Salwa Eid Naser

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Salwa Eid Naser
Medal record
Women's athletics
Representing  Bahrain
World Championships
Silver medal – second place 2017 London 400 m
Continental Cup
Gold medal – first place 2018 Ostrava 400 m
Asian Games
Gold medal – first place 2018 Jakarta-Palembang 400 m
Gold medal – first place 2018 Jakarta-Palembang Mixed 4 × 400 metres relay
Gold medal – first place 2018 Jakarta-Palembang 4 × 100 m relay
Silver medal – second place 2018 Jakarta-Palembang 4 × 400 m relay
World Youth Championships
Gold medal – first place 2015 Cali 400 m
Asian Youth Championships
Gold medal – first place 2015 Doha 400 m
Military World Games
Gold medal – first place 2015 Mungyeong 400 m
Representing International Olympic Committee Mixed-NOCs
Youth Olympic Games
Bronze medal – third place 2014 Nanjing Mixed 8 × 100 metres relay

Salwa Eid Naser (born 23 May 1998) is a Bahraini track and field sprinter who specialises in the 400 metres. She was the gold medallist at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics and the 2015 Military World Games and won the silver medal at the 2017 World Championships. She holds a personal best of 49.08 seconds, set July 2018 at the Monaco Diamond league which became a new Asian record surpassing Ma Yuqin's record that had lasted almost 25 years. She is the gold medalist of 2018 Jakarta Asian Games with record 50.09 seconds.

Career[edit]

Born in Nigeria, Salwa Eid Naser was previously known as Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu[1] in Anambra State, Nigeria.[2] She began running at age eleven while at school and began to focus on the longer 400 m distance. She was the 2013 Schools Champion in Port Harcourt. In 2014, she switched allegiance to Bahrain, converted to Islam[3] and changed her name,[4] initially coached by Nigerian ex-pat John George Obeya. While Naser has only expressed great joy at her transition to the new country, Kemi Adekoya, who also migrated to Bahrain in 2014, expressed complaints the Athletics Federation of Nigeria failed to support her development and even failed to honor a jackpot she had won in domestic competition. Naser markedly said "I have nothing to say to the AFN."[5]

Based in Riffa in Bahrain's Central Governorate, she had her first success at the 2014 Arab Junior Athletics Championships, where she was the gold medallist in both the 200 metres and 400 m. Following this achievement, she began to take the sport more seriously and set a new best of 54.50 seconds at the Asian Trials for the 2014 Summer Youth Olympics. She steadily improved her best further at the Youth Olympics, recording 53.95 seconds in the first round before taking the silver medal behind Australia's Jessica Thornton with a much improved time of 52.74 seconds.[6]

Naser began working with former Bulgarian athlete Yanko Bratanov, who also coached fellow Nigerian-Bahraini Kemi Adekoya. At the start of 2015 she set national junior records of 11.70 seconds for the 100 metres and 23.03 seconds for the 200 m while in Bulgaria.[6] She confirmed herself as the continent's best runner in her age group with a gold medal at the 2015 Asian Youth Athletics Championships.[7] She then proved herself among the best globally at the 2015 World Youth Championships in Athletics. A patient run saw her overhaul the more favoured American Lynna Irby in the final stages of the race and she achieved a lifetime best of 51.50 seconds to take the gold medal. Running in a hijab, the final came on the day after Ramadan, which allowed her to eat normally before the race after having fasted during the qualifying rounds.[6] The gold medal made her the second Bahraini woman to win a global-level title, after senior world champion Maryam Yusuf Jamal.[8] Her tactical running was praised by decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton, who invited her on an all expenses paid trip to train with him for three days.[9]

Naser took her first senior title at the 2015 Military World Games in October. Competing against 2012 Olympians Bianca Răzor and Nataliya Pyhyda, she improved further to win the 400 m title with a best of 51.39 seconds, becoming the youngest ever winner of that title.[10][11]

International competitions[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
2014 Arab Junior Championships Cairo, Egypt 1st 200 m 24.61
1st 400 m 55.72
Youth Olympic Games Nanjing, China 2nd 400 m 52.74
2015 Asian Youth Championships Doha, Qatar 1st 400 m 53.02
World Youth Championships Cali, Colombia 1st 400 m 51.50
Military World Games Mungyeong, South Korea 1st 400 m 51.39
2017 World Championships London, United Kingdom 2nd 400 m 50.06 NR
2018 Asian Games Jakarta, Indonesia 1st 400 m 50.09 GR
1st Mixed 4 × 400 metres relay 3:11.89
IAAF Continental Cup Ostrava, Czech Republic 1st 400 m 49.32

References[edit]

External links[edit]