By: Eamon Hillis
Omar Ahmed, a third-year McMaster varsity wrestler, suffered a hamstring injury at a Guelph wrestling tournament on Jan. 21. Despite pulling out of the event, Ahmed is confident about his status moving forward.
“I should be ready to go for OUA’s,” Ahmed says. “My goal is to win a Gold medal. It is what I have been working for, and it is always my goal at every tournament. That is what I expect of myself, and I always train towards that.”
Ahmed is no stranger to injury. In fact, he just returned from a major wrist injury that kept him out last season, and into the first half of this season. To fix the issue, Ahmed had surgery in April 2016. Since then, his return to form has been exceptional considering the severity of his injury. Ahmed attributes this in part to the support he received at McMaster throughout his rehabilitation process.
“I spent three months in a cast, then three more months in therapy. The resources available here at Mac are great. I attended sessions a few times a week and it really helped me in my recovery,” said Ahmed.
I don’t feel I need I need to lead vocally, so I tend to lead by example. I focus on working hard and developing my own ability, … trying to be a role model in that way.
McMaster men’s wrestling
Ahmed was the 2016 Ontario University Athletics champion in the 68kg division, and took silver as a rookie in 2015. Part of what drives Ahmed, whether in competition or in recovering from injury, is his consistent and unyielding work ethic. Coaches and teammates have come to not only admire his exceptional attitude towards work, but also his quiet leadership on the team.
“I don’t feel I need to lead vocally, so I tend to lead by example,” Ahmed says. “I focus on working hard and developing my own ability, and trying to be a role model in that way. When some of my teammates look over and see me putting in extra work, I feel it encourages them to put in extra work too. When a teammate needs help with a technique, I am always willing to help out.”
Ahmed’s return has been important in McMaster’s success throughout the second half of the season. In the most recent University Sports rankings, the Marauder men rank second in the nation behind Brock University. The women are ranked ninth.
The men will look to upset the Brock Badgers on Feb. 11 and recreate their 2015 OUA victory. The Brock Badgers are the 2016 defending men and women’s Porter Trophy winners and have dominated in the Ontario circuit for the past three decades. Brock has taken home 25 of the past 32 men’s and women’s titles, meaning an upset by McMaster would be a remarkable achievement.