|Birth name||Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu|
|Born||23 May 1998|
Onitsha, Anambra State, Nigeria
|Height||1.68 m (5 ft 6 in)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|Achievements and titles|
Salwa Eid Naser (née Ebelechukwu Agbapuonwu, born 23 May 1998) is a Nigerian-born Bahraini sprinter who specialises in the 400 metres. She is the 2019 World champion with a third fastest time in history of 48.14 seconds, becoming the youngest-ever champion in the event and also the first woman representing an Asian nation to win it at a World Championships. The mark places her only behind contested results of Marita Koch (47.60; 1985) and Jarmila Kratochvílová (47.99; 1983). At the event, at only 19, Naser was the 2017 World silver medallist. She has also won, as a member of Bahraini mixed-gender 4x400 m relay team, the 2019 World Championships bronze medal.
Eid Naser was in her signature event the 2014 Youth Olympic silver medallist and 2015 World Youth champion, before taking her first senior medal which was gold at the 2015 Military World Games. The then 18-year-old skipped the 2016 World U20 Championships, in which a winning time was 51.32 s, to compete directly with the world's best 400 m sprinters at the 2016 Rio Olympics, where she placed injured equal ninth in the semi-finals in 50.88 s. She is multiple medallist of Asian Games, Asian Championships, as well as other top-level military and pan-regional competitions, both individually and on relays. Two time 400 m Diamond League champion. As of November 2021, she held the 8 fastest Asian results of all time, 9 marks in the top ten, and 18 in the top twenty.
On 30 June 2021, it was announced that Salwa Eid Naser had been banned until February 2023 due to three whereabouts failures. She was tested negative for doping 19 times between 12 April and 24 November 2019 (no publicly available data on her out-of competition tests before/after). She was first provisionally suspended in June 2020 and then cleared by AIU Disciplinary Tribunal in October. CAS upheld appeal from WA (and WADA). One of three panel members was against the decision.
Salwa Eid Naser was born Ebelechukwu Antoinette Agbapuonwu on 23 May 1998 in Onitsha, Anambra, to a Nigerian mother and Bahraini born father. Her mother had competed as a 100 metres and 200 m sprinter at school and she quickly discovered an ability to sprint. At age 11, in her first competitive race in school she won 100 m, and then later 400 m. Her teacher insisted that she would make a good 400 m runner so she started to focus on the distance. Before Naser was 14, the family moved to Bahrain. In 2014, she switched allegiance to Bahrain, converted to Islam, and changed her name. When asked in 2017 about her move, she said, "past three years have been a great transition for me" and did not wish to comment on her relationship with the Athletics Federation of Nigeria. In 2019, she said she was happy that people in Nigeria were celebrating her win.
|2014 Youth Olympics|
|400 m||52.74 SB PB|
|8×100 m mixed||1:43.60|
Based in Riffa in Bahrain's Southern Governorate, Naser had her first success at the 2014 Arab Junior Championships, where she was a gold medalist in both the 200 m and 400 m. Following this achievement, she began to take the sport more seriously and set a new best of 54.50 seconds at the Asian Trials for the 2014 Youth Olympics. Naser steadily improved her best further at the Olympics, recording 53.95 s in the first round, before taking a silver medal behind Australia's Jessica Thornton with a much improved time of 52.74 s. The sprinter then began working with former Bulgarian athlete Yanko Bratanov, who also coached fellow Nigerian-Bahraini athletes Kemi Adekoya and Samuel Francis (banned / disqualified for doping) among others.
|2015 World Youth Championships|
|400 m||51.50 WYL PB|
In May 2015, she confirmed herself as the continent's best 400 m runner in her age group with a gold medal at the 2015 Asian Youth Championships. In June while in Bulgaria, she set national junior records in the 100 m and 200 m clocking 11.70 s and 23.03 s respectively. Eid Naser then proved herself among the best globally in the 400 m at the 2015 World Youth Championships. A patient run in a tight hijab, what was her own decision, saw her overhaul the more favoured American Lynna Irby in the final stages of the race, and she achieved a lifetime best of 51.50 s to take a gold medal. The final came on the day after Ramadan which allowed her to eat normally before the race, after having fasted during the qualifying rounds. The gold medal made her the second ever Bahraini woman to win a global-level title, after senior world champion Maryam Yusuf Jamal. Her tactical running was praised by decathlon world record holder Ashton Eaton, who invited her on an all expenses paid trip to train with him for three days.
