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Lamdassem looks to Bilbao and Helsinki

Ayad Lamdassem

Ayad Lamdassem

After a disappointing marathon debut recently, Spain’s 2010 and 2011 SPAR European Cross Country Championships silver medallist Ayad Lamdassem aims to banish the blues with brilliant performances at the European Cup 10,000m and then the European Athletics Championships.

Lamdassem has a best over 25 laps of the track of 27:45.58, which dates from 2008 but the 30-year-old runner, who lives in the Catalan city of Lleida, is looking to improve on that at the Cup, which this year will be held on home soil in Bilbao on 3 June.

He will also be looking for not only an Olympic qualifying time, having not run over the distance since 2010, but a big confidence boost ahead of the European Athletics Championships in Helsinki, which will be staged from 27 June – 1 July.

“Ayad wants revenge for finishing just out of the medals in fourth place in Barcelona two years ago. He has the quality to win the gold medal this time,” Lamdassem’s coach Antonio Cánovas told Spanish media earlier this week.

Lamdassem memorably made the pace in the latter stages of the 2010 European Athletics Championships 10,000m, before the Britain’s eventual champion Mo Farah executed a brutal change of acceleration with 300m to go.

He was still in second place coming into the home straight but was passed first by Farah’s compatriot Chris Thompson and then by Italy’s Daniele Meucci and the Spaniard’s disappointment at missing out on a medal in front of his friends – he competes for the FC Barcelona athletics club – was clear for all to see as he jogged across the line.

Much was also expected of Lamdassem in his first marathon last month, after an impressive win at the European Champions Clubs Cup cross country event in February, when he contested the Lake Biwa Marathon in Japan but the unusually cold conditions caused him acute problems and he came home an unhappy 23rd in 2:14:39.

However, Lamdassem has not given up on the classic distance and Cánovas said that his next marathon is expected to be in Berlin on September 30, when he will again try to go for a time well under 2:10.

Lamdassem’s next race will be over 10km on the roads at the SPAR Great Ireland Run on Sunday 15 April.

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