Team Qatar’s handball athletes dominated their first ever Olympic match, defeating Croatia 30 – 23 in the Future Arena in Rio de Janeiro on 7 August.
The 2015 Handball World Championship silver-medallists maintained control throughout the match against their Croatian counterparts, proving that they are a force to be reckoned with. While the powerful left-back Rafael Capote scored the first goal, the team held the lead and controlled the field of play expertly.
Right-back Zarko Markovic scored an amazing 10 goals for Team Qatar thanks to critical assists by Basel Al-Rayes, and the team cruised to victory in a solid display of teamwork. The players have already made history as Rio 2016 marks the first time ever that a Qatar handball team has competed at the Olympic Games.
In swimming, one of the youngest members of Team Qatar, 17-year-old Noah Al-Khulaifi came in 7th in the 100m backstroke heats in his first ever Olympic appearance. Speaking from Rio, Al-Khulaifi said:
It is very special to be here and part of this. Being at the Athletes Village hasn’t blown my mind but it’s filled with superstars I didn’t really expect to see such legends all walking around like normal people. From NBA stars who seem about 7ft tall to Michael Phelps who I saw in the pool, which for me is just like ‘wow’.’
Meanwhile, table tennis athlete Li Ping decimated his Hungarian opponent Adam Pattantyus winning 4-0 in the second round of competition in the massive 23,000 square meter Riocentro Pavilion 3.
To follow the hopes and dreams of Team Qatar or to show your support and leave messages please go to Qatar Olympic Committee’s social media channels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and follow the #YallaQatar campaign or the QOC website.