Amina Matouk (Leiden Athletics) runs the European Cross Country Championships in Italy on Sunday.

Senior Amina Matouk won her first national title in the indoor 800m in February. (Photo: Eric van Leeuwen).

A move to America has done Leiden athlete Amina Madouk no harm. He competed in the National Student Cross Finals for Duke University and recently set a new club record in the indoor 3000m. He could also go to the European Cross Championships next weekend.

Maatoug is no stranger to the world of athletics in Leiden. He mainly runs middle distances on track such as the 800 and 1500 and is one of the Dutch talents. This summer he moved Leiden to Durham, North Carolina. He studies philosophy at Duke University and is a member of the Blue Devils athletic team. “I’ve been living here for three months now and I’m used to how things are here. I’m really enjoying myself.”

Sport071 anchor Gerry van Bakel speaks via Zoom with Leiden athlete Amina Maatoug studying in the US.

For American students, fall is all about running cross country, nowadays referred to as cross in the Netherlands. Maatoug is the first Duke student in 2013 to qualify individually for the national finals of this student competition. In that final, out of 250 athletes, Maatoug finished 28th.

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“I’m very happy with that performance. You always have to wait and see how you do in a different environment. Intercollegiate competition is the most important competition here and the competition is fierce. Last week he ran his first 3000m indoor race in a new club record.” School Record for Duke University And a PR for me too. I’ve run 3000 meters before, but never indoors before.

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He flies home to be at the start of the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday this week. “It’s great to get out there. Of course I’m not at Warrandeloup in Tilburg, which is really considered a qualification. So I’m very happy to have the confidence of the Athletics Association and I’m very excited to see what I can do there. Maatoug is coming out in the under-23 category.

After that European Championship, Maatoug returns to his family in Leiden. “I’m looking forward to it. I still have some exams to do, but luckily I can do it online. In the freshman year, he’ll be back at Duke University.

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