A victory round for the Touli twins
SHENZEN - Five minutes to the race. You are preparing yourself mentally. You are not thinking of anything else, just the race. The race. That is only what is on your mind.
Bang! The start gun goes off. You get off to a good start. You’re doing your job well. Your strategy is working. Now it is time for your sprint. The last 150 meters. Yeah – you are in the lead ... you are 20 meters from the finish ...
Wait – where is my brother?
This was the third day of track and field at 26th Summer Universiade. For most, the focus was on triple jumper Nelson Evora of Portugal, the gold medallist from Beijing in 2008, the winner again here Thursday night here. And then there were brothers Imad and Abdelmadjed Touil from Algeria., who ran in the 1,500.
It’s hardly unusual in sports to see siblings in the game. Football? The De Boer brothers. Field hockey? The Fürste brothers. Tennis? Venus and Serena Williams.
Sometimes those brothers or sisters are, of necessity, rivals.
The Touil brothers were supposed to be rivals tonight, too.
But they were not.
Imad and Abdelmadjed started the race slowsly.
“It was our strategy,” Imad said afterward. “Then, when we were coming to the last 150 meters, I shouted at him to sprint with me.”
Imad was by then in the lead, Abdelmadjed in second. Both launched into their kicks.
They rounded the home stretch and it was clear they would finish 1-2.
In the last 15 meters, Imad turned around. He looked back to see his twin brother. He slowed, reached out, and they passed the finish line together, holding the other’s hand.
Imad Touli was timed in 3:48.13, Abdelmadjed Touli in 3:48.24.
The bronze medal went to Russia’s Valentin Smirnov. He finished in 3:48.45.
No one, it must be said, really cared about the times.
(Source: Ozan Can Sülüm, FISU-AIPS Young Reporter/Turkey – Photos by Gergo Kodrucz, FISU-AIPS Young Reporter/Hungary)
The twins crossing the finish line