Barely 17 years old, in October 2015, she took her first senior title at the Military World Games. Competing in the 400 m against 2012 Olympians Bianca Răzor and Nataliya Pyhyda, she improved to win a gold medal with a world youth-leading and national under-20 record time of 51.39 s, becoming the youngest ever winner of that title. This result was the 2nd fastest Asian under-18—and 10th fastest world U18—time in history.
Naser had since been coached by Nigerian ex-pat John George Obeya, who had been based in Bahrain for several years.
At the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, the 18-year-old made her next progress and won her heat with a personal best of 51.06 s. In the semi-final, she improved even further running 50.88 s, but placed equal 9th overall and did not advance by one place and 0.13 s; her time ranks her however 6th in the final results. Just a week earlier, Naser twisted her ankle, which was first weakened when she was struck by a car aged six. It opened up a fracture and she was advised not to compete, but wanted to, in her first Olympics. After Rio, she had to take three months rest to treat her leg.
|2017 World Championships|
|400 m||50.06 PB NU20R NR|
While still a junior, Salwa Eid Naser won a silver medal at the 2017 World Championships 400 m event with a new personal best of 50.06 seconds, after winning and each time improving in the heat and the semi-final, ultimately lowering her PB by a massive 0.82 s. The final took place on a wet surface during light rain. She was last midway through the race and when she turned for home she was still only fourth, eventually beating Allyson Felix by 0.02 and being beaten only by Phyllis Francis (photo finish). Shaunae Miller-Uibo had been leading until last 30 meters when she got the staggers and dropped from first to fourth. At age 19, it made Naser the youngest woman ever to reach the podium over 400 m at a World Championships; she also thrice broke a Bahraini national record. Less than two weeks later, she won in the distance at the Diamond League meeting in Birmingham, and then set even better personal best of 49.88 s in Brussels a week later, securing her second circuit place overall. This result, the 3rd fastest world under-20 time in history and an Asian U20 record, would have given her first place at the World Championships.
Since November 2017, she has been coached by Dominican Jose Ludwig Rubio.
In 2018, Naser competed at seven 400 m Diamond League events, winning six of them and achieving also six marks below 50 seconds. On 30 June, at the Paris Meeting, she won with a new lifetime best of 49.55 s, breaking an Asian record set in 1993 by Ma Yuqin with 49.81 s. On 20 July, at the Herculis meet in Monaco, she greatly improved her PB in a time of 49.08 s to finish second just behind Shaunae Miller-Uibo, who set the circuit record with her result 48.97. It was the fastest women’s 400 m race run since 2009, and also the first since 1996 in which two women went below 49.10 s. In August, Naser won the race at the Asian Games in Jakarta. On 30 August, she also won the 4x100 m relay final and went on to take silver in the 4x400 m relay. She flew to Brussels later that night and won the 400m Diamond League title just hours later in 49.33 s. A few days later, the sprinter won also Continental Cup held in Ostrava running 49.32 s. In 2018 in total, she won 10 of her 11 400 m races and recorded 7 sub-50-second clockings.
|External, official videos|
|2018 Interview: "I do dream big" (2m 57s)|
|Undefeated Salwa Eid Naser cruises to a 400m victory in Zurich (2019) (1m 13s)|
|Salwa Eid Naser Storms to 400m Gold – Doha Moments (1m 3s)|
During the 2019 Asian Championships in Doha, Qatar she won gold medals for both the 200 m and 400 m, and also for the 4×400 m relay, 4×400 m mixed relay and a bronze for the 4×100 m relay. In the 2019 Diamond League events, she competed in and won five 400 metres races taking her second circuit championship. The sprinter clocked her best time of 49.17 s setting a meet record, on 5 July at the Athletissima in Lausanne, Switzerland.
|2019 World Championships|
|400 m||48.14 SB WL PB AR #3 all-time|
|4x400 m mixed||3:11.82 AR|
On 3 October 2019, Naser became the 400 metres World Champion at the Doha World Championships, the youngest ever, and also first Asian woman winner of that title in the event. She improved her personal best, set one year earlier, by a massive 0.94 s, and her result of 48.14 seconds has been the fastest since 1985 – that is for 34 years (when Marita Koch set a world record of 47.60), the second fastest at a World Championships (only behind Jarmila Kratochvílová who ran 47.99 in 1983), and the third fastest of all time. This had been her fifth race in five days, and top five women all set PBs. She additionally won a bronze medal for the 4×400 m mixed relay, which set an Asian record. During 2019 Military World Games, the sprinter finished as a gold medalist in her signature event extending her unbeaten streak in the event to 14 straight finals, and a bronze one in the 4×100 m relay. Naser finished the 2019 season unbeaten.
