Following the incredible wave of national celebration for Ahmad Abu Ghaush’s historic taekwondo gold medal, Mithqal Abu Drais will be looking to make a mark of his own on what has been a glorious Olympic Games for Jordan.
Two new national records in the pool, a boxing quarter-final and first time participants in triathlon and judo are the green shoots of progress that Jordan was looking for. But Abu Ghaush’s golden run in the -68kg sent the celebrations off the scale.
The focus will now turn to Abu Drais who is competing in his second consecutive Olympics tomorrow (Sunday) and hoping to set a new Jordanian record on the final day of the Rio Games.
The 32-year-old ran a qualifying marathon time of two hours 17 minutes and 24 seconds in Morocco last year, a Jordan record that he says is up there with his victory at the Stockholm Marathon in 2012 as his best achievements.
“Just to be here once again is a huge achievement for me and one that I will make the most of on Sunday,” said Abu Drais, from Salt.
“My teammates have made this a very special Olympics for Jordan, especially Ahmad with his gold medal, so I hope I can come close to my record to make it a memorable ending for us.
“I have been receiving a lot of support from home. The messages have made me feel that people are right here with me cheering me on. I have had a good build-up without any injury so I am looking forward to racing.”
The men’s marathon gets underway at 9.30am local time (3.30pm Jordan) with the winning time expected to be a little over two hours.