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Moroccan Olympic-bound high jumper Rhizlane Siba trains during Ramadan

Tue, 11 May 2021 Source: africanews.com

Rhizlane Siba is pressing on with her preparations for the Tokyo Olympics.

The 24-year-old has continued training as normal despite observing the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims abstain from eating or drinking from dawn to sunset.

Siba has been training at the National Institute of Athletics in Rabat as she prepares to represent Morocco at the 2021 Games.

She has been an African champion at the youth, junior and senior levels -- winning the main continental title at the 2014 African Championships.

In 2015, the athlete won the gold medal at the African Championships in Marrakech, with a jump of 1.80m.

She is also twice a gold medallist at the Arab Athletics Championships and was the 2011 Pan Arab Games winner.

The young winning athlete appears extremely motivated and ready to win big once more.

"We had the advantage of participating in several federal and regional competitions, even very early before the Olympic Games, and even after the month of Ramadan, we will participate in several other competitions in Rabat and elsewhere that will allow us the opportunity to achieve the minimum to qualify for the Olympics, or to participate in the Arab or African championships that are better for us to achieve the minimum."

Siba is training under the supervision of her coach Aghlal Mohamed who was keen to keep the same training program despite Ramadan.

The Moroccan national athletics head coach explains his approach.

"The month of Ramadan has its special program and after this month we established another program for the athlete to keep the form for the Olympics and also for other competitions such as the Arab and African championships."

Siba herself fully embraces his leadership and feels great about her routine.

"Many athletes can have setbacks because of Ramadan. On the contrary for us - we have trained with intelligence during this month. We have not changed the program and schedules of training even if we are tired during the day and even if there is the risk of having an injury due to dehydration. This is why the coach insisted on keeping the same training program so that after Ramadan we will not have difficulty in adapting again."

The pandemic has meant Siba has spent the month of Ramadan with her family for the first time in five or six years -- according to her father, Ahmed Siba.

"Among the advantages of the Covid 19 pandemic for me, this is the first year my daughter Rhizlane spends the month of Ramadan with us. That was a good thing. I thank God because it is almost five or six years that she spend Ramadan far from us and her family and she is the only one who left the family at a very young age."

Rhizlane Siba chooses to end her day by reading Quran. One could argue that the combination of the continued intense training along with downtime with her family during this Holy month of Ramadan, might just be the perfect recipe to bring home Olympic gold for Morocco in the summer games.

Source: africanews.com