In June 2020, the Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) announced that Naser has been provisionally suspended for three whereabouts failures over a 12-month period in the lead-up to Doha (1 filing failure, 2 missed tests) after fourth missed out-of-competition test in January 2020, sanctioned with a two-year period of ineligibility. She said, "I only missed three drug tests, which is normal. [...] It can happen to anybody." She was tested negative for doping 19 times between 12 April and 24 November 2019. In October, AIU Disciplinary Tribunal cleared the sprinter dismissing one of those missed tests due to confusion relating to her exact location, and then her filing failure falling outside critical 12-month time frame backdated according to the rules to the start of 2019. Also in January 2020, when travelling overland after her plane was cancelled she did not reach the Nigerian capital Abuja but only Lagos, Bahraini coach, her third-party in communication who handled her ADAMS database account, failed to update her whereabouts details sleeping. In November, Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) informed that World Athletics and WADA filed an appeal, with hearing dates set for April 22–23, 2021.
On 30 June 2021, CAS announced that Salwa Eid Naser had been banned until February 2023, missing the 2021's 2020 Olympics and the 2022 World Championships.
Information from World Athletics profile unless otherwise noted. Last updated on 1 May 2021.
|100 metres||11.24||+1.3 m/s||Salamanca, Spain||8 June 2019|
|200 metres||22.51||+1.9 m/s||Palo Alto, CA, USA||30 June 2019||NR|
|400 metres||48.14||Doha, Qatar||3 October 2019||WL Asian record #3 all-time|
|Lap times of 48.14 seconds PB run|
|2015||51.39||1.35||2.6||PB WYL NU20R #10 all-time U18; #2 all-time Asia U18 [n 2]|
|2016||50.88||0.51||1.0||[n 3] PB NU20R|
|2017||49.88||1.00||2.0||PB NU20R AU20R NR #3 all-time U20 [n 4]|
|2018||49.08||0.80||1.6||PB AR [H 1]|
|2019||48.14||0.94||1.9||PB WL AR #3 all-time [n 5]|
|2014||Arab Junior Championships||Cairo, Egypt||1st||200 m||24.61|
|Youth Olympic Games||Nanjing, China||2nd||400 m||52.74||SB PB|
|2015||Asian Youth Championships||Doha, Qatar||1st||400 m||53.02|
|World Youth Championships||Cali, Colombia||1st||400 m||51.50||PB|
|2015||Military World Games||Mungyeong, South Korea||1st||400 m||51.39||SB WYL PB NU20R |
|2016||Olympic Games||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||8th (sf)[a]||400 m||50.88||SB PB NU20R [note 1]|
|2017||Islamic Solidarity Games||Baku, Azerbaijan||1st||400 m||51.33||GR|
|World Championships||London, United Kingdom||2nd||400 m||50.06||PB NU20R NR |
|2018||Asian Games||Jakarta, Indonesia||1st||400 m||50.09||GR|
|Continental Cup||Ostrava, Czech Republic||1st||400 m||49.32|
|2019||Arab Championships||Cairo, Egypt||1st||200 m||23.45|
|Asian Championships||Doha, Qatar||1st||200 m||22.74||PB CR|
|World Championships||Doha, Qatar||1st||400 m||48.14||SB WL PB AR #3 all-time|
|Military World Games||Wuhan, China||DQ (heats)||200 m||—||DQ|
|2014||Youth Olympic Games||Nanjing, China||3rd||8×100 m mixed||1:43.60|
|2015||Asian Youth Championships||Doha, Qatar||3rd||Medley relay||2:19.04|
|2015||Military World Games||Mungyeong, South Korea||3rd||4×400 m||3:32.62||NR|
|2016||Asian Indoor Championships||Doha, Qatar||1st||4×400 m||3:35.07||AR|
|2017||Islamic Solidarity Games||Baku, Azerbaijan||1st||4×100 m||44.98||GR NR|
|2018||Asian Games||Jakarta, Indonesia||1st||4×100 m||42.73||GR|
|2019||Arab Championships||Cairo, Egypt||1st||4x100 m||45.18|
|Asian Championships||Doha, Qatar||3rd||4×100 m||43.61|
|1st||4×400 m mixed||3:15.75|
|World Championships||Doha, Qatar||3rd||4x400 m mixed||3:11.82||AR|
|Military World Games||Wuhan, China||3rd||4×100 m||44.24|
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