ABDI Youcef < Back  
Sport Athletics
CGA Australia   
Gender Men
Born 07 Dec 1977 in Azazga, ALG
Height1.77 m
Weight 66 kg
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Wife Alicia, son Leevi
Residence Sydney, NSW, AUS
Occupation Athlete
Languages Arabic, English, French
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He took up athletics at age 14.
Why this sport? His brother was already involved in the sport so Abdi began running so he could spend time with him.
Club / Team Bankstown Sports Athletics Club: Sydney, NSW, AUS
Name of coach Lindsay Watson
International Debut
Year 2002
Competing for Australia
Tournament Commonwealth Games
General Interest
Nicknames You You (Athletics Australia, 2002)
Hobbies Playing football, watching movies, listening to music. (athletics.com.au, 06 Sep 2011)
Hero / Idol Argentine footballer Diego Maradona, French footballer Zinedine Zidane, US boxer Muhammad Ali. (Athlete, 16 Jul 2008)
Injuries In March 2012 he won his Olympic qualifying trial in Melbourne despite suffering a minor tear to his hamstring during the race. (theage.com.au, 07 Mar 2012)
Sporting philosophy / motto "No pain, no gain." (Athlete, 16 Jul 2008)
Other information FROM ALGERIA TO AUSTRALIA
Born in Algeria, he moved to Australia after he was accidentally sent to a military training camp in Algeria instead of one for elite athletes. He was told that he could not change camps so faced with the prospect of six months with no contact with the outside world, he decided to escape. Having recently returned from the 1996 World Junior Championships in Sydney, he still had a visa for Australia. ''Basically I had a limited time to get out of the country and Australia was the only place I had a visa to go. I had just 24 hours before I got caught so the only way for me was to run away. I ended up jumping the fence and running away and getting out of the country.'' He received Australian citizenship in 2000. (theage.com.au, 04 Feb 2012; runnerstribe.com, 18 Apr 2010)

EVENT CHANGE
After missing out on selection for the 1500m at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, he decided to switch to the 3000m steeplechase at the beginning of the 2004/05 season. (olympics.com.au, 20 Mar 2012)

FOOTBALL
He is a football fan and went to school in France with French international Thierry Henry. (theage.com.au, 04 Feb 2012)