Spikes16 Mar 2016

A different tact


Mo Aman Cover

In the latest episode of IAAF Inside Athletics, Kajsa Bergqvist speaks to two-time world indoor 800m champion Mohammed Aman.

It’s not usual for young Ethiopians to pursue a sport other than distance running. Mohammed Aman was not a typical young Ethiopian. 

“When I was younger I liked football,” the 22-year-old tells Kajsa Bergqvist. “In my hometown, there’s a field to play, so I was able to play some football with my friends.”

The young Aman’s sporting ambitions were ultimately diverted from the soccer pitch and to the track. “When I was a child I wanted to play in a big [football] team, but in Ethiopia athletics is famous, so I moved there,” he adds with a grin.

Yet in choosing his event he again displayed a penchance for the less conventional. “People used to say ‘man, this guy is joking’, because no one [in Ethiopia] has run 800m before,” he admits. However, the fast youngster stuck to his guns and following three world championship titles – two indoors and one out – “people have accepted it because I am a world champion”.

As he is gears up to challenge for an indoor treble, he’s got one advantage: Portland 2016 will feel like a home meet. Last year Aman made the big move across the Atlantic and found a new home in Eugene, Oregon, which is just a couple hours’ drive down the I-5 from Bridgetown.

“I wanted to see new things,” he explains of his decision. “Most of the time in Ethiopia we train good, because of course I am world champion. But I want to see what others are doing and stuff. So I moved to Eugene.

“Mark Rowland is a good coach, so I want to see, just learn new things. It was a good move, Eugene is good for me, I learnt many things.”

In the full interview, Aman reflects on his experience at London 2012 and states his ambitions for Rio 2016. Watch it below: