Home > Feature

Syrian triathlete receives Canadian Citizenship

Mohamad Alsabbagh now turns his attention to qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

Meet Mohamad Alsabbagh, a 27-year old Syrian triathlete, who on March 7th officially became a Canadian citizen. Mohamad immigrated from Syria in 2010 to pursue his studies and triathlon aspirations. In Montreal, he is coached by Kyla Rollinson and trains with the Karma Montreal triathlon group. Now he and his wife live in ithaca, New York, while she completes her Ph.D at Cornell University.

On May 26th, he meet with MP Mr. Miller to officially recognize the efforts made to acquire citizenship. along with allowing for smoother travel for races and training. The citizenship greatly helps Mohamad when returning to New York to spend time with his wife.

This past winter, Mohamad was able to get in some greater training. He spent February at an altitude training camp in Cuenca, Ecuador with his Canadian training squad, Karma Montreal. The camp allowed him to escape the cold Montreal winter and increase his aerobic capacity. Following his February training camp he went onto race in Cuba and Costa Rica. At both races he was able to collect some much needed ITU points.

In order for Mohamad to qualify for the Olympics, he needs to collect as many ITU points as possible. The qualifying period for Tokyo 2020 has just begun, and lasts till May 11th, 2020. The higher level races he enters, the opportunity to acquire more points increases. To gain points he must obtain a high placing and be within 5% of the winner’s time. To qualify, he must rank inside the top 180 in the ITU rankings and be the top ranked triathlete of his country (Syria).

As he begins his journey to 2020, Mohamad sits 252nd overall in the ITU world rankings. The path is set out before him and he is eager to get back to racing in June.

Here is Mohamad’s 2018 race schedule. He will be specifically targeting the Asian Games as his peak race for the season.

  • June 10th in Huatulco, Mexico (ITU World Cup)
  • June 16th in Antwerp, Belgium (ITU World Cup)
  • June 23rd Wuustwezel, Belgium (ITU Continental Cup)
  • August 21 – September 2nd in Palembang, Indonesia (Asian Games)
  • October 13th Sarasota, Florida (ITU World Cup)
  • October 20th Salinas, Ecuador (ITU World Cup)
  • October 28th Puerto Lopez, Ecuador (CAMTRI Continental Cup)
  • November 6th in Spain (Mediterranean Games)

Follow his journey on his Facebook page or website.