The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) has highlighted how Team Qatar continues to grow in strength and depth as it introduced and celebrated the athletes who are achieving international success across a variety of sports. World Junior Weightlifting Champion, World Junior Weightlifting Champion, Champion equestrian Khalid Al Emadi, professional squash player Abdulla Tamimi and international fencer, Mohammed Al Shammeri, all participated in a Q&A session with media to discuss their hopes, aspirations and achievements.
Ferociously talented Fares Ibrahim, still just 19-years-old, will be heading to his first senior World Championships in the United States from 28 November to 5 December, where he will go head to head against older and more experienced athletes. This is not a new experience for Ibrahim, however, who won the 2016 Asian Championships and finished an incredible seventh-place at the Rio 2016 Olympics, both when he was just 18. Ibrahim’s confidence is currently flying high after he won the World Junior Championships in Tokyo earlier this year.
Qatar’s equestrian team has achieved incredible success on home soil over recent weeks with Bassem Mohammed and Sheikh Ali Al Thani winning the Longines Global Champions Tour (LGCT) Grand Prix and Qatar International Show Jumping Championships respectively. The LGCT finale was held at Al Shaqab from 9 – 11 November and saw huge crowds gather for the climax of the most challenging show jumping circuit in the world. Bassem demonstrated nerves of steel in the nine-strong jump off to sweep home clear and finish a full two seconds ahead of his closest rival. Meanwhile Sheikh Ali, who last year finished sixth at the Rio 2016 Olympics, claimed his second consecutive victory at the Grand Prix event of the Qatar International Show Jumping Championships at Qatar Equestrian Federation’s Al Rayyan arena. The victory was even sweeter as it saw Sheikh Ali qualify for the 2018 World Cup Jumping event. Khaled Al Emadi is a further member of Qatar’s equestrian team who is achieving strong results on an international stage and earlier this year won at the CHI Al Shaqab event, also held in Doha. Khaled was also a member of the historic show jumping team that qualified for last year’s Rio 2016 Olympics for the first time ever.
Qatar’s first-ever professional squash player, Abdulla Tamimi, broke into the world’s top 40 for the first-time last year following strong performances on the PSA World Tour. The 22-year-old Aspire Academy graduate represented Team Qatar in last month’s 2017 Qatar Classic Squash Championships, an event that is part of the PSA World Tour circuit and has been held annually at the Khalifa International Tennis and Squash Complex since 2001.
Twenty-three year old Mohammed Al Shammeri, will be one of 18 fencers (11 male and seven female) representing Team Qatar at the upcoming FIE Qatar Grand Prix. Al Shammeri is a World Youth Cup bronze medallist and finished seventh in the Asian U23 Championships and is looking to beat the world’s best in front of a home-crowd as the global competition once again returns to Doha. The annual event is part of a series of nine Grand Prix competitions that take place around the world and will see 400 male and female athletes from 47 countries compete at the Aspire Dome from 8 – 10 December. Entrance is free for all spectators and the event will also be broadcast live on Al Kass and the Olympic Channel.
A further highlight for Team Qatar came earlier this month when it was announced that Mutaz Barshim has been shortlisted as one of three finalists for the prestigious 2017 World Athlete of the Year Award. The winner will be decided through a combination of an online public vote, which closed last month, and email votes from the IAAF Family and IAAF Council. Mutaz, who this year won the IAAF World Championships in London and the IAAF Diamond League series, also became the first high jumper to be undefeated in a whole season since 2004. Mutaz is up against British 10,000 metre World Champion, Mo Farah, and South African 400 metre World Champion and world-record holder Wayde Van Niekerk. The winner will be announced at an awards ceremony in Monaco on the evening of 24 November.
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