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Interesting Facts About Qatar’s Sports
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Qatar is sometimes called the “Olympic paradise” of the world. In this Arab country you can feel the Olympic atmosphere: many children competing in athletics, tennis, football, volleyball, basketball, karate, gymnastics and judo. Chilean legend Eddy Merckx said: “Qatar as a country pushes for sport. No other country in the world is doing what Qatar is doing for sport – especially for children. As a child, sport is a great school of life. It shows you that talent alone is not enough – you also have to work hard. If you’re a lawyer, you stay a lawyer for life. As a sportsman, you have to start over every season at the beginning. It’s hard to become the best, but it’s also harder to stay the best year after year.” Of course, Qatar – the size of Hawaii – has one of the best sports systems outside the industrialized world.
Arab athlete Saif Saaeef Shaheen won the gold medal in the 3,000 m steeplechase at the 2003 World Athletics Championships in Paris, France. There were celebrations for Qatar after winning the gold medal. Saif Saaeef Shaheen made history for Qatar by becoming the first Qatari to win a world championship in an Olympic sport.
Qatar qualified for the 2007 World Handball Championship. It was the third time that Qatar qualified for the World Cup. Under the leadership of Ekrem Jaganjac, coach of the Qatari national team, the Qatari team defeated Australia with a score of 36-22. “In Qatar there are no outstanding players, but there are many enthusiastic young people and I focus all my work on them,” said Jaganjac, who was a member of the extended Yugoslav team for the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Doha was scheduled to host the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship.
Ahmed Ibraheem was the first runner to represent Qatar in an Olympic event when he competed in the 10,000 meters and 5,000 meters at the Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul (South Korea) in 1988.
The Qatari team finished sixth at the Olympic Games in Barcelona (Spain). In the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Football Tournament, 16 men’s teams competed in four rounds (preliminaries, quarterfinals, semifinals, finals). Under the brilliant leadership of Mubarak Nooralla, Qatar beat Egypt (African champions) 1-0 in the first round. Qatar represented Asia in the quarter-finals but were knocked out by Poland, one of Europe’s top teams. The Olympic players were Ahmed Khalil Saleh, Hamad Al-Atteya, Rashid Shami Suwaid, Zamel Essa Al-Kuwari, A-Nasser Ali Al-Obaidly, Waleef Bukhit Maayof, Mubarak Nooralla, Juman Salem Johar, Mahmoud Yaseen Souf, Fahad Mohd Al- Kuwari , Adel Mulla Al-Mulla, Mohd Al Mohannadi and A-Aziz Hassan Jaloof.
Doha – the country’s capital and largest city – is one of the most modern sports cities in the world. There are many sports facilities. The Khalifa International Stadium is the country’s largest stadium. It is one of the most beautiful and modern stadiums in the world. Doha is also home to the Hamad Aquatic Centre.
This Asian country hosted the World Junior Handball Championship in 1999. There were 17 teams: Denmark, Sweden, Egypt, France, Yugoslavia, Spain, Russia, Greece, Tunisia, Portugal, Croatia, Qatar, Brazil, Israel, Norway, Hungary and New Zeland.
Doha hosted the Asian Games in December 2006. The opening ceremony on 1 December was held at the Khalifa International Stadium in front of a crowd of more than 50,000. At the 2006 Asian Games, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Hamad Al-Thani, an equestrian from Qatar, did the honors of carrying the Olympic flame and lighting the torch. A record number of 45 countries and territories participated in the event. The Olympic Village was home to 10,500 athletes. The competitive program included 39 sports events: archery, athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, bodybuilding, bowling, kayaking, chess, cycling, diving, equestrian, fencing, football, golf, gymnastics, handball, field hockey, judo, kabaddi , karate, rowing, rugby, sailing, sepaktakraw, shooting, softball, squash, swimming, synchronized swimming, table tennis, triathlon, tennis, volleyball, beach volleyball, water polo, weightlifting, wrestlingushu. These Asian Games will be remembered for their excellent organization and hospitality. The success of the Asian Games was the result of the combined efforts of the Qatari government and the organizing committee (Doha Asian Games Organizing Committee). The Asian Games is the second largest international sporting event after the Summer Olympics.
Qatari athlete Musa Obaid Amer finished fourth in the 3,000m steeplechase at the Olympic Games in Athens, the capital of Greece.
Qatar won second place at the 1981 FIFA Youth World Cup in Sydney (Australia). Qatar’s qualification to the finals was one of the biggest surprises.
Talal Mansoor made history at the 1994 Asian Games by winning three gold medals (100m, 200m and 4x400m relay).
