Focus On Athletes: Mohsen Anani

Mohsen Anani (Mohsen Mohamed Abd El Mohsen Anani, born 21 May 1985 ) is the Egyptian hammer record holder with a lifetime best of 77.36m. His father an Egyptian who works as an engineer and mother a former Tunisian long jumper, Mohsen has both - Egyptian and Tunisian citizenship. Mohsen started to attend in hammer throwing in 1998 when his brother, Sadok Anani - a javelin thrower with a personal best of 71.50m, took him to the stadium and suggested to try hammer throwing.

Mohsen who then was 13 years old did not want to at first, as his brother was a javelin thrower and Mohsen wanted to be like his brother more than anything else. Sadok Anani then showed his younger brother how to throw the hammer and Mohsen did well in the first day of hammer throwing. Their mother, Alya Anani- a former long jumper who represented Tunesia, was the one who brought both her sons to a stadium and wanted them to attend in track and field like she used to back in her times.

The first regional medals came quickly. In 2000, Anani placed 3rd at the Pan Arab Junior Championships in Damascus (51.41m) and in 2001 he was 2nd at the African Junior Championships in Mauritius (57.11m), with the senior implement in both cases. But his first outings on the world scene turned out to be frustrating experiences. The young thrower was among the top 6 entrants at the 2001 World Youth Championships in Debrecen, but couldn€™t do better than 65.38m, finishing 19th and failing to advance to the final €“ a big disappointment.

A year later in 2002 when Mohsen was a junior thrower he achieved a great 71.40m with a 6kg implement. At the same year he threw 63.11m with the adults implement. Then Mohsen started to progress his results in each year with a remarkable speed.

In 2004 he won silver from the World Junior Championships held in Italy.

"I am happy with by progression but unfortunately there were two seasons (2006 and 2008) when I didn´t progress due to some problems," he says with a hopefully toned voice.
In 2007 Mohsen Anani attended at the World Championships in Osaka and was 19th with 72.93m. "It was a really good competition for me, I was very relaxed and threw my best throw in the first round with a big hit in the cage. That made me think that I can make the final if I hit a good one for sure, but the other 2 throws I could not relax like in the first attempt. But the performance generally was good for me at that time," Anani says, now 4 years later.

In the following year Anani participated at the Olympic Games in Beijing and fouled all his throws in the qualification. At that time his lifetime best was 76.00m thrown a year before in Cairo, a capital city of Egypt.

At the World Championships year in 2009 he bettered his best to 76.40m and got 20th place at the Championships. In 2012 he was able to show another wonderful effort in Cairo with a new national record 77.36m.

Mohsen Anani is asserting himself as the leader of hammer throw in Africa, ending a decade-long domination by South Africa€™s Chris Harmse.

In 2010 at the age of 25 he became the African Champion in Neirobi, with a throw of 74.72m. "My goal was to win the African Championships title and make the african team to the World Cup...and I did it," Anani says but worries about the upcoming years as he's not being supported anymore.

"Right now I don't have any income from sports because my Egyptian Athletics Federation does not support me at all and Tunisian Athletics Federation won´t support me and EAF don´t let me go. I am looking forward to get support back which helps me to throw farther and win medals!" Anani says.

"I was thinking of looking for a job and start a new life, but I really love being a professional athlete and I really love what I'm doing so that's why I want to fight to get a better life as an athlete!" he added.

Mohsen Anani is thinking of representing a foreign club. He is now representing the Egyptian club called Shams Club. He has also been thinking of changing the citizenship but it would bring him the 3 year ban from the major championships according to the rules of IAAF.

"I have thought about representing one of the Estonian clubs as my friend Meigo Tammsaar, the Estonian discus thrower, suggested me to have a training camp there and see if it is suitable for me. He says there are wonderful facilities as well as wonderful people who support athletics and could make it easier for me to reach my dreams!"

"Despite of the ban I would get if I change the citizenship, I would still consider changing my nationality to Estonian as I got the clear answer that Egypt won't let me go and as long as this decision is valid, Tunisia won't be able to help." he says. "There is a change to change the citizenship without being banned for 3 years but then the Egyptian Athletics Federation must let me go!"


Progression: in 2000 60.45m with 5kg....2001 74.43m 5kg.....2001 74.92m 5kg.....2002 71.41m 6kg and 63.11m 7.26kg....2003 75.71m 6kg and 68.79m 7.26kg.....2004 79.56m 6kg and 72.50m 7.26kg.....2005 75.31m 7.26kg.....2006 72.00m.....2007 76.00m......2008 75.20m....2009 76.40m....2010 77.36m