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Athletics: Cross-country series |16 January 2023

Neil Azemia shatters male junior record despite low turnout

His name is Neil Azemia and please don’t confuse him with his elder brother Ned Azemia who is by now an established track and field athlete and competing professionally.

Neil is ready to make a name for himself and on Saturday he shattered the male junior 8km (4 laps) record despite a low turnout in the first races of the cross-country series.

Only 11 runners turned up at the fitness trail, Roche Caïman on Saturday afternoon to take part in the firstraces organised by the Seychelles Athletics Federation to open the 2023 track and field season.

Neil Azemia was the only competitor in the male under-20 (junior) category 8km (4 laps) race and this did not deter him as he powered to the finish line in a time of 24 minutes 58.0 seconds (24:58.0) to become the first athlete to rewrite the record books this season and erase Yannick Magnan’s time of 27:32.3 set on 15.02.2014.

The 17-year-old was surprised when yours in writing informed him that he had broken the record.

“I did not know that I had broken the record and did not expect it. I went into the race as a warm-up for the new season, but I am super proud I did it,” Azemia told Sports NATION in a telephone conversation.

Azemia was a member of the medley relay team who won a bronze medal at last year’s Jeux de la Commission de la Jeunesse et des Sports de l’Océan Indien (CJSOI) in Mauritius and he ran the 400m leg.

Running unchallenged in the female under-18 4km (2 laps) race, Chloe Joubert reached the finish line in a time of 22 minutes 19.0 seconds (22:19.0), way off Meryle Rabat’s youth (U18) record 15:32.4 set on 07.02.2016 at the same venue.

The same race for male under 18 was won by Shane Fred in 14:59.6 and he failed to trouble Mervin Monthy’s record of 13:24.5 s on 07.02.2016.

Second and third in Saturday’s race were Adley Lauricourt (14:59.8) and Weiss Jean-Charles (19:37.0).

In the female senior (over-20) category, Brenda Larue completed five laps (10 kilometres) of the fitness trail in 53:13.0 and this was slower than Ana Barra’s best time of 48:41.5 achieved on January 27, 2018.

Second to Larue in the 10km race was Anita Amasogna with 53:14.0.

Three competitors registered for the female masters (over-40) 6km (3 laps) race which was won by Florise Ernesta in 36:09.6.

Mariella Buisson failed to complete the distance, while Deepa Jivan did not take the start.

As for the men’s master (over 40) 8km (4 laps) race, it was won by Sisira Kumara in 34:57.6, followed in second place by Jose Victor in 40:15.6.

Meanwhile the second cross-country races have been set for Saturday January 21, 2023, starting at 3pm at the fitness trail, Roche Caiman.

As for the third and final cross-country races, they will take place on Saturday January 28, 2023 starting at the same time and at the same venue.

The races are open for individuals, groups, companies, secondary schools and post-secondary institutions. All those who would like to take part are asked to register with Fabien Belle on 2517406, the SAF office at Stad Popiler by calling 4225958 or any athletics coach after 3pm at Stad Popiler.

The categories include: male and female under-16 = 2km (1 lap), male and female under-18 = 4km (2 laps), female under-20 and female masters – 35 years and over = 6km (3 laps), male under-20 and male masters – 40 years and over = 8km (4 laps), senior male and female = 10km (5 laps).


The results


Female U18 4km (2 laps)

1. Chloe Joubert 22.19.0


Male U18 4km (2 laps)

1. Shane Fred 14.59.6

2 Adley Larnicourt 14.59.8

3. Weiss Jean-Charles 19.37.0


Male U20 8km (4 laps)

1. Neil Azemia 24.58.0

Female O20 1km (5 laps)

1. Brenda Larue 53.13.0

2. Anita Amasogna 53.14.0


Female master O40 6km (3 laps)

1. Florise Ernesta 36.09.6

Mariella Buisson (Did not finish)


Male master O40 8km (4 laps)

1. Sisira Kumara 34.57.6

2. Jose Victor 40.15.6



Gerard Govinden

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