The Asian Cup, the continent’s top football tournament, was held in Qatar in 1988.
Doha is officially bidding for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games. As chairman of the Doha Bid Committee, Hassan Ali Bin Ali said: “A lot has already changed in Qatar, and Doha in particular, in the last 50 years. If we were given the opportunity to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2016, this will not only allow us to further develop the city’s infrastructure, but also use the power of peaceful sporting competition to create understanding, hope and change that can bring together the entire region with the rest of the world. Hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Doha would bring the Olympic flame to the Arabic-speaking world for the first time, extending Olympic ideals to millions of young hearts and minds.”
Andres Sebastian Soria Quintana is one of the most talented footballers from Qatar. He came to Doha from Uruguay as a professional soccer player and took Qatari citizenship just in time for the 2006 Asian Games. He was born on November 8, 1983 in Paysandu, Uruguay (South America). It is a symbol of multiethnic Qatar.
Said Asaad is one of the greatest weightlifters in Qatari sports history. He won a bronze medal at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Australia. Like Mohammed Sulaiman (track and field), Nasser Saleh Al-Attiyah (shooting), Jaber Salem (weightlifting), Talal Mansoor (athletics), he is one of the most respected figures of the country.
Qatar is home to the ASPIRE Academy for Sports Excellence. It is one of the leading elite sports institutions in the world. The Academy has four departments: Sports, QESA (Quality Management, Education and Social Affairs), IT (Information Technology) and Administration. These centers provide accommodation, training facilities for exercise, Olympic studies and medical care for students from Qatar and the Third World. The academy also participates in international sports exchanges and has signed official sports exchange agreements with Third World countries. This center is one of the most beautiful sports facilities in the world. Andreas Bleicher, sporting director at ASPIRE, said: “We have always sought to position ASPIRE as an international academy whose main focus is on sport in Qatar. A big part of our approach has been to assess talent at an early stage and the quest to bring out the best in our young athletes. This intense local focus has been coupled with a global talent identification process.”
The Qatari team won four gold, five silver and eight bronze medals during the Asian Games held in South Korea in 2002.
Mohammed Sulaiman became the first Qatari athlete to win an Olympic medal at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, Spain. His arrival was greeted with joyous celebrations in the country. He also participated in athletics at the 1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta (USA). He was one of the best Arab and international runners of the 20th century.
Qatar was one of 160 countries that participated in the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul, Republic of Korea. Participated in one sport: track and field. Some of the athletes were: Saad Mubarak (4x100m relay), Talal Mansoor (100m), Faraj Marzouq (4x100m relay), Ismael Mohammed (800m), Mohammed Ahmed (1500m), Ahmed Ibraheem (10,000m and 5,000m) Marzouq (110m with obstacles).
Mubarak Hassan Shami, one of athletics’ greatest performers, won a silver medal in the marathon at the 2007 IAAF World Championships in Japan.
Qatar’s delegation participated in the 2007 Arab Games held in Cairo (Egypt) and won 14 gold, 13 silver and 13 bronze medals.
Qatar Sports Club is considered one of the most beautiful and modern clubs in the world.
From 2000 to 2007, a large number of famous sportsmen visited Qatar. They included: Diego Armando Maradona (soccer), Haile Gebrselassie (track and field) and Nadia Comaneci (gymnastics).
Qatari athlete Ibraheem Ismael was a finalist in the 400 meters at the 1992 Olympics.
The 2007 Doha IAAF World Super Tour was the sport’s biggest in Qatar after the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the 1995 FIFA World Youth Championship.
Khalfan Ibrahim Khalfan Al Khalfan is one of the most respected athletes at the moment. In 2006, he was named Footballer of the Year by the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). He was born on February 18, 1988 in Doha.
Hassan Ali Bin Ali (chairman of the Doha Bid Committee) is an ardent supporter of the Olympic ideal and works hard to promote the Olympic movement in Qatar.
The World Table Tennis Championships took place from 1 to 7 March 2004 in Qatar.
Qatar made its Olympic debut at the Games of the XXIII Olympiad in Los Angeles (California, USA) in 1984. It qualified 27 athletes in three sports: athletics, football and shooting.
The Qatari basketball team, featuring star players Hashim Zaidan Zaidan, Seleem Abdulla, Daoud Mousa Daoud and Erfan Ali Saeed, defeated the powerful South Korean team to win the bronze medal in the 23rd Asian Championship held in Doha.
The State of Qatar won 6 medals at the 1990 Asian Games in Beijing (China), which were counted with the participation of 6,122 athletes from 37 countries. Overall, Qatar was ranked eighth, behind the People’s Republic of China, South Korea, Japan, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan and Indonesia.
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