When Nasser Al Sahoti carried Qatar’s flag at the opening ceremony of the Asian Para Games Jakarta 2018, he was leading a Team Qatar that travelled to Indonesia with the goal of building on recent international successes.
Al Sahoti and teammates are hoping to replicate the same form that won Team Qatar two silver medals in the Rio 2016 Summer Paralympics Games and five medals (three gold and two bronze) in the Incheon Asian Para Games 2014 four years before.
Ameer Al Mulla, Executive Manager of Qatar Paralympic Committee said they have had an outstanding success in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games as well as the previous Asian Para Games in South Korea and they are highly motivated for Jakarta.
Team Qatar boasts seven track and field athletes, including Paralympic medalist Abdulrahman Abdulqadir who became Qatar’s first athlete to win a medal in any sport at the Paralympic Games when he claimed silver in the shot-put at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.
Abdulqadir is also the shot-put gold medal holder of the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships in London and the Asian Para Games 2014. He was Qatar’s flagbearer at the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games.
The track and field team also features Sara Masoud who won silver in the women’s event of shot put in Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Like Abdulqadir, Masoud made history by becoming the first female Qatari athlete to win a medal at the Paralympic Games. Masoud, who made her senior international debut in 2011, won gold medal in shot put and discus throw in the 2014 Asian Para Games before claiming silver in the 2017 World Para Athletics Championships.
Flagbearer Al Sahoti will meanwhile carried the maroon flag at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Pan Arab Games on home soil.
At 46, the athlete who competes in discus throw and javelin throw has bags of experience in major tournaments, having represented Qatar in the 2004 and 2008 Paralympic Games as well as five world championships. He also claimed the first medal for Qatar in IPC Athletics World Championships when he won a javelin throw bronze in Assen, Netherlands in 2006.
Another Team Qatar athlete who will be looking to defend a medal from the previous edition of Asian Para Games is Mohammed Rashid Al Kubaisi who competes in the 100m and 800m races. Besides winning bronze medal in the 100m race in Incheon, Al Kubaisi’s best career achievements include carrying the Qatari flag at the opening ceremony of the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games. Al Kubaisi and fellow track wheelchair teammate Khaled Hamad Al Hajeri warmed up for the Asian Para Games with a training camp in Poland recently.
Shot-put athlete Mohammed Al Abd and javelin thrower Dabyas Al Dosari, who both competed previously in the World Para Athletics Championships, make up the rest of Team Qatar’s track and field squad.
Hosted in the Indonesian capital under, the third Asian Para Games will take place from October 6 -13 under the slogan ‘Inspiring the Spirit and Energy of Asia’. For updates and more information about the Asian Para Games Jakarta 2018, visit asianparagames2018.id.