WIN­NING PER­FOR­MANCES

Qatar Today - - AFFAIRS > SPORTS -

Clock­wise from top left: SHEIKH ALI at Rio 2016; MUTAZ ESSA BARSHIM wins Olympic sil­ver; FARES ELBAKH fin­ishes 8th; ASHRAF ELSEIFY com­petes in the ham­mer throw fi­nal; and HERIF YOUNOUSSE com­petes in the Qatar Open FIVB 2016.

Qatar's Olympic Team of 38 ath­letes, par­tic­i­pat­ing in 10 sports, was led by the ac­claimed eques­trian team mem­ber and showjumper Sheikh Ali Khalid Al Thani who was also be­stowed the hon­our of be­ing the na­tion's flag-bearer by the Qatar Olympic Com­mit­tee at the open­ing cer­e­mony of Rio Olympics 2016. The so­cial me­dia cam­paign #Yal­laQatar man­aged to cre­ate quite the buzz be­fore and dur­ing the games.

After sev­eral days of wait­ing, high jumper Mutaz Essa Barshim made his­tory by be­com­ing the first ever ath­lete from Qatar to claim a sil­ver medal at an Olympic Games. The 25-year-old from Doha cleared 2.36 me­tres to ce­ment his place on the podium. The Lon­don 2012 bronze medal­list has writ­ten him­self into Qatar's sport­ing his­tory once again fol­low­ing his 2014 World In­door sil­ver medal and also achiev­ing the se­cond high­est jump in his­tory with 2.43 m. Speak­ing after his com­pe­ti­tion, he said: "It was a dif­fi­cult fi­nal – ev­ery tech­ni­cal er­ror made a dif­fer­ence, plus there were 15 ath­letes in the fi­nal which is quite a large num­ber. I have a lot to be thank­ful for dur­ing my sport­ing jour­ney – I've set a world record, I've won Olympic medals but the most im­por­tant thing is to set a plan with the coach and work to­wards it. The world record and the Olympic gold medal are both goals for me." Speak­ing about Barshimís mo­men­tous achieve­ment, Pres­i­dent of the Qatar Olympic Com­mit­tee, HE Sheikh Joaan Bin Ha­mad Al Thani, said: "This is the big­gest achieve­ment in Qatar's Olympic his­tory and we are so proud of him. We know that he will have in­spired a new gen­er­a­tion of sport­ing he­roes and con­nected new au­di­ences to Olympic sport.”

Qatar Olympic Com­mit­tee's hos­pi­tal­ity house Bayt Qatar, in Casa Daros, also at­tracted a lot of at­ten­tion dur­ing the games. It was de­signed to wel­come peo­ple from around the world to ex­pe­ri­ence Qatar's unique cul­ture, its warm hos­pi­tal­ity and pas­sion for the Olympic move­ment. At the cen­tre of the house was an out­door Souq, which in­cor­po­rated tra­di­tional ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing Ara­bic cal­lig­ra­phy, bas­ket weav­ing and henna hand paint­ing, reg­u­lar live mu­sic per­for­mances, and a large screen show­ing live Olympic ac­tion and film screen­ings for all. It was also the hub of ex­cit­ing cam­paigns like the one that ar­ranged for street chil­dren from the fave­las of Rio to play foot­ball with na­tional he­roes like Cafu and Zico

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