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19 May 2016

Loughborough triathlete becomes first Jordanian ever to qualify for the Olympic triathlon

After a long, hard two year qualification process, Loughborough University graduate Lawrence Fanous has become the first Jordanian to be selected for the Olympic triathlon.

Fanous, a Sports Science with Management student from 2004-2008, has been part of the Loughborough setup for over a decade, and it was at his home in Loughborough where he found out he’d achieved his life-long dream.

A seventh place finish at the Asian Championships just last month ultimately secured Fanous’ Olympic place, as he fulfilled the extensive criteria needed for Olympic selection. This August he will become the first Jordanian to become an Olympian in the triathlon, having secured a tripartite place courtesy of being in the top 140 in both the International Triathlon Union (ITU) and International Olympic Committee (IOC) rankings.

Nominated by the Jordanian Olympic Committee (JOC) and then approved by the ITU, with whom he is a member of their development squad, he finally got the rubber stamp from the IOC.

Of the confirmation, a delighted Fanous said:

“I’m absolutely delighted to have qualified for Rio 2016! It may sound cliché but it really hasn’t sunk in yet.

“So much has gone into this. Loughborough and the University have been at the heart of it the whole time. It's where I did my first time trials to be an elite triathlete; it's where I then came to study, and it's where I’ve trained throughout my whole triathlon career. It’s where I live and train to this very day that I’ve found out that I have qualified for the Olympics!

“Hopefully this may pave the way to show how the top sporting countries around the world can help developing nations to advance their athletes and let them experience sport and training at the highest level. I urge anyone thinking about Loughborough as an option for study to try it as a student-athlete. It truly is a world-class sporting environment.”

Loughborough Triathlon Performance Centre coach Gavin Smith, who has coached Fanous for the last five years, added:

“Lawrence has been a massive part of the Loughborough triathlon environment for many years and is proof that hard work, perseverance and focus will pay off in the long run. Lawrence is an inspiration to younger squad members in the way he conducts himself, and is a brilliant ambassador for triathlon in the Middle East.”

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P.W.Matthews@lboro.ac.uk

Pete Matthews
PR Officer (Sport)
Loughborough University