Amna Al Haddad

The Emirati weightlifter leading the way
ByJasmine BandaliWednesday , 05 March 2014
Amna Al Haddad
© ITP Images

When Emirati journalist Amna gained 8kg of body fat due to the medication she was taking after falling sick, it spurred her into taking drastic action to achieve a healthier lifestyle. What began with a walk around Safa Park led to her revisiting an interest in weight-lifting, which she had developed two years prior with no specific goal in mind. Committed this time around to making a real difference to her physique, Amna embarked on a journey of competitive sports, beginning with CrossFit, which develops skill, strength and conditioning. It was here that she received an introduction to Olympic weightlifting. After five months of training, she became the first Emirati female to compete in the Reebok CrossFit Games Open in 2012, which took place in Seoul, Korea.

Last year, Amna embarked on her first international competition, the Arnold Weightlifting Championship, where she was the first Emirati to ever participate. She is now steadily training to become the first Emirati, GCC and Arab national to compete at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She admits that her life consequently revolves around the gym, especially focusing on her nutritional levels and making sure she gets enough sleep – all crucial elements for her future success.