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Francoise, Diala, Nesrine, and Melissa
...a promising quatorze
When Maria Pia Nehme decided to quit RRA, we were not very happy....obviously. Whilst under RRA’s wing, Pia broke 8 national records in less than 3 years. Together with Greta Taslakian and Marie El Amm she was part of the elite women’s athletic triumvirate breaking records over the past 5 years. But life goes on, for RRA, and for Pia who has joined the eminent Jamhour Sporting Club. We wish Pia, who has recently registered her 9th national record (the marathon in Zurich on April 26th, 2009), more records and great success at the "Jeux de la Francophonie" in Beirut later this year.
In 2008, we witnessed the amazing comeback of Marie El Amm, an outstanding long distance runner who has not yet reached the limit of her potential. Of the women, Marie was first Lebanese at the 2008 BIM, and she broke the Lebanese marathon record in Rotterdam on April 5th, 2009.
RRA also enthusiastically welcomed 4 new women athletes:
Francoise Nehme (25 years)
Francoise, who at short notice twice represented RRA in the Lebanese track & field championship, has decided to prepare rigorously for 2009 and has been training since December 2008. Her preliminary tests show a promising performance in 400m. Francoise may prove to be an asset to the national team in the "Jeux de la Francophonie" for the 400m relay.
Diala El Khazen (18 years)
Diala did extremely well at the 2008 Lebanese championship in 100m, 200m and 400m relay and surprised us all. However, she has not trained regularly or seriously since then. She has promised to concentrate on her training once her official exams are finished. She will probably come to Istanbul for a 2 month training camp under the strict supervision of Roger Bejjani. This girl has talent and should make use of it. We hope to see her at the start line in the "Jeux de la Francophonie."
Nesrine Njeim Leene (26 years)
Nesrine, an ex-track & field and Alpine ski athlete, has made her comeback.....in the Netherlands, where she lives with her husband Robert. She's enthusiastically competing in 10K road races and her time has quickly improved to 42m 15s. We’re sure Nesrine can bring this down to under 40m, and if she does, she’ll qualify to run the 5,000m or the 10,000m at the "Jeux de la Francophonie."
Melissa Rizk (23 years)
Melissa is a recent revelation to the running community in Lebanon. She ran the 10K at the BIM 2008 at around 47m, and surprised us at the HSBC Earth Race 09 half-marathon where she finished at 1h 37m 19s, only 26s behind Elga Trad. Melissa is RRA's newest acquisition. She has been training alone for the past 2 years, driven by her heart and passion for running. This will change from now! While the heart and passion are still there, she will be training professionally under Roger's supervision. Melissa has huge potential and should be closely watched, as she has the proven capacity to shave minutes from PBs in record time.