Balkan States mull Gulf cooperation

Saturday, Nov 17, 2012

Dubai: The Association of the Balkan Athletic Federations (ABAF) will tie up with the Gulf Athletics Federation (GAF) to host the inaugural International Cooperation Athletics Championships at the end of next year.

“We have a good cooperation with all Gulf States and this sort of competition will only take the standard of athletics here to the next level,” Dobromir Karamarinov, the President of ABAF and the Bulgarian Athletic Federation (BAF), told Gulf News at the end of the Dubai Women’s Run here last weekend.

In Dubai as a special guest of Advocate Ahmad Al Kamali, UAE Athletics Federation (UAE AF) President, the ABAF leader said talks had already commenced on hosting a competition here, possibly in November next year, bringing together elite athletes from the two regions.

The ABAF comprises federations from 12 countries — Albania, Armenia, Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia Herzogovenia, Greece, Moldova, Macedonia and Croatia.

Plans are already afoot for a similar cooperation athletic championship involving high-level athletes from a cluster of countries including the US, France, Germany, Russia and Italy on one side and the Balkan States on the other on October 31.

“Once this competition gets under way we will be in a better position to have similar elite athletes championships. When I got a chance to meet with my friend Mr Al Kamali I floated this idea and he was all for it,” Karamarinov related.

The competition will be held in three categories for men and women — the juniors, under-23s and seniors.

“This competition will be for the best of the best and I am confident we will be able to achieve the goals and objectives for the sport in this part of the world,” Karamarinov said.

The ABAF official further confided that any country, more so the Gulf States can be in a better position to compete for medals at the Olympic level.

“The medals will follow. What we need to do at the moment is give our athletes the opportunities to compete on a high standard,” he said.

“Once a country gets the opportunity to compete at a high level then it is just a question of time before the medals start coming,” Karamarinov added.

By Alaric Gomes Senior Reporter

Gulf News 2012. All rights reserved.

Trending on Zawya