 7.73A / 8.01Aw; 1998: 7.70; 1999: 8.06; 2000: 8.33; 2001:8.31; 2002: 8.14;
2003: 8.30; 2004: 8.35 / 8.41w; 2005: 7.86; 2006: 8.25; 2007: 8.10; 2008: 8.35; 2009: 8.26w/8.20

Career Highlights
1997    1st    Pan Arab Championships (8.01w)
1998    1st    Pan Arab Junior Championships (7.41)
1999    1st    Pan Arab Games (7.93)
1999    12th     World Championships (7.99)
1999    2nd     Pan Arab Championships (7.81)
2000    1st    Gulf Championships (8.15)
2000    1st    Asian Championships (8.33)
2001    11th      World Indoor Championships (7.53)
2001     3rd      Goodwill Games (7.97)
2001    10th     World Championships (7.90)
2002    1st     Asian Championships (8.09)
2002    1st     Asian Games (8.14)
2002    4th     World Cup (7.92)
2003    1st    Gulf Championships (8.10)
2003    1st    Pan Arab Championships (8.30w)
2003    1st    Asian Championships (8.23)   
2003    5th      World Championships (8.10)
2006    1st     Asian Games (8.02)
2007    11th      World Championships (7.84)
2007   2nd       Pan Arab Games (8.10)
2007     1st     Asian Indoor Games (7.93)
2008    3rd    Asian Indoor Championships (7.72)
2008    11th     Olympic Games (7.80)
2009     1st    Gulf Championships (8.15)

Prepared by Carole Fuchs for the IAAF ‘Focus on Athletes’ project. Copyright IAAF 2007-2009.

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