Category Archives: Gretta Taslakian

An Iraqi Olympian: Dana Hussein Abdul Razzaq دانة حسين عبد الرزاق (Abdulrazaq Danah)

My blogs have been getting quite a lot of hits thanks to Iraqi sprinter Dana Hussein Abdul-Razzaq دانة حسين عبد الرزاق (Abdulrazaq Danah). Dana had the honor of carrying the Iraqi flag at the London Olympics Opening Ceremonies.

Read: “Track Beauty of the Week – Dana Abdul Razzaq”

Dana definitely has the talent to excel in the world stage, having personal bests of 11.76s and 24.49s in the 100m and 200m. Remarkably, Dana trains in Iraq despite the security situation. The 200m dash is her best event, in my opinion. She is just a little over two-hundredths of second off the Olympic “B” standard.

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Track Beauty of the Week: Dana Hussein Abdul-Razzaq دانة حسين عبد الرزاق (Abdulrazaq Danah)

Dana Hussein Abdul-Razzaq   دانة حسين عبد الرزاق  (Abdulrazaq Danah) is this week’s track beauty!

I’ve often ranted about the ills of being a Filipino track & field athlete. Abdul-Razzaq’s circumstances as a sprinter amidst war-torn Iraq makes Filipino athletics seem like paradise. The ill-fated American enterpise in Iraq in 2003 plunged the proud Arab nation into chaos. Despite the constant fighting, the Iraqi sprinter persevered.

 

Photos from Yahoo/Reuters

She competed at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, training in Iraq while her fellow Olympians had bases abroad. Abdul-Razzaq finished 6th in her heat, stopping the clock at 12.36s. On paper, such a time would have been mediocre. But considering the fact that the Iraqi trains at an old asphalt track riddled by both bumps and sniper fire, such a performance is admirable to say the least.

Abdul Razzaq is part of the Shiite minority, while her coach Yousif Abdul-Rahman is Sunni. For Abdul-Razzaq, taking part in sport unifies the “Iraqi people — no Sunnis, no Shiites, just sport for the country.”

Read: “Iraqi Sprinter Dodges Wartime Obstacles to Train” here

Three years after the Beijing Olympics, the Iraqi sprinter is making waves in regional competitions, winning the 100m dash crown at the ongoing Arab Games in Doha. Abdul-Razzaq ran a season’s best of 11.88s to edge out the Asian Games 200m dash silver medalist, Gretta Taslakian of Lebanon. Her winning time is almost half a second faster than her time at the Beijing Olympics – and at the 2011 Asian Athletics Championships held this year, where she failed to progress beyond the heats!

The versatile Iraqi also won a bronze in the 400m dash and has figured at the top of the 200m dash qualifying.

Article by Joboy Quintos

Additional links:

Arab Games profile

Wikipedia profile

Track Beauty of the Week: Gretta Taslakian

Gretta Taslakian is this week’s track beauty!

The 25-year Lebanese sprinter qualified for the 2010 Asian Games 200m dash final last December, but finished beyond the medal standings. Taslakian has a personal best of 23.56s in the half-lap.

Taslakian at the 2007 Arab Games

She has competed in both the Athens and Beijing Olympic Games, without advancing from the preliminary rounds.

Nevertheless, she exudes a refreshing aura with her bright smile and ebullient demeanor, reminding this track aficionado of a middle-eastern counterpart of the ever-so-bubbly Lolo Jones! Just like Jones, Taslakian uses the internet well to interact with her fans – a rare habit among non-European and non-American track athletes.

Be a fan of Gretta Taslakian

Photos from azad-hye.org, Gretta Taslakian FB fan page, athleticsperformance.org

The Lebanese speedster once won silver in the 2004 Asian Junior Championships. The powerfully-built Taslakian has had much success in regional competitions, notching a double gold performance in the 2007 Pan-Arab Games.

Photos from teethless.vampire

Article by Joboy Quintos

Video credits:

georgekifai

yummymarshmellow

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