Al Hizam takes gold at Islamic Solidarity Games
BAKU, Azerbaijan – Less than a week after claiming a gold medal at the Big 12 Outdoor Championship, Kansas sophomore pole vaulter Hussain Al Hizam snared another gold, this time halfway around the world at the 2017 Islamic Solidarity Games Saturday inside Baku Olympic Stadium.
Al Hizam, who currently is ranked fifth among NCAA collegians this year, took advantage of the Jayhawks’ weekend off to travel and compete for his native Saudi Arabia at the fourth installment of the Islamic Solidarity Games, which brings together 6,000 athletes from 56 countries that are members of the Islamic Solidarity Sports Federation for 10 days of multi-sport competition.
In the pole vault Saturday, Al Hizam quickly vaulted his name to the top of the six-person field, with first-attempt clearances on each of his first three heights. He then needed only five vaults to clear the next three bars, which included a second attempt clearance on what the height that no other athlete could match at 5.35 meters (17-6½). With the gold already in tow, Al Hizam’s day was not finishes as he notched one more clearance, a height of 5.55 meters (18-2½). That vault was just two inches shy of his personal and Saudi Arabian record vault posted earlier this year at the Sun Angel Classic in Tempe, Arizona.
Al Hizam will rejoin the Jayhawks this week as he looks to extend his collegiate season by another two weeks at the NCAA West Preliminary hosted in Austin, Texas May 25-27. Kansas has 39 entries between the men’s and women’s squads, all looking to advance to the NCAA Championship to be held in Eugene, Oregon June 7-10.
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.