Doha: Six of Qatar's most talented and ambitious athletes outlined their hopes and aspirations for the Asian Games at a question and answer panel session hosted by The Qatar Olympic Committee (QOC) at Olympic Tower on Wednesday.
The spoke about their preparations for the Games to be held in Jakarta and Palembang, Indonesia from August 18 to September 2. More than 250 athletes will represent Qatar in 30 different disciplines. Taking part in the session were three talented shooters including Reem Al Sharshani, Matara Al Aseiri and Ahmed Mohsen Al Ali, Team Qatar boxer Abdullatif Mohamed Sadiq and Team Qatar Olympic football team member Hatem Kamal.
Speaking at the event, Ahmed Darwish – Deputy Head of Administrative Delegation, said: “We are now at the final stage of preparations and we are working with all participating federations to confirm the final list of all participating athletes. Qatar will participate with 245 athletes competing in 30 sports. Our athletes are currently attending training camps to be well prepared for the games in Indonesia. We will have two delegations, one for competitions that will take place in Jakarta and one for the competitions in Palembang. Our united goal is to represent Qatar in the best way possible and for Qatar we do anything."
Hatim Kamal spoke about the relationship between his team members, saying: “Our relationship is very strong as a team; we work and train together as one family. We look forward to competing at the Asian Games where it's an opportunity for the team to gain experience and help us prepare for the Asian Cup." Speaking about her greatest achievement and the local competitions organised by the shooting federation, Reem Al Sharshani said: “I won a team gold medal at the Asian Championship. We competed against best athletes from both Asian and International world and this enriches our experience. Our federation is committed to organise local and international championships and we have recently got Al Nishan Shooting championship which is a strong competition and a great opportunity for all shooters in Qatar to gain points and for the amateurs to participate. It is also an opportunity for people here to know more about different shooting weapons."
Matara Al Aseri, also a shooter who competes in the air rifle said about her beginning with the sport: “I started the sport in 2001 when I used to go with my sister to practice. Then I joined the federation and I participated at a Championship held in Iran. My best achievement was in 2011 when I won team gold in the Arab Championship and the 2nd place in the individual category. There were strong opponents from Kuwait and Egypt but the team and I gained great experiences."
About his hopes for the Asian Games and the future, aspiring shooter Ahmed Al Ali said: “The Asian Games is a great opportunity to gain the experience needed in achieving my goals for the future. I am juggling between my studies and my sport, hoping I can graduate and still practice shooting. I am always giving fair attention to both my training and my studies because I want to excel in both. I even train during exam periods."
Abdullatif Mohamed Sadiq who holds a gold medal from Qatar boxing open 2018 and has a Guinness record, spoke about his achievement and goals by saying: “I achieved this record in 2009 in push-ups on two fingers of each hand. I managed to achieve 132 push-ups in one minute. The previous record was 124 in one minute. My goal to achieve more records."
About his training, he added: “An athlete has to dedicate enough time for training if they want to achieve greatness and this comes with the support of his family and coach. “Before the games, we have to have enough rest, and during the game, we have to apply all the tips and instructions all in one minute that could make a huge difference."
When asked about how boxers get to know their opponents before a championship: “We usually check the list of boxers in the championship's website and then we search about their playing style. Is my opponent left-handed or right-handed? Does he depend on defence or attack during a match? So this way we can be more prepared."