Shortly after signing an agreement with the Lebanese Olympic Committee that will allow him to compete internationally for Lebanon, Nammour broke the country’s record in the 400-meter run this past Friday.
Nammour, who is from Tampa, Fla., but whose father Elias was born in Lebanon, holds dual citizenship in the small nation in Western Asia as well as in the United States. He will begin competition for Lebanon later this year and train with the goal of representing the country at the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“I am so humbled and grateful to the Lebanese Olympic Committee for giving me this opportunity,” said Nammour, a Belmont junior. “Lebanon is my second home, it’s my father’s homeland and we have many family members who still reside there. I’ll do all I can to make the Lebanese people proud as I continue my running career.”
In just his second track meet following the finalization of the international agreement, Nammour ran a time of 47.85 seconds in the 400 at last week’s Governors Invitational hosted by Austin Peay State University. The finish not only earned him first in the race and gave him the best time in the Ohio Valley Conference this season, but it marked the first time a Lebanese national athlete has broken the 48-second barrier in the event.
The previous national record was 48.08, a time run by Mohamad Siraj Tamim in 2013.
“We heard about Nathan a few months ago and we did not hesitate to contact him,” said Ali Hazer, manager of the Lebanese National Track and Field Team. “We were so excited to sign an athlete like him for Lebanon. We believe that this is just the beginning for him. He has the talent to run 45 in the future. We are very proud of him and look forward to seeing him in the Lebanese jersey.”
Nammour’s best time in the 400 is actually 47.07, though that came during the 2017 outdoor season before his signing with Lebanon and was therefore ineligible for the national record.
That mark is one of four individual Belmont records owned by Nammour. He has also run Belmont’s top indoor time in the 400 as well as the quickest time for both the indoor and outdoor 200 meters. The sprinter was also part of record 4×400-meter relay teams on the indoor and outdoor tracks.
Nammour is expected to make his Lebanese national debut in June at the Mediterranean games in Tarragona, Spain, following the conclusion of Belmont’s spring outdoor season.
“All my success that I’ve had at Belmont, everything that comes from that will carry over for Lebanon when I start running internationally this summer,” Nammour said. “I’ve still got a lot to improve on to get to NCAA regionals and nationals and it still hasn’t really hit me yet.”