Husen Haleem (46) is best known for his outstanding achievements as a marathon runner. Hussain, popularly known as Kuda Hussain talks about his humble beginnings and what drove him to reach heights unparalleled by most Maldivian sportspersons.
Husen Haleem narrates how he was jolted out of his terrible personal circumstances by a Japanese coach, Fukshi, and the Olympic Committee Chairman, Mohamed Zahir Naseer. This was the day in late 1986 when Husen went to the Henveiru Park to try himself at running. Henveiru Park is in southeast Male’, where walking enthusiasts manage a half kilometer jog per lap with traffic. Male’ is an island with a 5K ring road. Four months later, on 1 Jan 1987, Husen wins his first marathon.
The rest is history.
After setting his first National Marathon record in 1987, Husen went on to represent the Maldives at the 1988 Seoul Olympics. His achievements include:
1987-1992 – Held Male’ Marathon Records
1988 – Maldives, 20K Run, National Record standing at 1hr 11min
1988 – Canada, 20K Run, National Record standing at 1hr 11min 33sec
1988 – Seoul Olympics, represented Maldives
1989 – Pakistan, SAF Games, National Marathon Record standing at, 2hr 45min 03sec
1989 – India, Asian Athletics Championships 10K Run,
National Record standing at 34min 33sec (if you can run one lap round Male’ in this time you are fit!)
1992 – Barcelona Olympics finished 86th
Dr. Husen has 4 unbeaten National Athletics Record of 25 years standing. He has two graduate degrees, three masters and a PhD under his belt. He has completed a term as the Vice President of the National Olympic Committee (2009-2013), Member of the National Sports Council (2006-2013) and served in the Maldives military, from which he retired in 2014. He was a Lieutenant Colonel and held the assignment of Director of Sports when he retired.
Inspired by the 1983 film, Running Brave, Dr. Husen saw a lot of himself in Billy Mills, the outstanding Native American legend from an impoverished reservation. Mills went on to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the 10K Run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Husen’s discipline and mastery of motivation have taken him far. Billy Mills hosted Husen at his 50th anniversary of his 1964 Tokyo Olympics
Today Dr. Husen Haleem is a Life Coach. His interests have naturally gravitated towards his passion for fitness and youth development. Dr. Husen runs a Sports Academy dedicated to children from 6 years and up. He has a program targeted at 10-12 year young athletes’ fitness and mental preparation, with the theme of “Pushing Myself”. The Academy also offers exercise for the aged and running technique for enthusiasts.