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O ver the weekend, Boulder triathlete Omar Nour took second in the first-ever International Triathlon Union (ITU) race in Egypt, the 2013 Sharm El-Sheikh ITU Triathlon Arabic Open Championships.

Nour, who is originally from Egypt, is attempting to become the first triathlete from that country to compete in the Olympics. Several Arab countries were represented in the race, including Palestine, Jordan, Iraq, Kuwait and Libya.

While much of the Middle East is embroiled in conflict, Nour said he was glad to see so many competitors at the race.

"Egypt has been going through some tumultuous times politically and has lost the majority of its tourism, which was an integral part of its economy," Nour said. "Events like this happening on Egyptian soil was a display to the world that the country is safe enough to visit and that sports truly unites nations."

He added that he was impressed by how the Egyptian triathlon team has grown and improved. The Egyptian Triathlon Federation launched three years ago in March 2010.

--Follow Sarah Kuta on Twitter: @SarahKuta.