After bursting onto the junior Athletics scene, Aliya Bushnak is making a name for herself on the adult stage by becoming one of the Kingdom’s most exciting sports stars.
The middle distance runner has now moved to the USA to further her studies and in the latest of our #Meet_Our_Champ series, she tells the Jordan Olympic Committee how things are going.
When did you start Athletics and what other sports did you play?
I started Athletics in the 10th grade but there was no special Athletics team in our school so it was filled with players from other sports. I was doing Gymnastics but over time I participated in many running races. I fell in love with the sport and it became my main sport.
What was your first overseas championship?
The first tournament I played with the national team was the 2016 Asian Youth Championships in Qatar. I was 15 at the time. The feeling was great. I did not expect to get into this stage of high-level sport and compete with the best athletes and in the best arenas. It was unique and gave me the motivation to continue to practice sport and train harder than ever to represent Jordan in the best way possible. In that tournament, we won the bronze medal in the 4x400m relay and this result was a surprise for the whole delegation.
How are you finding life and training in the USA?
I have learned a lot from studying in the United States. The most important benefit is that I train with a large team and all the players are of a very high level which is helping to improve my standard.
What do you think about women’s sport in Jordan?
In recent years, women’s sport in Jordan has developed significantly because of the number of women and girls now participating in tournaments. There is great media coverage and a social acceptance of women’s sport. The achievements made by Jordanian players in recent years is one reason for the progress of women’s sports in our country.
Who is your idol?
Allyson Felix, who has won six gold medals at the Olympic Games and 11 gold medals in World Championships. She has an incredible desire to always show her best and promote gender equality in sport.