Doha: Diver Abdulaziz Belghith won Qatar’s first gold on the opening day at the Ninth Asian Age-Group Aquatic Championship in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, on Saturday.
He claimed the first place in the 1m springboard competition, which ends on September 12.
“We’re happy with his performance. It’ll boost the sport in the country and it also showed our youth development programme is on the right track,” said Qatar Swimming Association President Khaleel Al Jaber.
Abdulaziz and Mohamed Shwaiter had won a silver medal in synchronized 10m platform diving in the 2015 edition in Bangkok, Thailand.
The duo also claimed a bronze in the synchronized 3m springboard diving event.
Abdulaziz’s performance, in fact, is a positive result for Qatar after its swimmers failed to win a single medal at the Islamic Solidarity Games, in Baku, Azerbaijan, in May.
“We’re putting in our best efforts to mould them into future stars. Motivation and encouragement are important at this age. We’re providing every bit to ensure they become successful,” said Al Jabir, who is also an Asia Swimming Federation vice-president.
With Doha set to host the 2023 FINA World Championships, Qatari swimmers and divers need to win more laurels at the international competitions.
“I hope his performance will encourage others to win more medals in the competition. We wish them good luck in all future tournaments,” said QSA General Secretary and Technical Committee Chairman Talal Al Darwish.