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SBS News 03-03-10, "Unlikely rivalry emerges", featuring Timas Harik

Congratulations to Sports Without Borders grant recipient, Timas Harik, who won Gold at the 800m and 1500m Victorian Track and Field Championships. He is on his way to the Australian Championships in Sydney later this month with the help of SWB.

SBS News story here.

Newspresenter - Well here’s a story finally tonight.  A new sporting rivalry is emerging here in Australia between two unlikely athletes. - One a Sudanese refugee athlete the other the son of a former Olympic champion. Times Hark and Freddie Ovett might have very different experiences growing up but on the track they’re both chasing the same thing – Olympic Gold for their adopted country.

Tim Stoney - Timas Harik is a refugee from war torn Sudan who struggled at times to afford running gear. While Freddie Ovett is the son of Stevie Ovett who won Gold for Great Britain in the 800m at the Moscow Olympics , 30 years ago.

The pair have been close rivals as they’ve risen through schoolboy ranks. Last Sunday at the Victorian track and Field Championship in Melbourne another chapter unfolded in what could became one of Australia’s most unlikely sporting rivalries.

As it has been many times before it was a race fought right to the line. Harik adding the 800m title to the 1500m he won early in the met. Despite the rivalry both athletes clearly enjoy the competition.

Timas Harik - He’s really got good speed towards the 200m. I was looking back a bit to see where he was and then at the end I saw his foot. I was nervous back there.

Freddie Ovett – I think now’s the time that we as you sure then we are going to get some seriously good races together and its going to start becoming a great rivalry no doubt.

Tim Stoney – They’re both are migrants to Australia but their paths couldn’t be more different. Harik came to Australia from Sudan via refugee camps in Egypt like many African refugees his talents may have gone un-noticed but thanks to the charity Sports Without Borders and his coach of 6 years peter Kehoe he is already making an impact.

Peter Kehoe - He’s setting the pace and he’s setting an example to the community that participation in sport can help young boys or girls become engaged with the broader community,

Tim Stoney - By contrast Ovett has lived in Australia sign he was seven first in Queensland now in Victoria. His father’s rivalry with Seb Coe dominated middle distance running in the 80’s.

Both boys credit sport sports with helping them fit into their new communities.

Timas Harik  - Without sport I would have been sitting at home doing nothing right now.

Freddie Ovett - Being a sporting country, running and doing well in competition people appreciate you.

Tim Stoney - Both boys have ambition to run professionally and both have Olympic dreams. And while Harik stills sees himself as Sudanese Australian Ovett says he’s not tempted to return to his country of birth despite the money being devoted to Olympic athletes.

Freddie Ovett  - My running career started in Australia and I intend to finish it in Australia as an Australian.

Tim Stoney - The latest instalment in a growing migrant rivalry continues at the national championships in Sydney later this moth.