Abdi is the successor to Wout van Aert on the National Sports Merit Cup Honor Roll. The winner will only be honored later in a ceremony, so how did Abdi find out he was the lucky one?
“It was a busy morning for me, first there was a cross-country school and then a lecture at another school,” Abdi says. “In that lecture one of the students suddenly said that he saw on Sporza.be that I had won a prize. It was good to hear the news coming this way. A few minutes later Wilfried Mert called me with confirmation.”
The trophy is a great honor for a marathon runner. “I am very happy with the great recognition. Not only from the world of athletics, but from the entire sports world. This is my first award with such a look. I have now seen the list of honors go by, it is impressive to see my name on it and it will continue to decorate it. So beautiful.”
Abdi will be enjoying a holiday back home in the coming weeks. “For me, being on vacation means being in Ghent without having to train. Everyone asks where I’m going on vacation, but Ghent is my dream location. This shouldn’t be more than that.”
And now become an athlete of the year? “I can’t control that. There are others who deserve it too. I think it’s a great honor to be nominated.”
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