Algerian Olympic gold medallist Tawfiq Makhloufi will be there to inspire the Dubai Marathon runners tomorrow. Makhloufi, the 1,500 metres London Olympic champion, wants every runner here to give their best.
Speaking to Gulf News, Makhloufi said: “In life nothing is impossible if one is determined.” Makhloufi had also won the 800-metre gold in 2012 African Championship and the 2011 All Africa Games. He has a personal best of 1:43.71 in the 800m and 3:30.80 in 1,500m.
“I am here not to run but give encouragement to every participant. This is a big event and I like Dubai and its people here very much,” he added with a smile.
Some of the runners were taking his autographs.
“The weather here is very good for marathon. It is really good for athletes and running,” said Makhloufi, who wants long and short distance running to flourish around the world.
Born in Souk Ahras, Makhloufi came up the hard way. At the 2007 IAAF World Cross Country Championship, he finished 82nd in the 8km junior race but moved to finish fourth by 2009 in 1,500m at the Mediterranean Games and never looked back.
When asked for his advice to athletes here, Makhloufi said: “Anyone who wants to become an athlete must work very hard. Nothing comes for free and so they should put everything into their efforts. Those who can put their hearts into their work with determination will surely become champions. I am a strong believer that nothing is impossible in this world if one has the determination.”
Makhloufi also had advice for amateur runners in UAE who want to scale greater heights.
“The first important quality that an athlete should have is self belief,” he said.
“It is also important to eat food intelligently almost everything that is needed for the body. It is also important to follow what the coach says and train seriously.”